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What is a sales funnel?

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21.10.2020
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Any business, regardless of the specifics, is subject to certain laws. There is a single rule for retail, wholesale and B2B trade: the sales funnel. This is a marketing tool for forming an understanding of the needs of a potential buyer. A method of dividing into several stages, with the help of which the target audience is formed. Several rules form the strategy for achieving the goal from the first contact to the sale. In the article, all stages of the process, pluses and minuses of the method are discussed in detail in the complex and separately.

A basic definition of the main concepts

This marketing model forms an understanding of the process of achieving the sales manager's goal and offers an analysis of factors affecting the process of movement from finding a potential client to receiving payment for a service or product. Depending on the specifics of the business, the process consists of a different number of steps, from a minimum of five to a maximum of twenty. In order to be successful in communication with customers and to make an almost automated procedure, you need to know how to make a sales funnel.

We are achieving the goal in five stages.

  1. Create an image of the ideal client and form and analyze the target audience based on it. Think through the marketing strategy based on the characteristics of the buyer. To attract someone, you need to answer their inner request. Choose information and create a bright and impressive image of your product using all kinds of advertising tricks: presentations, exhibitions, gifts. Your goal is to draw attention to yourself. This is the first step in building a sales funnel.
  2. Next, give your leads maximum attention. Use telephone calls, mailing in various information channels, collect thematic events, conduct marketing activities. This stage is aimed at increasing the consumer's interest in your company. It is important to identify active buyers who need your product or service. Then the maximum efforts of the manager are directed to them. A correctly selected audience affects the necessary creation of a sales funnel. It is necessary to get contacts and arrange a meeting.
  3. During the first visit, it is important to clarify the real needs of the customer and present your product in accordance with them. Allocate groups in the total mass of customers according to requests and capabilities. Carefully conduct this stage of acquaintance: you can't be too persistent, but it's also dangerous to leave someone without attention. This step in the sales funnel allows you to finally form your target audience, weeding out those buyers who have no real interest in you. Now you can focus on preparing commercial offers.
  4. After preparing a clear vision of your further cooperation, start negotiations, find out what the product does not satisfy the other party, work with objections, return to the client again and again with new proposals taking into account previous comments. Each field of activity requires its own special approach, take this into account.
  5. The final moment will be the agreement of the terms of cooperation. As you can see, the whole process is divided into stages. The sales funnel in this case consists of five basic steps that helped you turn a potential customer into a regular customer. If you have concluded a long-term cooperation agreement, try not to leave the client without attention. This strengthens relations and keeps partners.

How to create a sales funnel?

This is a very important part of the article, which will help to understand the basic concepts without which it is impossible to use any tools to achieve the goal. To understand how to build, you need to analyze in detail what a sales funnel is and the stages of its formation. First of all, create your description of potentially interested customers. Depending on the type of activity and the offered product, the volume of the audience can be from five people to a million. It is important to determine the general need of these people. For example, diaper manufacturers are interested in young parents, the audience can consist of hundreds of thousands, and the organizers of a glamorous fashion show should limit their attention to a small group of visitors from the upper world. In any case, these will be people with whom you have not yet come into contact. Your potential customers are at the top.

At the bottom, after completing all the steps, there will be customers who took advantage of your offer and made a purchase. With proper service, they will become your regular customers. The percentage is quite small, but you should not despair. This is how sales funnels work. To get ten regular customers, you need to involve a hundred people in the process of familiarization with the product. Only half will want to continue the conversation. The product will be of interest to only a quarter of those to whom you communicated the information. In the end, about 10-15% will be ready to cooperate. And this is a very good result.

Read also : How to use the Advego service .

According to the law of large numbers, the ratio of expended effort to the final result can vary from one to five to one to fifteen. If the ratio is small, it is worth reviewing the marketing strategy and analyzing the audience again.

A unique situation can arise when selling a business to a business. If you are a manufacturer of an original product that has no analogues on the market, and you have correctly identified potential consumers, then the scheme ceases to be a sales funnel and becomes a cylinder. You make an offer at an adequate price to manufacturers who cannot continue in business without your product, and they all become your repeat customers. For them, it is an alternative option, for you it is 100% efficient.

The mechanism and stages of working with the tool

The principle of the funnel is that with each new stage, the number of potential customers decreases due to screening. The reason for this may be: lack of real interest or need for your product or budget constraints. In this way, you reach a real number of people who are ready to continue cooperation with you. With them, you can negotiate the terms of cooperation and polish the contract. Depending on the specifics of the business and the client, various "buns" are offered. This is how regular customers are formed.

The creation of sales funnels requires the most thoughtful use of the capabilities of the manufacturer's company to attract and retain the buyer. It is a powerful tool for analyzing the performance of the sales and marketing department. With its help, you can determine the weak and strong sides of the strategy and make the necessary adjustments. On the basis of the analysis, you can create graphs that visualize the process of sales development to analyze the ratio of expended efforts to the obtained result in dynamics.

To understand the question "sales funnel, what is it?", Let's consider the situation. Suppose that on weekdays the ratio of calls to orders made is one to twenty, and on weekends it is one to five. We conclude that all sales efforts should be focused on weekdays, these days should be filled with discounts and gifts, and weekends should be left to chance.

