What is the Sales Funnel, its stages and how to create yours today

What would you do if you could double your internet sales, generating more traffic and leads?

A sales funnel is a watershed in any business.

Imagine having an online machine that receives traffic from various channels and transforms it into money that goes directly to your cash register.

It would be very good, right?

This is possible. A well-modeled sales funnel is capable of attracting traffic, generating leads and nurturing them according to when they are in the buying journey.

With the result of this process, ultra-hot leads are obtained, that is, ready to buy.

Having an excellent sales funnel in your hands brings several benefits such as:

  • End of lost time with disqualified prospects;
  • Marketing route that eliminates objections and leads the lead to the sale;
  • Capitalization of your digital asset (what is the use of having 10,000 followers, if they don’t buy?);
  • Nurturing leads that are not ready to buy (one day they will be);
  • Strengthening relationships with your lead base;
  • Possibility of automatic upselling and down selling;
  • And much more.

In this text, I am going to teach you how to create a sales funnel from scratch, from start to finish.

Make no mistake with the promise, a sales funnel will simplify your life, but it is not easy to create.

Even, because to have a good sales funnel, it is necessary to try 2 bad ones and another 2 medium ones (more or less). The marketing process is a learning based on A / B tests (benchmarks) and optimization.

Many companies fail to generate business online.

Understanding the concept and having a well-developed strategy around it is essential to attract the right people to your site, generate leads, and of course, the most important thing: sell.

And since every business needs to sell and build loyalty to stay and grow, that formula that is characterized as mandatory cannot be ignored.

If you have any questions, leave your comment at the end of the text.

Let’s keep going!

What is a sales funnel?

what is sales funnel

Sales funnel is the name of the process that accompanies the client from their first contact with a company or solution that it offers. It begins with prospecting and continues until the business is completed.

At each stage there is a strategy to get you where you want to go.

Its graphic representation is similar to the image of a funnel, as we will see in the sequence.

It is composed of four levels formed by:

  • General public/visitors: includes all those who are part of your target audience, that is, those who may have an interest in your company or in what it offers (attraction).
  • Leads: they are qualified contacts who have already manifested a problem for which you present yourself as a solution (interaction).
  • Opportunities: they have qualified leads, that is, they have already received proposals and are at an advanced level for the realization of the sale (ready for conversion).
  • Customers: represent those who consume the act of business, those who complete the cycle of the sales funnel (buyers).

That is its basic structure.

As you read about it, you will find more levels in new versions of the funnel.

For example, there are authors who add a fifth element related to after sales that refers to customer satisfaction during their shopping experience.

And in fact, it is a very important aspect in the sales stages, since it works focused on a lasting relationship with those who negotiate with you, that is, on loyalty.

Concept

Concept

As you can see in the illustration above, there is something about the sales funnel concept that we haven’t talked about yet.

This division that appears to the left of the funnel divides the shares into three large groups. They are: top of the funnel, in the middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel.

What does that mean?

That the actions you establish in your sales process must consider the three moments. To better understand, I am going to tell you about each of them separately.

Top of the funnel

The most extensive area of ​​the funnel is the one that concentrates both the general public, as well as your leads, that is, the people who had some type of contact with your company, product or service.

In terms of volume, it is exactly the one that brings together the largest number of people. And it couldn’t be any different, since your entire target audience is there.

This phase is based on learning and awakening consciousness.

That is, initially, the person positioned does not yet recognize their need or problem. Nor does he see any commercial relationship in your company.

Put plainly, there is no demand, no interest.

Therefore, your mission is to create both situations.

When you generate a lead, consumer interest begins to emerge.

From there, the challenge is to nurture that potential customer and drive them into the middle of the funnel.

Middle of the funnel

It is the opportunity phase, when the potential client approaches a negotiation to become a real client.

In that space, there are all those who already recognize a problem or need, and are even interested in finding the solution in your company.

But the decision has not yet been made and it is there that you need to act.

It is time to proceed in relation to the doubt of that qualified lead, leading it to the final conversion, to a sale.

Funnel bottom

You worked hard to get the customer to the bottom of the funnel.

But it is necessary to always remember that, despite all your efforts that was a decision that he made.

It was up to you to help him choose your company as the best option for the demand he had.

Now, whether or not there is a next level in the funnel, whoever is at the bottom needs to continue to receive special treatment.

Ultimately, your goal is to keep him as a customer, in other words, buying.

