The DriveSales™ | Sales Funnels: Definition, Process, Stages, Examples and its Application!
The sales business is a hugely competitive field and you cannot afford to lose valuable deals just because you have it is disorganized and unstructured sales plan.
You need to have a clear understanding of how to approach your prospect and how to close the deal. There should be a proper structure in your mind and a blueprint of how your deals will go with the clients.
To excel in the sales business it is your responsibility to convert the cold dead-end deals into hot leads. And to do that you need to know how to effectively use the sales funnel.
Sales funnel is a sales methodology that helps you visualize and plan your sales plan right from the beginning till the end. However, even after knowing the paramount importance of the sales funnel, more than sixty-five percent of companies have not attempted to use this amazing tool.
Every salesperson agrees that without a solid and robot plan closing deals is almost an impossible task and hence, it is the need of the hour to incorporate the sales funnel as an integrated and integral part of your business.
It is important to first understand what the sales funnel is before going into the details of its working and impact.
The sales funnel is essentially a visual representation of the complete journey from your client’s first contact with your company to the last, i.e., the final completed purchase.
Just as the name suggests, the sales funnel is broader at the top and gets narrower as we move downwards. At each particular stage of the funnel, your more refined and qualified clients are pushed downwards, that is, towards the next stage to fit your business requirements.
The process can be broadly categorized into the following:
· Business lead
· Contact initiated
· Check whether qualified or not
· Pitch/proposal represented
· The negotiations stage
· Deal won or lost
An important question that might strike your mind is what will be the need to integrate this particular strategy into the already existing one?
Well, your business’s sales funnel can help you in ways that you have not even imagined. It can assist you in understanding the areas where you lag behind, where you generally drop the leads off, and very your success rate is at the maximum.
Stages of the sales funnel:
1) The top stage: awareness as well as discovery — It is important to understand the main motive of a sales business is to solve a client’s problem. As a salesperson, your target should not be selling your product but helping your clients overcome the problems and hotels in their business.
Keep in mind that the problem in your client’s business is what leads them to discover you. This could be from someone through personal contact or maybe they stumbled upon your advertisement containing contact information.
Thus, your prospect is in the early stage of identifying his business challenge. Hence, it is your responsibility to help your prospect’s work easier by helping him identify his problem and by educating him about the same.
In this stage, your client would want to be aware of the main challenges and problems in his business and various ways in which you can help tackle those. This could be done through blog posts, quizzes, or videos.
So, in this particular stage, your leads get converted into contacts and you can proactively start working with them.
2) The middle stage: solution finding — This is the second stage in the sales funnel process. Here, you no longer deal with meaningless clients. You have compact leads who are your ideal customers. You know the problem and have efficiently defined it and communicated with your client and now you’re looking for a solution but you can provide the prospect in the form of your products or services.
In this particular stage, the why of the problem is generally replaced by how to solve and mitigate the challenge. You start looking in all possible directions in order to remedy the struggle and difficulty in your client’s business.
Also, in this stage, you delve deeper into the specifics of the problem. Your main focus in this stage should be the number of ways and the wide-ranging variety in which you can help your prospect.
The content demand of the state includes in-depth manuals and guides, comparative checklists, pros-cons lists, and so on.
Your sole purpose should be to make the decision-making process for your clients much easier, and more efficient.
3) The bottom stage: educated purchase decision — Last but not least, the final bottom stage of your sales funnel process is one where your client makes an educated purchase.
Now, your client knows everything about his problem, his business demand, and the best type of solution that is most likely suited for his business needs.
It’s time to make an important decision — which vendor to choose?
Consider the following key factors while making this decision:
· That provides the best customer support and features.
· That offers the intuitive usage design of the product
· That has a flexible product that can be easily customizable according to your client’s requirements.
· That suits your client’s budget and business needs in the present as well as the near future.
The appropriate content for this stage includes frequently asked questions(FAQs), live demos, videos illustrating product features and usage, before and after analysis, etc.
Here, you cross the negotiations state and set a course towards closing the deal.
Sales funnel example:
Company — TRIZER
Trizer is a software testing tool that generally deals with automation, optimization, integration, and customization. It is one of the best and innovative tools for software testing.
Top of the funnel — Trizer is a digitally active platform that ranks highly for the search of ‘best software testing tool’. It gives its clients an effective medium to get in touch such as a free trial, customer support through calls and messages, email interaction, and expert opinion option.
Middle of the funnel — Sales reps are highly skilled and effectively trained. They know about the current market trends and the common business expectations and needs. They are also pro in explaining and depicting the product or service they offer. They have a considerable resource library to satiate their prospect’s curiosity.
Bottom of the funnel — Trizer makes all the relevant background searches and product tests before recommending them to their clients. They have an efficient system of customer success stories and feedback checks.
Now, as an effective SALESPERSON! We can do three things from here.
1. Not ignoring the opportunity and blaming the situation for revenue loss.
2. Taking important notes and going back to revisit your sales strategy with the growth mindset.
3. Reaching out to The DriveSales™ if you need any specialized help for sales.
To conclude, what you choose to think also provides some idea of your development as a consultative salesperson. It is something like Ron Willingham quotes “A salesperson’s ethics and values contribute more to sales success than do techniques or strategies.”