What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a system for turning regular people into raving fans that will buy your product.
What does it look like? It is not always easy to see. You need to be familiar with the subject if you want to see it.
The Sales Funnel Stages
Stage #1: Creating Awareness
Think of the awareness stage as the point where people first hear about your business or product. This usually happens when:
- Your business shows up in a search result on Google
- People see an advertisement you create
- Someone mentions you on a podcast
- A happy client tells other people how much they loved working with you
- You share a post in a Facebook group
The bottom line is that awareness happens when you get your stuff in front of people in places where they hang out.
Stage #2: Capturing Interest
Once people become aware of your business, they have the option to express interest. That might mean:
- Clicking on a link to your website from one of their favorite blogs
- Clicking an ad in their Facebook feed
- Checking out your Twitter page after someone retweets you
- Looking up your website after a friend tells them about it
Once someone enters the Interest stage, your #1 goal should be to capture that interest by getting them to sign up for your email list.
That way, you have the ability to contact them in the future and continue nudging them through your funnel.
Stage #3: Guiding Interested Prospects to a Decision
In Stage 3, your goal is to present interested prospects with a compelling offer that makes them decide whether they will become a customer or not.
Basically, this is your sales process, and there are tons of different ways to get here. You might:
- Send them a series of emails designed to warm them up to the sale
- Send them to a long-form sales page that taps into their emotional needs and explains the benefits of your product
- Get them to register for a webinar where you pitch your product
- Get them to book a phone call where you pitch your services
Stage #4: Creating Action and Closing the Sale
The Action stage happens once someone decides to purchase your product.
Think of it as the purchasing experience—the checkout page, ordering process, shopping cart, booking form, etc.
In each sales funnel stage, you should have two goals:
- Identify the people who are ready to move to the next stage (and convince them to do so)
- Identify the people who are not ready to move to the next stage, so you can continue nurturing them until they are ready
How to Find Your Sales Funnel’s Shape
Not sure what your sales funnel looks like? Ask these questions:
- How many site visitors do you have each month?
- How many leads do you get during that time?
- Do you already have a database of contacts?
- How many sales opportunities come through in a month?
- How many closed sales do you earn in that period?
Knowing these details will give you all the information you need to clearly see the shape of your business’ funnel—uncover problem spots and discover opportunities for where you need to invest your time and effort.