Why work with a sales funnel

If you understand what the sales funnel is, it is easier to understand the importance of working with that strategy.

As I explained before, the funnel is the graphic representation of the consumer’s shopping journey.

What happens is that the movement of that day is not as in a straight line as it seems, nor is it predictable.

The main objective is to effectively meet the customer’s need in each of the moments of that journey.

It is for this reason that dividing the actions in a funnel scheme, allows optimizing the treatment and reducing the sales cycle, which begins with prospecting and continues until the purchase.

Understanding what each phase means and what it is up to marketing in the task of taking the consumer to the next level is, in fact, decisive for the results.

On the other hand, it is worth remembering something important: none of this happens by magic.

It is no coincidence that the bottom of the funnel is narrower.

Within a normal sales cycle, it is estimated that only 3% of leads will become actual customers.

And that with a well-structured funnel, imagine without it.

Difference between leads and visitors

Difference between leads and visitors

And since I mentioned leads, here is a quick conceptualization so that nothing escapes your radar.

So why can’t we consider a visitor to your site or a follower of your social networks as a lead?

Very simple: Not everyone has an interest in your company or what it offers. Nor do they identify a solution to their need, which by the way, they still do not recognize it.

A site with 50 thousand visits per day does not generate 50 thousand leads.

A page (Facebook fan page) with 2,000 followers does not have 2,000 leads.

There needs to be a conversion.

How? When filling out a form, when downloading a rich material, when registering for a course, in short.

The transformation from traditional visitor to lead takes place when this is no longer just a number to become a real possibility of contact.

With first name, last name and email, at least.

Stages of the sales funnel in digital marketing

Stages of the sales funnel in digital marketing

Now that you understand well what the sales funnel is and its concept, I am going to talk to you about how the stages behave in practice, starting from a digital marketing strategy.

See what each of them requires of you:

Stage 1: Learning and Discovery

You have a site, maybe a good number of visits.

Maybe you offer content on a blog and have loyal readers.

In social networks you have some likes, comments and interactions.

But that audience still isn’t really talking to you.

In the learning and discovery stage, the consumer needs to be incentivized to identify a demand, and then to realize that your company offers a solution.

Rarely do you discover it on your own.

So, try to stimulate it.

Make an offer, not necessarily commercial.

It offers content, an eBook, a newsletter, an email marketing.

Your mission will be completed at this stage, by capturing the contacts of potential clients.

As I explained before, the name and email are enough to generate a lead.

Stage 2: Recognition of the problem

When a lead is generated, the discovery is complete, but until it reaches the sale, there is a long way to go.

Your company and your solutions are no longer strange to him, which is a very positive point.

But the potential client is still reluctant about their real need, and even does not decide if you are their best alternative.

He is going to start investigating more and you must anticipate.

Therefore, offer more useful information and seek a better position so that you are recognized as a solution.

Stage 3: Consider the solution

And speaking of a solution, in this third stage your potential client will make a decision.

He is going to define who offers him the solution to his problem, the true answer to his consumption need, which at this stage is already much clearer.

Your challenge now is to create a sense of urgency in the consumer, at the same time, you have to show yourself as the viable and definitive option.

He is faced with an obvious opportunity to make the purchase.

He has the ball, but if you prepared a good play, the goal is getting closer.

Stage 4: Purchase decision

You worked hard on the strategy, but you still haven’t guaranteed the sale.

It is time for that last effort that will differentiate you from your competitors.

It can be a powerful landing page with a well-constructed Call to Action (CTA) that reinforces decisive arguments, without distractions and with a clear purpose: to make the purchase.

A practical example to better understand

A practical example to better understand

Are you one of those who believes that an example always helps a lot?

Well then, I’m going to clarify any questions about the sales funnel and its efficient structure to win customers.

To do this, we are going to suppose that you are a digital entrepreneur and have an info-product for sale (a type of business that is currently promising).

You have your communication channels with the public and the dissemination of the brand of what you offer.

One of those channels is a blog, a place where you apply content marketing, through SEO-optimized texts – Search Engine Optimization.

Thus, part of your audience that is in stage number 1 of the sales funnel establishes contact from your publications.

So, he consumes information every day and leaves without any kind of interaction.

To generate leads and take them to the next level, you must add CTAs to your texts.

These calls can be links in some section of the article, a button or a banner.

Then the user is taken to a landing page, nothing more and nothing less than: a conversion page.