Classic sales funnels

The basis for achieving the goal is a properly formed structure.

Clearly define goals

Analysis of all levels of the diagram provides material for the analysis of strong marketing moves corresponding to the expectations of the target audience. The schedule makes it possible to assess how correctly potential consumers are selected and their requests are determined. The result may be the discovery of the fact that efforts were directed at the wrong client. In this case, you need to change the focus of attention to another segment.

Definition of scope of duties

The project manager must clearly assign roles, each of the strategy participants must clearly understand what tools he appeals to, what is expected of him, and within what framework he can make independent decisions (for example: forming marketing costs or providing discounts).

Roughly speaking, marketing is responsible for creating a brand image, based on the formed vision of a potential client, sales prepare a table of discounts, contracts, commercial offers and identify the needs of each individual client.

Read also : How to register a website domain name .

Performance factor

The creation of sales funnels helps to determine the ratio of invested efforts and incurred costs to the obtained result. From the picture, you can visually determine at what stages the clients are screened out. This gives an opportunity to analyze the situation and strengthen one's position.

Improvement of internal resources

If analyzed correctly, you can get important information. As you move from the narrow part of the funnel to the wide part, look at the number of rejections. In this way, the true causes of sales losses will be revealed. The same method will help determine the initial target audience and the reasons for its decrease. Having put together all the puzzles, the entrepreneur will be able to increase the profitability of the business.

Online sales funnel

In today's world, finding and engaging the target audience takes place online. A few tips from the pros.

  1. Create understandable, high-quality content that will be advertised with the help of seo optimization and with the involvement of social networks. paid advertising, PR activities.
  2. In order to create buyers from readers, you need to motivate them to subscribe to your page, where you will offer various contests, gifts and participation in interesting events. The content should contain professional information of interest to the user.
  3. Next, a list of potential customers is formed, with whom you need to contact personally and make them a commercial offer. It is important to indicate the advantages of cooperation with you. Use the rule: price-quality.
  4. As a rule, an interested customer will contact the company himself to place an order. Here it is important not to miss the client. Find out the needs and expectations of customers and think over an individual offer.
  5. After the order has been placed, it is necessary to emphasize the after-sales service. This is back office work. The client needs to be given maximum attention so that he stays with your company for many years.

Innovations

Another modern trend is the automatic sales funnel. The main feature of this sales method is that the guide to your service will not be a sales manager, but competently composed content. In today's world, this approach is quite relevant because it increases sales activity many times over. A competently adjusted mechanism will bring tangible results. It is important to properly structure the process, which we will talk about below.

The correct structure looks like this:

  1. web platform with automatic mailing service;
  2. advertising servers with correct settings;
  3. services for payment of services and provision of paid content, if we are talking about information services;
  4. advanced analytics;
  5. logistics functions for the shipment of material goods.

An effective tool will be a broad advertising campaign in social networks with a mandatory link to your platform.

Read also : How to create a business page on Facebook .

Pros and cons of automated marketing

Positive aspects:

  1. A real opportunity to expand the target audience thanks to the wide possibilities of the Internet.
  2. If you have a convenient website, the customer will prefer to stay on it and make applications online all the time.
  3. Ability to increase the number of sales due to various online chips.
  4. Reduction of brand promotion costs due to staff reduction.
  5. Reduction of advertising costs.

Cons.

  1. To start, you need to invest a lot of money.
  2. It is necessary to study the process, which will be difficult for the site owner if he does not have a special education. You will have to delve into the details to control the availability of content for the end user.
  3. High level of competition, which can inhibit success in the early stages.
  4. Some useful tools for business promotion.
  5. Create a list of potential customers for continuous automatic mailing. There are special servers for this.
  6. Spend money and time on creating analytical reports. It is necessary to see statistics of open letters.
  7. You need a program for automatic accounting of customers: creating a database. This is especially true for a large number of orders. Record visitor data, order, volume. This will increase the level of service and help meet the needs of the client.
  8. Offer a gift in exchange for completing a profile. Your product must be a gift.
  9. Use the latest planners that will help you do all the routine work and eliminate the human factor.
  10. Do not forget to thank and support customers. It is worth spending effort and money on creating a quality sales support service. Remember that after the first sale you need to include a person in the process, customers prefer communication with a live person over a robot.
  11. Allocate funds from the budget for advertising in social networks. optimize search networks.
  12. It is important to use SEO optimization to promote your web platform.

10 successful steps.

  1. Determine what makes your product unique and how to promote it.
  2. Based on the idea, develop the structure and design of the web resource that reflects the essence of the product.
  3. Learn all the tools for product promotion.
  4. Think about the way to distribute the content and calculate the budget, taking into account the costs of SEO optimization and direct advertising.
  5. Convert your target audience into leads and then turn them into repeat customers.
  6. Avoid standard sales approaches. After closing the deal, return to the customer in person to establish contact.
  7. Constantly analyze the sales chart in dynamics.
  8. Expand your range to increase your target audience.
  9. Track the needs of regular customers and grow with them.
  10. Remember the rule: we will exhaust any volume. To constantly replenish the client base, it is necessary to modernize production.

Let's draw a line . This method of analysis is effective for both traditional and innovative sales methods. For startups, it is better to use an automated way of business promotion. Advanced well-known companies can afford to act according to classic schemes.

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