What is a sales funnel ?

One of the key factor in the digital marketing industry is the sales funnel. This funnel can help a business go from unknown and non-existen

August 1, 2020

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One of the key factor in the digital marketing industry is the sales funnel. This funnel can help a business go from unknown and non-existent to a multi-million-dollar company with this marketing concept. 


Awareness is the beginning of the funnel. Through marketing campaigns, research, and discovery, customers are drawn into the beginning stage go this funnel.  Awareness can be generated from events, advertising, blogs, mail, social media, search, mentions, and many more. In this stage, lead generation begins as data is collected and leads are gathered to be used down to funnel to retarget.  


Interest: Once targeted audience have noticed the product or service, they move on to the interest stage. This is where they learn more about the business, its products or services, and any information they might have about it. This stage is where brands can develop the relationship with the audience. Marketers can nurture leads through emails, content that is more targeted around industries and brands, classes, newsletters, and more.


Consideration: In the consideration stage, leads have been changed into marketing qualified leads. They are seen as potential customers. Marketers can send these more qualified leads more information about products and offers through email campaigns all while continuing to nurture them with targeted content, free trials, and more.


Intent: To get to the intent stage, qualified leads must show that they are interested in buying a brand’s product. This can happen after someone engages with targeted content, takes a survey, or even when a product is placed in their shopping cart on an e-commerce website. This is an opportunity for a strong case to be made of why the marketer’s product or service is the best choice for buys


Evaluation: In the evaluation stage, buyers are making a final decision about whether or not they should buy a brand’s product or services. Typically, marketing and sales work together closely to nurture the decision-making process and convince the buyer that their brand’s product is the best choice.


Purchase: This is the last stage in the marketing funnel. This is where a a qualified lead has made the decision to buy and turns into a customer. This is where sales takes care of the purchase transaction. In this stage after the customer has made a purchase, this can start a new funnel again for retargeting and up-selling. 


Nonlinear funnels


Some experts say that the buying process is no longer a linear path and consider the marketing funnel irrelevant. In a nonlinear funnel, leads are entering at different stages in the funnel. This can happen when someone is already referred, already know of the brand, or just did their own research on it. Because of the advancement in modern technology, access to the web and information has became more easier. Another marketing journey, yes there isn’t just a marketing funnel, is McKinsey’s consumer decision journey, which utilizes a circular model to show how the buying process functions itself.


https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-consumer-decision-journey


Funnel Flip: Customer Experience


This funnel shows the process of turning customers into advocates, which in turn adds more leads to the top of the marketing funnel by driving awareness to a brand.


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Repeat: After a customer has made a purchase, the next step is to make nurture them into a repeat customer. This means improving retention, selling them on another product, or upsetting them on a more expensive product. Marketers retarget the bottom of the marketing funnel to encourage repeated actions from the consumer.


Loyalty: In this stage, customers develop a preference for the brand and beginning to identify it and it’s personalize products. This is where engagement is key because this is where customers can be nurtured into having a personal connection to a brand. Loyalty can be developed through community development, engagement, and outreach.


Referral: Once a customer is loyal to a brand, they are more likely to refer and recommend brand products to others.


Advocacy: Turning your customers into advocates is the ultimate evolution for nurturing the current customers. Marketers can work to develop their communities to better support advocates, ask them to participate in activities, or engage them around consumer-generated content throughout social media. Having advocates devoted to a brand opens a new marketing source towards the overall goal of the funnel. Advocates to a brand is its own marketing technique, as they are now a contribution to your marketing funnel. In a way they are your ads, landing page, persuasive content, and sales team. 


The ultimate goal is to increase number and size of purchases and drive more awareness and leads to fuel the marketing funnel.

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