Explaining Sales Funnels and Their Importance

Sales Funnel is a very important concept that any business should be aware of. If you are selling products, it’d be beneficial to be familiar with multiple aspects that take part in the process. A big part of the whole process is the customer i.e. potential buyers and their shopping experience. What you need to take into consideration are the steps that occur from entering the shop to eventually buying.

How is the customer feeling when he is having a first look at your items? Also, what happens next, are there any lessons hiding in the customer’s activity? Luckily, there is this thing called a sales funnel which deals with exactly this aspect of the buyer-seller dynamic.

What Exactly Is a Sales Funnel?

But what exactly is a sales funnel? In simple terms, a sales funnel is the stages that occur from a customer browsing the product to buying it. Now, this doesn’t mean that all customers would go through all the stages but knowing about it helps a lot. The main reason is because you can get to influence this process so that more people reach the final stage. A typical example would be a customer entering a regular store.

At first, he may take notice of some products like a hair conditioner. If there is a special offer included on the raft this may encourage the person to pay more attention. From there, if he sees that buying the conditioner earns him discount on a hair cream – he may take it. The special offer optimized the sales funnel.

Some Sales Funnel Examples

The examples from regular stores translate to online selling as well. When a person checks out your website and gets to browse your products he’s at the top of the funnel. Your website could in a way serve as a guide for the customer. This guidance starts at the first stages and hopefully would lead to the very end.

You wouldn’t want potential buyers to drop out at a certain stage of the funnel. Therefore, it’s important to know if there are any weak links in the chain. If you know that, you could better optimize your website so that customers have a smoother journey through the funnel. This optimization includes targeted marketing.

The Stages of a Sales Funnel

A very typical way for a person to discover your website and products is getting a link or searching Google. At this stage, they may be just giving your site a look to see what it offers. Then, they may somewhere along the line get coursed to become a part of your email list. If they decide to do so, this makes it easier for you to further market to them.

For example, you may contact them with special offers that get them back to your site and products. In order to better influence the sales funnel of your site though, it’s good to know its general principles. There are four of these that are typically considered to be the core ones. These are – awareness, interest, decision, and action.

Step 1 – Awareness

As mentioned earlier, the way people usually come across your website is a Google search or perhaps a paid ad. They may also come across it through a link that someone has shared on social media. During this part of the sales funnel, the potential costumers become aware of what you offer. This could be either a product or a service. What this also means however, is that you may be offering something that they lack.

For example, the potential customer may be in the need of a solution to a problem of theirs. Or they simply need some product and you may be the seller that has them covered. Once people are aware of the stuff you offer, what you need to do is increase their interest. This is done by creating a relation with them.

Step 2 – Interest

This is the stage when the potential customers are more engaged in their search of a product or a service. They may already know what they want to buy but aren’t sure which option to choose. To exemplify, a person may be looking to buy a new TV. They know they want to but are considering things like their budget and different TVs. They start making comparisons and see what price includes what, and which option is better than the other. If you happen to have a product that someone may need, it’d be good for yours to stand out.

At this stage however, what’s more advisable is that your authority on the matter is visible. In other words, if you have the best offer for that person, this may wait a bit. For example, let’s say someone is searching for beard trimmers. They may not be ready to buy, but some info on grooming, like a blog post, could come in handy. From there, they could find your site to be relevant and subscribe. Later on, when they have their options narrowed down, you will be more likely to make the cut.

Step 3 – Decision

This stage of the sales funnel is quite crucial. Regarding the customer, this is when they are deciding to make a purchase. The person is weighing their options and is narrowing down the selection. Your job as a seller is to provide an offer that is better than the rest. A good way to do this is discounts and free shipping. People like to take advantage of good opportunities and feel good about their purchases. Another thing you could do is to provide positive reviews.

Going back to the beard trimmer example, a bunch of good reviews would help tremendously. That way, the customer could opt out for your product if he sees that other people vouch for it. In addition, a good thing to do is to make your offers limited. This could put a positive pressure on the customer and he wouldn’t want to miss on a great deal. It’s also nice to have a good narrative about your brand. People are fans of great stories and this increases the chances they will like you. And if they like you, they’d be more willing to buy from you.

