Sales funnel: what is it, and how to apply it to your business?

Sales funnel is a strategic model used by companies’ marketing and sales areas to map the key moments in attracting a customer. It is also known as a sales funnel.

It is one of the essential tools for a business since it is similar to a treasure map that must follow to achieve the objectives.

After reading this article, you will know a sales funnel, its stages, and how to build a custom one for your brand.

Let us begin.

What is a sales funnel?

A funnel or sales funnel a digital marketing concept representing the stages a potential customer ideally goes through to complete their purchase.

In other words, it is a map of the key moments a consumer goes through and, in general, is made up of three parts:

  • ToFu ( Top of the funnel or top of the sales funnel);
  • MoFu ( Middle of the funnel or middle part of the sales funnel);
  • BoFu ( Bottom of the funnel or lower part of the sales funnel).

Also known as a conversion funnel , the sales funnel a graphical way to illustrate how a customer interacts with a brand, starting with a large number of stakeholders to the group of customers who buy the product or service offered.

What is the sales funnel for?

The sales funnel predicts and follows the path that the potential customer will travel, from the first contact with the brand to purchasing in the online store.

Through the sales funnel, it is possible to create specific actions for each stage of the journey, resolving the fears and objections that the future buyer may have, giving them the information they need, and thus taking them by hand until they make their purchase.

What are the advantages of applying the sales funnel to your business?

Knowing and building this funnel in your company can help you achieve your goals more quickly.

Here are some of the main advantages of applying the sales funnel to your business:

  • Improve the productivity of your company;
  • It makes it easier to detect opportunities;
  • You can get to know your customers better;
  • It gives you valuable information to develop new products;
  • You can get more customers.

Now let’s see each of them in detail:

  • Improve the productivity of your company
  • In a sales funnel, you understand the areas for improvement in that sales process.
  • By making a map of the journey of your potential clients, you can have greater control of the promotional actions that you have already implemented, and you can also identify what you need to develop.
  • Remember that productivity is measured by your earnings and the time you invest to achieve them. Therefore, creating a sales funnel will allow you to prioritize the tasks to be accomplished and invest time in what is most valuable to your potential customers.

It makes it easier to spot opportunities.

Another advantage of having this model applied to your business is the possibility of detecting where the opportunities are. You may have outstanding brand recognition, but perhaps your customers take a long time to complete their purchases.

The sales will help you identify which stage to focus on and where to put more effort to get better results.

You can get to know your customers better.

The sales funnel ideal for observing your consumers better, knowing their main doubts when buying, and what motivates them to take the next step.

Through different tools (which we will list later!), you can find out if, for example, discounts lead them to complete their order faster or if the motivation lies in the prestige of your brand.

With this information in your possession, you have more chances to establish a relationship of trust with users, improving interaction and the way they perceive your brand, making it more human and close.

It gives you valuable information to develop new products.

Although it seems incredible, the sales funnel can also help you develop new products since by knowing your potential customers and knowing what motivates them; you can figure out if expanding the inventory or the number of colors of your items is necessary or not.

If price is one of the constant objections or something that is stopping your prospects from making a purchase, adding a cheaper version of your product or service may be the opportunity you need to improve your sales process.

Keep in mind that a prospect is a potential customer who matches the characteristics of your ideal customer, has the means to buy, and is empowered to make decisions to purchase a product or service.

You can get more customers.

In the end, all the actions considered within the sales funnel aim to make your business shine and acquire more customers, influencing their decisions to get them to the purchase stage. So, without further ado.

What are the stages of the sales funnel?

Let’s see in detail the stages of the funnel or sales funnel.

The top of the sales funnel (ToFu)

The top of the funnel (ToFu) is the prospect discovery stage. In this phase, the client may or may not be aware of a need; they may not be familiar with your brand or the benefits of your products.

Let’s think of an example: suppose you have a company dedicated to the sale of jackets, and you start making posts on social networks about how to combine them with other clothes, trend colors, and their versatility since they can be used in autumn, winter and part of the season. Spring.

