What is a Sales Funnel?: An Overview of the Sales Funnel Model

By Stephen Paul Samynathan on September 19, 2022

A sales funnel is a series of pages where visitors move from page 1 to page 2 to page 3 etc until they finally buy something. It's a proven strategy used by many online businesses to convert website traffic into customers.

In this article, we'll go over the basics of how a sales funnel works and why it's important to understand it before launching any new product or service. We'll also look at 4 popular sales funnels and see how each one converts website traffic into customers.

Why is Sales Funnel Important

A sales funnel helps you understand what potential customers are thinking and doing at each stage of the purchasing journey. These insights allow you to invest in the right marketing activities and channels, create the most relevant messaging during each stage and turn more prospects into paying customer sales

The sales funnel helps you to understand

  • Which stage each potential customer is currently at?
  • What is each potential customer thinking and doing at each stage of the purchasing journey?

Combining these, allows us to reap some great benefits in the following ways:

  • Increase conversions. The purpose of marketing funnels is to take an organization's target audience and move them through a series of stages that may ultimately lead to them buying from the company.
  • Monitor and track. A sale funnel enables organizations to see where they're spending their time and money. This allows us to adjust our processes accordingly and get better results faster. By moving people through the funnel, we create useful feedback.
  • Focuses efforts. A marketing strategy focuses efforts on a particular group of people. This makes it easier for marketers to reach their target audiences and convert them into customers. Marketing strategies can also be used to screen out unqualified prospects by forcing potential customers to take a certain number of steps before reaching a purchase decision.

How Does Sales Funnel Work?

A sales funnel consists of several stages. Each stage represents a different type of prospect. At the top of the funnel are people who are just browsing for information about your company. They're called "leads" and they represent the first step in the sales funnel. Next comes the "warm lead". These leads are more interested in what you offer than just browsing. They've already shown interest in your products or services but haven't made a commitment yet. Then there's the "hot lead". These are people who want to buy right now. They're ready to close a deal with your organization. Finally, there's the "close", which is the last step in the funnel. This is where the sale happens.

The goal of every sale funnel is to get leads to becoming hot leads, then warm leads, then hot leads, then close.

The reason a sales funnel is so effective is that it focuses on converting a large number of leads into customers. By narrowing the scope of your business to a specific target market, you can better identify your ideal customers and develop targeted marketing strategies.

4 Stages of Sales Funnel

In this section, we will discuss the 4 stages of a sales funnel. The purpose of these stages is to provide clarity around the concept of a sales funnel. We will also explain why each stage exists and how it works.

Stage 1: Prospects / Awareness

This is the first stage of a sales funnel. Here, you need to capture the attention of your audience. To do this, you must have a compelling message that resonates with your audience.

You should use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, etc., to promote your brand. Your website is also a good place to start. If you have a blog, make sure to include links to all relevant pages within your website.

You may also consider starting a podcast if you’re not familiar with using social media platforms. Podcasts are audio-only content that you publish on a regular basis. People listen to podcasts while driving, exercising, cooking, doing chores, walking their dogs, etc.

Once you have captured the attention of your audience, you need to convert them into leads. In order to do this, you need to educate your audience about your products or services and convince them to sign up for your email list.

Once you have educated your audience, you can begin building trust with them. This means providing value to your audience through educational content and sharing useful resources.

Stage 2: Lead Qualification ( Interest )

At this point, you have already created awareness in your audience. Now, you need to get them interested in what you have to offer. To do this, continue educating your audience about your products and services.

If you're selling physical products, you might want to ship them directly to your customers' homes. However, if you're selling digital products, then you can send them via email.

The goal here is to encourage your audience to take action by signing up for your email list or purchasing one of your products.

Stage 3: Intent by Action

The third step in a sales funnel is where you actually ask your audience to take action. At this point, you've already built trust with your audience. So, they're more likely to buy from you.

To encourage your audience to take action, you can give them freebies (e.g., ebooks, guides, templates, cheat sheets, checklists, etc.) or discounts. You can also create a sense of urgency by offering limited-time offers.

However, it's important to note that giving away too many freebies can backfire. If you give away too many freebies, people may feel overwhelmed and stop taking action.

Instead, focus on giving away just enough freebies so that people know there's something valuable for them.

Stage 4: Closing

Closing Sales in Sales Funnel
House sales staff extended their hands in front. Join hands with customers to close sales.

After the lead has taken action, you need to ensure that your audience converts into paying customers. This is when you'll be able to generate revenue.

To do this, you need a clear call-to-action (CTA) at the end of every piece of content you share. The CTA needs to be specific and easy to understand.

For example, instead of saying "Click here," say "Download our checklist." Or instead of saying "Learn how to build an app," say "Get my guide."

This will help your audience understand exactly what they need to do next.  

In short, we can use the acronym AIDA to refer to the sales funnel stages

According to research, 44% of salespeople give up after just one rejection. which is well below the average of 5 attempts needed to make a sale. Use your sales funnel to keep track of contact attempts, and never quit before you reach that magic number.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the sales funnel model is a tool used to analyze and improve marketing strategies. It helps us understand where our leads come from, which channels work best, and how to convert prospects into customers. By understanding the different stages of the funnel, marketers can create better content, optimize their websites, and even track conversions.

In today’s world, where conversion matters a lot, it seems like a lot of businesses struggle to find affordable sales funnel developers. But don't worry;

We offer quality website design in Malaysia. Save your time and concentrate on your business. We will help with your web design. Specflux is the trusted provider for web design Malaysia.

Article written by Stephen Paul Samynathan
Co-founder of Specflux Solution, he builds IT products that work. He is also running Ipoh based website design agency with his partner. If not working on client's project, he's a part of a vibrant IT community in Ipoh locally known as Digital Perak.

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