Step 4 – Action

The action stage is about the customer making the purchase of your product or service. This is the narrowest part of the sales funnel. When a person buys from you, they have now in a way joined your brand. But things don’t end here. The action stage is not just about the customer but it includes you as well. They did their part and now it’s on you to express appreciation and ask them to leave a review. Things like these further solidify the relation between the seller and the buyer.

Optimally, you would like your customers to become loyal ones and to continue purchasing from you. That’s why when a person buys once it’s important to do some things to make them feel valued. You make yourself available to provide feedback and help if necessary. You ask if they’re pleased with the product and thank them for purchasing. You let them know that you’re there for them. If a customer is pleased buying from you he’s more likely to keep doing so in the future.

The Happy Customer

Adding to the previous point about making the customers happy is the chance for social proof. Aside from leaving a review that vouches for your product, don’t forget about word of mouth. When a person is pleased with a product or a service they will like to spread the word. In general, people enjoy when other peers buy into the same things as them. If you watch a movie and you love it, you will likely tell about it to your friends. And if they end up watching it and liking it based on your suggestion, this will excite you.

Same goes for buying products. Bragging about a purchase and getting compliments on it uplifts your mood. If you receive validation regarding your actions, this is positive confirmation and you will like to keep getting it. This is where things like special offers come into play. If a person gets a great deal on an item, he will feel as if he has won something over. Regarding your sales funnel, all of this works to optimize it. Therefore, it’s very important to keep it in mind.

Simple Mathematics

When a customer goes from browsing a product to buying it, this leads to a conversion rate. If you’re more knowledgeable about your sales funnel and its stages this could be of help regarding conversion. For example, let’s say your online store gets 1 000 visitors in a month. If you make 50 sales out of those 1 000 visits, that would be a conversion rate of 5%. This doesn’t have to be only about sales, but other actions as well. Anyhow, if you have info about this number of visits converted to sales you could better plan your investments.

To exemplify, let’s say you spend $300 to market an offer and this gets you 200 visitors. This is at the first stage of the funnel and at the end, what’s important is the number of sales. If four people buy out of the 200 visitors you could then do some calculations. What’s important is how much money would be made out of those four sales. If the totals are for example $900 that means that you’ve spent $300 on marketing the offer but have made $600 in profits. From there, you could better estimate your investments for the future. This tells you how well your sales funnel is working.

Creating Awareness and Interest

If we go back to the initial sales funnel stages i.e. awareness and interest, here are some helpful ideas. One of them is having a blog on your site where you provide value in the form of information. If you have quality content this could attract potential customers who are searching the web for some products or services. For example, if you sell sports equipment and gear, you could create blog content about different aspects and parts of this field.

You could do product reviews or offer helpful tips and advice. From there, if a person is searching to buy something sport related, he may stumble across your site. This could also be tied in with social media and things like Facebook ads and posts in general. It could help with the promotion of your blog.

Helpful Concepts

One of the key concepts in marketing and sales is – supply & demand. If you’re selling music instruments for example, you could grow your email list with people interested in making music. Considering their existing interest, you could offer them tutorials or reviews that will be helpful to them.

If a person isn’t happy with the sound quality of their music, a tutorial on mixing and mastering audio would be of great value to them. This information will let the person know what kind of equipment he needs in order to improve the quality of their music. And if you sell that equipment, your store could be their go-to place for buying it.

Key Things to Remember About Your Sales Funnel

In conclusion, being aware of the concept of sales funnels is very helpful for any online business. If you know more about your sales funnel, you could better optimize it and take bigger advantage out If it. Remember the four core stages – Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. Make sure to improve on all fronts and gather necessary info.

Do your best to attract visitors to your site, provide value to keep their interest, and make great offers that encourage them to buy from you. And if they buy, make sure to show appreciation and try to make each customer a loyal one. The happier a customer is, the more social proof you could get. Ask customers to leave reviews and trust that they will brag about their purchases and let other people know about your business and services as well.

Also, don’t forget to clean up the look of your site i.e. online store and make it appear exciting. This will help your sales funnel tremendously because the overall design and functionality of your site do a lot of the work for you.  On that note, keep in mind that DragDropr is a tool which could make the designing process very easy on you.

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