How important is the sales funnel and what are its stages?

The sales funnel the one tool that helps sales reps turn cold prospects into hot leads. A sales funnel gives an insight to the sales representatives about the preference of the customers, which in turn helps them increase the efficacy of the sales process. Customer’s thought processes, challenges, and decisions help sales representatives to improve the sales process. According to a survey, 79% of the leads have not been converted into paying customers, as 68% percent of the companies and businesses have not identified the sales funnel process.

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is a metaphor for a marketing system that leads a prospect through a series of stages until the prospect becomes a customer. Typically, sales funnels have multiple steps that work together to direct a prospect through the sales process. At each step, a gatekeeper stands in the way of the prospect and evaluates whether they should be allowed to proceed. In some cases, prospects can be rejected at any stage.

Sales funnel is a process in which a prospect or lead is guided through a series of steps. These steps could include being watched over by a salesperson, presented with a sales pitch, signed a contract, and made a purchase. The sales funnel is utilized to determine the effectiveness of a sales campaign. It also shows where the sales campaign was stronger or weaker.

It is a process that helps marketers and businesses to convert prospects into customers. It captures the viewers’ information, educates them, and gets them to become loyal customers. The process of building a sales funnel starts with attracting new visitors to your website. The next step is to convert the visitors into leads, and then you can send them through the sales funnel, where they can be converted into paying customers.

A sales funnel is a marketing metaphor representing the buying process of a consumer/lead, who moves through multiple stages of a conversion funnel until they are ready to purchase. A sales funnel typically consists of five steps, which are “awareness,” “interest,” “desire,” “action,” and “conversion” The number of members currently in each stage of the funnel is outlined in the image to the right.

A sales funnel is connected to the phases of the customer journey, which can be sorted into three parts, top, middle and bottom. This can convert into the sales funnel arrangement on your part as prospects going through Untouched contacts > Contact made (Leads) > Qualified leads > Proposal presented to the leads > Negotiation > winning stage.

What are the stages of a sales funnel?

There are a number of stages that are included in the sales funnel process. The phases are structured into three distinct stages, as each organization has its own way of managing the sales process and customer touchpoints.

  1. Awareness and Discovery

The awareness and discovery stage of the sales funnel is the process in which a potential client becomes knowledgeable of your product or service and begins to learn as much as they can about it. This is known as the top of the funnel because you have the least amount of leads and conversions. At this stage, potential customers are just becoming aware of the problem that your product or service will help them fix and they begin to look for solutions. So, first, you will begin to attract this group through ads and marketing materials, and then you want to provide educational content that helps them learn more about their problem and how you can help them fix.

 According to a study conducted by Hubspot in 2014, most visitors who come to a website do not make it past the first page. Thus, with the majority of your targeted audience not viewing more than one page on a website before leaving, there needs to be a way to make the initial site views count. The Awareness and Discovery stage of the sales funnel is crucial to making sure the right people are visiting the website and encountering the content that is being presented. In order to maximize conversions, digital marketers must try to influence this stage.

In the awareness and discovery stage, the untouched prospects are converted into contact leads, i.e., they get converted into the leads.

  1. Researching Solutions

The prospect is looking for solutions but is still skeptical. The prospect has a problem that they are aware of and are actively researching solutions to this problem. They are looking for you to help them with their research and to be able to provide them with more information about your solution. If you can convince the prospect that you can help them solve their problem and give them the confidence that only your solution is the best solution for them, then you have a chance of moving them into the next stage of the sales funnel.

The prospect needs you and is interested in your solution, but they want to understand more about the product and its benefits to them. Therefore, you need to provide detailed product benefits and convince the prospect that you can help them solve their problem. If you can convince the prospect that your solution is the best solution for them, then you have a chance of moving them into the next stage of the sales funnel. This is the most important step in the sales funnel and it is what separates the good salespeople from the great salespeople.

Researching Solutions is the middle stage of the sales funnel, where you are researching and finding out what your potential clients want and what will help them.In this stage, the leads become qualified as you get them talking to you which helps you decide whether your offer is right for them.

  1. Making an educated purchase decision

When the prospective customer finally decides to purchase something, they have reached the final stage of the sales funnel. This is where the sales representative has the opportunity to close the deal and finalize the sale. So, when a prospective customer decides to buy, the sales rep’s job is to complete the sale and ensure the customer is satisfied with their purchase.

Making purchase decisions is the final stage of the sales funnel. The sales rep’s job is to help customers decide to make a purchase. The sales rep needs to provide customers with the information they need to make an informed decision, help them get past any objections, and answer any questions the customers have about the product or the buying process.

This is when the qualified leads go through sales proposal and negotiation phases, after which you win their business.