As you stroll down the street, a stylish t-shirt catches your eye, and you pause to admire it. You’ve never been to this particular shop, but decide to walk in and try the tee on. You love it, hand over your payment to the cashier, and walk out of the store a happy customer.
Congratulations, you just completed the customer journey, aka the sales funnel!
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel illustrates the path your potential customers or leads take. In one way or another, it plays out for every type of business, including retail, sales, eCommerce, professional services, and more.
Any marketing channel can be a part of your sales funnel, and some span several channels. And once you learn to optimize your company’s sales funnel, you can influence how visitors to your website move through it.
Depending on who you talk to, there are three to seven stages of a sales funnel, but a traditional model following three phases:
- Top of the funnel (awareness). Before working prospects through your tunnel, you’ve got to get them to it. Building brand awareness is about showing people who you are and what you offer. Digital and traditional advertising, networking, and search engine optimization (SEO) are all sales funnel strategies businesses use to attract people.
- Middle of the funnel (interest). If the funnel’s top is like a first date and the bottom is a long-term commitment, the middle is where a relationship is built. Often referred to as the “consideration phase,” the middle section of your sales funnel includes four parts: the lead, the marketing-qualified lead, the sales qualified lead, and the opportunity. It’s about educating leads on what you offer and hinting it’s the answer to their problem.
- Bottom of the funnel (conversion). You’ve demonstrated value, and the relationship is on solid ground. The lead is ready to decide and, hopefully, become a customer. Highly successful salespeople close in-person sales deals by asking for the sale. But what if your buyer’s journey’s taking place online? Whether it’s an instruction that sparks interest, taps into desires, or grabs attention, the answer is a strong call-to-action or CTA that makes sure a potential customer understands there’s just one thing they should do right now.
How to Manage Your Brand’s Sales Funnel
Growing your business depends on customers and the relationships you build with them, and these relationships rely on maintaining consistent communications and connections. But what do you do when the number of deals you’re working on makes it challenging to keep up?
CRM software helps you:
- Keep track of lead activities as they move closer to becoming buyers.
- Organize your sales and marketing schedule.
- Automate certain sales activities and keep sales reps informed of customer needs and behaviors.
- Close deals faster.
- Forecast sales.
Here’s how a CRM can help land more sales at each stage of the sales funnel.
- Awareness. Do you use multiple social media platforms to build customer relationships? CRM social media integrations can help you track these interactions. A CRM can also organize and segment prospects to make them easy to review and contact.
- Interest. You can use a CRM to rank leads according to the likelihood of conversion and potential long-term value. You can also monitor lead interactions to identify other useful information, such as a company’s key decision-makers or a customer’s budget.
- Conversion. Reporting helps you track deal progress in the funnel, evaluate the effectiveness of your sales funnel, and determine where deals are getting stuck. Once a deal closes, you can use data to uncover results like average sales and conversion rates of leads.
Deliver The Right Message at The Right Moment
A sales funnel aligns your marketing and sales processes so leads get the information they need when they need it. Did the shop where you saw that stylish t-shirt have window signs promoting a sale? Did a store rep offer their help to find the right size and color? These are just a couple of the ways brands use marketing tactics to close a sale.
CRM software helps your brand automate countless tasks at each stage of the sales funnel. Are you ready to learn how the right CRM can support your sales and marketing efforts to help your business grow? OnCourse is a custom-designed CRM that caters to your business’s specific sales and customer relationship needs. To learn more about how it can keep you on the right course for hitting your goals, get in touch with us today.