We all know the idea of a sales funnel – put simply, you put the prospects in the top and see who makes it out the bottom into a full-fledged customer. It’s the stages in the sales process your leads go through before becoming customers.
Little tweaks in these stages can have a massive impact on how many of these leads actually turn into customers. We love helping companies reassess their sales funnel and dig into little tweaks that bring a whole lot of impact and potential profit for their business.
What are the stages of a sales funnel?
There are many variations of the sales funnel, but all work to the very same purpose – taking your lead on a journey to becoming a customer.
Stages of a sales funnel
A consumer discovers a new product. Reps can help drive awareness for their product with tactics like cold calling, email outreach, online advertising, or offering free product trials.
Your lead has shown clear interest in your product, either through enquiry or online engagement. This is the time to nurture these prospects by letting them know more about your product or service. Email nurture sequences, case studies, and testimonials are all effective in building trust with the lead, and interest in your brand.
Your lead is interested in your product or service and wants to know more. This is the rep’s opportunity to fill in any knowledge gaps and show how their product can solve the lead’s pain points.
Your lead is in the final stages of decision-making in their buying journey. Continue to engage and support them. Help your lead travel the last few yards of the sales funnel by using the ASK process: Align priorities, secure commitment, keep the relationship alive.
Your lead has decided to purchase and becomes a customer. Continue to build the relationship after the sale to improve customer-retention rate and to identify opportunities for upselling or future engagement.
The sales funnel process is one of the biggest differences in marketing to B2B customers rather than B2C. We all know the steps: Awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation, purchase. But the B2B lead process can take weeks or months, whereas a B2C lead will make a decision in days or even minutes. It pays to know how and who to talk to in these interactions!
Some of you may be both B2B and B2C facing. One of the key holdups in a B2B sales funnel is not dealing direct with the decision maker. Often market research into a product or service is handed on to a junior to save precious time, then the manager decision makers don’t step in until a choice needs to be made. For you as a seller, how do you figure out how to build rapport and trust with the decision maker when you’ve likely never met them until purchase time?
Our sales funnel template takes you through a range of tactics and situations to find your way in to influence the decision maker.
For B2C sales, attuning your ear to the key times to push or pull back takes experience, and well as solid learning. Our sales training programmes aim to give you a wide knowledge and intuition around relating to customers and reading their behaviours.
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Sales funnel stages
Sales cycle duration
Preferred social network
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
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Sales funnel training practicalities
Sales funnel templates
Creating pace in the sales process
When to have the conversation - when to not
When to meet in person
How to light the fire again when a lead has gone cold
Continuing the relationship
Common challenges with sales funnels
Not all sales funnels look alike (despite the fact that every diagram paints them as the classic cone shape!). To understand whether or not you have the ideal inbound funnel shape, ask yourself the following questions:
How many visitors come to your website every month?
How many of them are converting into leads?
How many leads are in your database?
How many of those leads translate into sales opportunities?
And how many of those opportunities result in closed sales?
This information will give you a much clearer idea of the shape of your funnel, and where things might be going wrong. We look at this, as well as the four key sales funnel problems to help you refine this aspect of your business for better sales flow:
Middle heavy – too many leads
Skinny middle – not enough leads
Small bottom – low close rate
Tube instead of funnel – not enough visitors
Recognise any of these in your company? Have a talk to us about how to resolve your lead to customer journey through SLP sales funnel training.
How we can help you
It’s no secret that the fastest way to build your funnel is to:
Learn what works for some of the most successful companies in the world
Learn it directly from people who have already grown successful businesses
Adapt what you learned to your own business
Our sales funnel course will teach you how to streamline your sales funnel, iron out the issues, and deliver high-converting tactics that you can use to increase revenue as quickly as possible.
Your sales funnel is the heart of your business. Let’s help you get it right.