For example, he downloads an eBook, but first, he records his email.

Alright, you have a lead!

And now, how to rate it?

At this stage, your potential customer needs to be nurtured, that is, receive stimuli to increase their interest in your info-product and awaken a sense of urgency.

Thus, you use email marketing with your leads and send them more content offers.

Each new message represents a new reinforcement of your authority, relevance and differentiation.

You positioned yourself as a unique and exclusive solution.

For the handshake, all you need is a perfect opportunity.

Maybe you create a special 20% discount on the value of an info product, valid today only, through the landing page (conversion page). .

Congratulations! The sales cycle is complete.

How to build your sales funnel

How to build your sales funnel

You are almost in the final stretch. There is little left to have your sales funnel ready and well prepared.

To facilitate, I am going to introduce you to the three steps necessary to build your strategy.

Go!

1. Design the shopping journey

Have you already defined your people?

The person is the ideal client profile, one who has common characteristics that help to identify their habits, interests and needs.

You must know them, either through observation, market research or the application of questionnaires to the public.

This will give you valuable information about the purchase journey and the preferences of your potential customer, throughout their journey.

For example: how to contact him, through which channel, what discourse / narrative to use, what are his problems and needs.

It is an effort that favors both marketing actions and sales.

2. Define the stages of the sales process

Visitors, leads, opportunities and customers.

The four stages of the sales process and their arrangement in the funnel should be clear.

Who is part of them and what are the gaps in each one are answers that you must find to mount a good strategy.

However, remember that the sales funnel lacks continuous actions, since opportunities (and customers) are easily lost throughout the day.

Stay tuned to what consumers say, think, and expect of you.

Qualifying / evaluating the sales funnel is also an essential measure.

3. Optimize and scale the sales funnel

And since I am referring to the qualification of the funnel after it is built, with its correctly defined stages, it must be transformed into a scalable model, that is, it can be repeated.

The goal is to reduce the sales cycle and increase the conversion rate, with an eye on productivity and efficiency.

Actions may need to be reviewed or adapted, teams trained, or a new marketing strategy attempted.

The sales funnel is not a rigid model, although it looks for scalability.

Only this depends on its improvement.

Keep in mind that you can always do more and better with fewer resources.

Do not forget about the after-sales 

Do not forget about the after sales

Remember when I spoke at another point in the article about a fifth level of the sales funnel?

Yes, the post-sale one.

Although it is not explicitly foreseen and defined in your planning, it is essential for the durability of the business, to take well care of and keep those who are already customers.

Loyalty is a process without secrets, which does not mean that it is easy, much less automatic.

The one who already negotiates with you needs to be constantly stimulated to stay active.

In other words, not because you have reached the bottom of the funnel, you have to forget it.

Keep building the relationship, grant benefits, send exclusive content and special invitations, for example, for an event or a webinar.

Build your customer base.

It guarantees that the interest is maintained.

Forgetting about the customer will only cause him to forget you too.

Think about it.

Use landing pages to capture leads

landing pages Landing pages are one of the secrets that lead to success in any sales funnel in the digital medium.

This tool works very well in all its stages.

But it has more value when it comes to capturing leads.

Many times it is through him that you start the relationship with your future client.

The moment he piques your interest and discovers a need, having an attractive landing page is what guarantees conversion.

For that you need:

  • Concentration on the user and his need
  • Objectivity, without distractions
  • Eye-catching title and language
  • Simple form
  • Excellent offer
  • Quality content
  • Call to action

Create your Landing Page with Klickpages

It is very easy to create your landing page with a tool as complete as Klickpages.

You only need three steps to build your perfect strategy.

You can use ready-made models or choose one of them and make the adaptations of your preference.

See how easy it is:

  1. Choose your model: know the high conversion alternatives proven by tests.
  2. Customize the page: edit the texts, colors and images, as well as hide the elements that are not useful.
  3. Publish: finally, you only need to publish your own domain, without additional hosting costs.

Conclusion

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In this article I presented what the sales funnel is, its application to attract customers and help your business take off.

It does not matter what the size of your company is, or the field of action.

Thinking about the funnel is a mandatory condition to organize the sales process and make your actions more productive and efficient.

Now, take advantage of today’s tips to put your strategy into practice.

Stay fully focused on the customer during all stages, offer content, awaken their consumption need, and when the sense of urgency arises, conclude with a landing page to confirm the conquest.

Here is a short script that leads you to victory.