The description of the product and this complementary content will be focused on attracting users to your business, attacking a need, and putting in the minds of potential buyers a solution to their problem: having a fashionable and valuable jacket to wear for almost everything. Year.

All the customer’s first interactions with the brand enter this first stage of the sales funnel; However, they may not mention the business; they are focused on attracting the attention of a larger audience.

Among the most used strategies at this stage to take the customer to the next phase of the sales funnel, we can find:

  • Social media postings;
  • Blog articles;
  • Introductory videos to the client’s problem.

“The challenge is to take them through the funnel until they make their purchase.”

The Middle of the Sales Funnel (MoFu)

The middle of the sales funnel (MoFu) is where potential customers have identified a need or desire to purchase a product or service. They may already be familiar with your brand but are not yet fully informed about your business’s benefits or added value.

In this part of the funnel, users compare two or three brands they have in mind. Therefore, they look for content that helps them make a decision. Your job in this phase is to provide them with helpful information that confirms why your brand can meet their needs.

Let’s continue with the example of the company dedicated to selling jackets. At this stage, you can spread content about the variety of fabrics that exist and which one best suits the user’s interests; You can also take the opportunity to mention the benefits of your products.

Some of the strategies used for this stage of the sales funnel are:

  • E-books, guides ;
  • Educational webinars or live broadcasts;
  • Blogs and infographics;
  • Podcasts;
  • Informative videos in the style of “how to…?” (“how…?) using the product.

It is the perfect time to invite them to your online store and help them get down to the closing section of the funnel.

The bottom of the sales funnels (ToFu)

The bottom of the sales funnel (ToFu) is the stage where potential customers, after having compared and learned more about your brand, are very close to completing their purchase. They just need a final push to finish the process.

There are different strategies that you can apply in this closing stage, such as:

  • Mention the differentiators of your product, what makes it special, eye-catching, and unique; offer discount coupons for the first purchase;
  • Launch a last-minute sales campaign to create a sense of urgency;
  • Share comments from satisfied customers explaining how good they feel about their purchase and the items purchased.

Other strategies commonly used within this stage of the sales funnel that encourage the purchase are:

  • Promotions and discounts;
  • Demonstrations and tests of how the product or service works;
  • Success stories;
  • Webinars or workshops;
  • Free samples.

Sales funnel vs. marketing funnel: what’s the difference?

Now that you know what a sales funnel is, it is worth making the difference between it and the marketing funnel. Let’s start with the conceptual part.

What is a marketing funnel?

The marketing funnel is the graphical representation or working model used to map business opportunities. In other words, it is the process that a marketing team would follow, from obtaining the potential customer’s contact information until a conversion is achieved.

It is worth clarifying that this marketing team is not in charge of the sale but of generating contacts (or leads ) and captivating or maturing them until they are ready to purchase.

Sales funnel
Sales funnel

What is the difference between a marketing funnel and a sales funnel?

The difference is based on the goals and who is using the funnel. The marketing funnel refers to a contact’s incubation process until it becomes a conversion opportunity. For its part, the sales funnel refers to an action plan by the sales team to ensure that a user becomes a customer.

In a large company, there is typical for a sales funnel and a marketing funnel that complement each other, but they are not the same. We could even say that the sales funnel is the bottom of the marketing funnel, which can start at a point much higher than the sales funnel.

How to make a sales funnel?

Making a sales funnel may seem like an arduous task; however, when we consider the benefits we can obtain, it represents a favorable investment of time.

Let’s see what the 5 steps to create a funnel for your business are:

  • Map the buying cycle
  • Define key moments
  • Start-up and monitor
  • Measure strategy
  • Optimize and retest

Let’s delve into each of these points, shall we?

  1. Map the purchase cycle

In this first step, you will discover valuable information about your audience, especially what is the buyer’s journey (or shopping trip) of your prospect.

The buyer’s journey is the path the customer follows to make a purchase. To understand how they do it, it is necessary to do in-depth research about what they like, how they consume the content, what they focus on, and their motivations. More so that we can use this information to build the ideal strategy.

We call that profile that we are going to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is the archetype of the ideal client of a service or product. To make it, we need to take into account four key points.

