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What are the sales funnel stages?

by | Jan 12, 2021 | Sales and Marketing, Women in Business

What are the sales funnel stages?

Sales Funnel

A Sales funnel is the key to building a comprehensive marketing strategy for all companies, big and small.

It all comes down to understanding your customer, who they are, what they do, and how they think. Taking the time to build your buyer persona is the most important part of any digital marketing efforts.

Lucky for you, building sales funnels for your business is a straightforward process that brings reliable results. As a business owner, the benefits of having a clearly defined sales funnel are far-reaching.

So what is a sales funnel, and how do they work? This question is best answered with an understanding of the four stages of an effective sales funnel.

1. Awareness

The entire customer journey from step one to step four is about turning a cold prospect into a loyal customer. The awareness stage is how it begins.

The customer has a problem and needs a solution. In their journey to solving their problem, they become aware of your product/service through research and intent.

Why should you care? Understanding this stage in your customer’s journey is the best way to focus marketing efforts. Many business owners make the mistake of simplifying marketing to mean branding, but this is one dimensional.

Think of marketing like a game of chess. With branding and marketing, you’re playing the game. But when you start anticipating moves and trying to understand your opponent, you’ve graduated to three-dimensional chess.

Someone can stumble across your blog post, facebook group or be a general website visitor as initial exposture to your brand. You can also run an awareness campaign facebook ad with a simple landing page or marketing funnel.

Exposure and trust builds long-lasting relationships with customers. A customer’s first impression of your product or service will likely be the deciding factor to whether they buy from you. If your customer becomes aware of you before becoming aware of your competitors, you’ll have an edge in building trust.

The way you go about building awareness for your brand will depend on your understanding of the beginning of your customer’s journey. What questions will they ask on Google? Where are they most likely to see one of your ads? This is where content marketing comes in to play to attract your ideal customer and build brand awareness.

2. Interest

This is how you are going to market yourself to those who become aware of your product. If you think of awareness like the “what,” you can also think of interest like the “why.”

Nowadays, there are so many ways to build interest with your potential customer. Google, Facebook, Youtube, blogs, and numerous other websites offer engaging ways to reach your customer.

Remember that engagement is the key to building interest. You want to engage with your customer, and you want your customer to engage with you. Depending on your outreach, this could mean different things.

It can be replying to social media comments, creating an automated email service, and even something as simple as asking your audience a question. But it’s not as simple as just reaching out to everyone who finds you. You have to reach out to the right people.

The second step of the funnel should help you narrow your focus . At the beginning of your funnel, you start with a large group of people. As you move down the funnel, your pool of people decreases.

An effective way to do this would be to create an automated email sequence for lead nurturing. For example, if someone is expressing interest in your product by signing up for your email service, you can ask for more information about them and how frequently they want to receive an email. This is one of the optimal ways we recommend on getting started with marketing automation.

When someone shows signs of high interest, you’ve got yourself a potential customer.

3. Decision

Finally, your customer decides you have the solution. Most people might assume the customer journey ends here, but it doesn’t. Your customer might have already decided you have a solution to their problem or offer them some kind of benefit, but you probably aren’t the only one.

By this point, you should have clearly outlined what your customer stands to gain. What makes your benefits better than that of your competitors? That’s what will push your customer towards the right decision, the one pointing towards purchasing with you.

The key to this stage in the sales funnel is making it as easy as possible to make the decision to purchase with you. The easier you make it, the fewer barriers there are deterring someone from purchasing with you.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Can they make a purchase through an email?
  • Is your product accessible on social media?
  • Do you make it easy to make another purchase in the future?

You might also consider enticing your audience with special offers. It’s entirely an action-oriented marketing strategy that creates a sense of urgency in your audience.

4. Action

Your prospect now reaches the final stage, action. This is when the action of making an actual purchase becomes a reality. All the funnel‘s previous stages were leading here, and you start to see a return on your marketing efforts.

Capitalize on your customer’s action as much as possible. Using Lead generation systems – Many businesses see a lot of success with offering upsells when their customer decides to purchase, increasing their overall sales price per individual.

Important: Upselling doesn’t mean surprising your customer with fees or additional costs. Upselling is offering additional services on top of what they are purchasing. Surprises can lead to losing trust.

Put your customer back into the sales funnel. By this point, your customer has expressed a proven and profitable interest. Their decision to purchase can prompt additional offers or advertisements specific to their interests.

For example, you could offer a discount on their next purchase or follow up with them after a period of time. Your best option is to automate this process so that it works for you 24/7.

Build your sales funnel with Masterly

No need to try to learn complicated sales funnel software. It’s possible to start your sales pipeline from your very own website. Hire a professional marketer to create your sales funnel and do all the heavy lifting with content creation, analytics, and strategizing. With our experience and reliable marketing strategies, you can get the most out of your marketing and optimize your conversion rate.

Schedule a free call with us today to discuss what we can do for you. Build a sales funnel, build trust with your client, and take your business to the next level- all while you continue doing what you do best.

You can also learn more about lead generation and building a successful sales funnel with our free resource:

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