  • Personal data: how old are you, where do you live, who do you live with, what do you like, what are your hobbies, what are your motivations, what is your educational level, etc.
  • Online behavior: what social networks do you use, where do you search for information, what type of content do you consume, do you prefer videos, TikTok, or blogs, what time do you connect, what kind of accounts do you follow, who do you listen to or see on social networks.
  • Work behavior: where do you work, what are your responsibilities, what are your biggest challenges?
  • The relationship with your business: does he know your brand? How did he find out about it? What do you value most about your company?

In your business, you can have different buyer persona types; therefore, you don’t need to pigeonhole all your buyers into a single archetype. The idea is that you build the profile of those most relevant.

With all this information in hand, you can design your customers’ purchase journey and better understand the most key moments of your online store.

Continuing with the example of the brand that sells jackets, a buyer persona model could be this:

  • Natalie Hernandez
  • Buyer persona in the sales funnel

33-year-old woman, single, lives in Boston Aires, America.

She is a university graduate and works in a law firm. However, she wants to create her own children’s party supplies business.

She likes fashion and beauty content and consumes video blogs and makeup video tutorials. Its most visited social networks are Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Spend much more time online at night than during the day.

She likes to buy online, usually fashion and beauty items; she is motivated by promotions and discounts due to seasonal changes, as well as events such as CyberMonday and Hot Sale.

  1. Define the key moments

Now that you know who you want to reach, what motivates them, and how you address that potential customer, the next step is to define the communication strategy to enter your consumer’s mind.

Based on the three sales funnel stages, the intention is to identify the most relevant actions for each of these moments, choosing the ideal tools to help you reach your goal.

According to the example we have been developing of the jacket brand, let’s now see some actions that will drive your buyer to go through the sales funnel successfully.

Strategy for the top of the funnel (ToFu)

  • Set of paid posts on Instagram with tips for using the star jacket of your e-commerce in different contexts: going out with friends, casual Friday at the office, etc.
  • Infographic for Pinterest about what type of jacket looks best with sneakers.
  • TikTok video on how to take a selfie in a jacket and look fantastic.

Mid-Funnel Strategy (MoFu)

  • Video in collaboration with Agustina Marzari reviewing three jackets from the new collection.
  • Blog note on choosing the best jacket for any time of the year.

Strategy for the lower part of the funnel (BoFu): Email with a coupon for a 15% discount on the first purchase.

Keep in mind, also, that the process does not end here. To retain your customers, offering excellent after-sales service is necessary. For this reason, we recommend that you keep the customer informed about the delivery of their product, notify them with an email that their order is on its way, and, when they have received it, send an email thanking them for their purchase.

These actions make the shopping experience more satisfying. In this way, you gain the trust of your customers and make them fall in love with you from their first purchase.

  1. Start up and monitor

Once the strategy is defined, it is time to implement it. Some suggestions for a successful implementation of your sales funnel plan are:

  • Never lose sight of the goal
  • Keep the user at the center of the strategy
  • Bet on the best possible shopping experience
  • Plan ahead

We also recommend that you supervise and monitor the entire process so that no unforeseen event surprises you.

  1. Measure your strategy

Once you have launched your sales funnel, you have to measure the results of each phase.

Next, we mention some KPIs ( Key Performance Indicators or Key Performance Indicators) that you have to consider at each stage:

KPIs of the upper part of the sales funnel (ToFu)

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Visitors
  • Views
  • Likes (“I like it”)
  • Engagement (interaction)
  • Comments
  • Subscribers
  • Leads

KPIs of the middle part of the sales funnel (MoFu)

  • MQL ( marketing qualified leads )
  • SQL ( sales qualified leads )
  • Chat
  • Calls
  • WhatsApp conversations

KPIs of the lower part of the sales funnel (BoFu)

  • Sales
  • Abandoned carts

Having these metrics well identified will allow you to find possible errors within the implementation and opportunities for improvement. You can use tools to track this data: Google Analytics, YouTube Analytics, or Facebook Business Suite.

  1. Optimize and retest

Carrying out a timely measurement will allow you to optimize your strategy and propose different actions to improve the sales funnel.

Change your strategy depending on the season to adapt to the different seasons of the year, and take advantage of relevant dates in e-commerce such as Hot Sale.

Key tools for the sales funnel

To carry out the implementation of the sales funnel strategy, you can use these 4 tools:

  • Coms
  • Online store
  • Blog
  • Email marketing software

Now we explain why they are helpful to achieve your goals.

CRM

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, also known as customer relationship management software. It is a tool that automates many (or almost all) customer contact activities.

Through CRM, it can structure the user’s purchase journey and automatically obtain precise and accurate results. This way, you can know when, where, and after what action people moved down the stage within the funnel.

Numerous customer relationship management systems like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics can keep track on time, as well as free and quite functional ones like Hubspot.

Online store

Your online store is THE tool for implementing a sales funnel strategy, as it allows you to receive all your potential customers, inform them and introduce them to new products.

Suppose, at the moment, your sales process is focused exclusively on physical channels. In that case, you will see that a virtual store can help you achieve your goals more effectively.

Some of the advantages of having an online store are:

  • Professionalize your business
  • It allows you to be present on other digital channels and reach a larger audience
  • It offers you a window open 24 hours a day
  • It will enable you to expand geographically and reduce the costs of a store on the street.

Blog

When it comes to communicating aspects of your company such as values, history, promotions, advantages of your products or services, and the added value of your articles, the blog is one of the best tools since, in addition to helping establish a relationship of trust with your customers, it gives you the opportunity for more users to find you.

Some of the advantages of having a blog as a tool at the service of the sales funnel are:

  • It helps you improve the SEO positioning of your online store
  • Turn your brand into a reference on the subject
  • Help build a relationship of trust and credibility with your business
  • It is helpful to retain customers and keep them interested in your company

Email marketing software

Like CRM, email marketing software allows you to take communication with your customers to the next level and say goodbye to emails sent from your inbox.

Some of the advantages of having email marketing software are:

  • Have greater reach in communication with purchase prospects
  • Efficiently track your contacts and the messages you share with them
  • Segment contact bases and personalize messages by buyer persona and by stage in the sales funnel
  • Accompany the prospect until the purchase decision
  • Create specific campaigns to encourage purchase and loyalty

To sum up

As you can see, the sales funnel is a handy tool for measuring and learning more about your potential customers. It is the map of steps to follow to increase the monthly invoicing of your business.

While the implementation is not easy, the reward that comes with it is worth the effort.

Throughout the article, we saw everything that implies building a sales funnel. Do you think we review some of the most relevant aspects of this methodology?

What is a sales funnel?

A funnel or sales funnel a digital marketing concept representing the stages a potential customer ideally goes through to complete their purchase. In other words, it is a map of the key moments that a consumer goes through that is usually made up of three parts: the upper part of the funnel (ToFu), the middle part of the sales funnel (MoFu), and the lower part of the sales funnel. Sales (BoFu).

What is the sales funnel for?

The sales funnel predicts and follows the path that the potential customer will travel, from the first contact with the brand to purchasing in the online store.

  • What are the advantages of applying the sales funnel in your business?
  • Improve the productivity of your company;
  • It makes it easier to detect opportunities;
  • You can get to know your customers better;
  • It gives you valuable information to develop new products;
  • You can get more customers.

Sales funnel vs. marketing funnel: what’s the difference?

The difference is in the goals and who uses the funnel. In the marketing funnel, we talk about the incubation process that contact goes through. In contrast, in the sales funnel, we discuss an action plan by the sales team to turn the user into a customer.

  • How to make a sales funnel?
  • Map the buying cycle
  • Define key moments
  • Start-up and monitor
  • Measure strategy
  • Optimize and retest
  • Key tools for the sales funnel
  • Coms
  • Online store
  • Blog
  • Email marketing software

Conclusion

If you want to give your sales funnel a 180º turn, I invite you to create your online store today. Discover why it is one of the favorite platforms for entrepreneurs in America and start the true digital transformation of your brand.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.