What are a Sales funnel? Advantages and Application and Differences With the Marketing Funnel
The sales funnel is how a company plans and establishes processes to get in touch with the different users and thus reach a final objective, which may well be the conversion of , achieve a registration, closing a sale, among others
Have you ever come across the term sales funnel?
It is very likely that being immersed in the world of marketing, we have come across many different terms and concepts, including the sales funnel. It is not like this?
Continue reading the article, because, in it, we propose to expose in a basic way the term of the funnel, the advantages of its implementation in a marketing strategy, and how to apply it from marketing and sales to the content marketing strategy.
- What are a sales funnel?
- What processes does a sales funnel entail?
- Benefits of the sales funnel for your business
- Boost productivity in the company
- Improve the relationship with the sales team
- Promote new business opportunities
- Phases of the sales funnel
- The user funnel
- Differences between sales funnel and marketing funnel
- Stages of marketing and sales funnels
What are a sales funnel?
A sales funnel or sales funnel, which comes from the English sales funnel, is how a company plans and establishes processes to get in touch with different users and thus reach a final objective, which may well be the customer conversion, register, close a sale, among others.
What processes does a sales funnel entail?
Let’s start this way: how does a funnel work?
Yes! The kind we use in the kitchen or laboratories.
As we can see, a funnel has two holes, one large and one very small.
Through the larger nozzle, we can deposit the material and as it goes down to the other hole, the space becomes narrower to filter the material and thus obtain what we really need.
The same thing happens with the funnel :
We have a very large informative material about the different to make it more specific.
How is it achieved?
As people learn about our brands, we too can get more information about them.
With this method, we will be able to qualify users, which means that we will have to carry out the appropriate evaluations to know if they can and have the interest of becoming true clients of our companies.
This is what the funnel is all about in theory, and although we will talk about each phase that makes it up below, it is worth mentioning that the design of a funnel is something serious.
For this reason, it is recommended that its management be carried out by the commercial director, the marketing manager, or by related people, trained and with decision-making power.
Now that you know what the sales funnel is, you are ready to understand what its main benefits are for the company.
Benefits of the sales funnel for your business
Get to know customers better
By applying the funnel, it is possible to observe what the expectations of the customers are in each of the stages.
That is, through the funnel, you can discover what are the factors that the potential customer passes from one phase of the funnel to another.
Knowing the aspects that interfere both positively and negatively is essential to better understand people’s needs.
A good understanding of these demands makes it possible to carry out personalized campaigns.
These, in turn, manage to generate a greater impact in each segment, thus guaranteeing a better Return on Investment ( ROI ).
Boost productivity in the company
The development of adequate deadlines and contact strategies encourages the advancement of clients from one stage to another. In terms of productivity, it is possible to achieve two extremely positive impacts:
- by aligning the focus on certain procedures by stage it is possible to reduce or even eliminate unnecessary resource expenditures;
- buyers will not go through the stages alone because the company is supporting its entire journey through the sales funnel;
- These two aspects are fantastic and lead to the same place: the bottom of the funnel.
Improve the relationship with the sales team
Before the customer reaches the bottom of the funnel, the entire sales team needs to be ready to make the sale. That is, the conversion does not depend only on the client.
It is essential that sellers, managers, and all the people who act in the commercial area, have a notion of the importance of the funnel.
From this knowledge, a more integrated team can be generated and directed to the completion of sales.
Undoubtedly, this point is related to the previous one, since this better perception of teamwork will lead to the optimization of productivity.
Promote new business opportunities
Managing the deals already done considering the sales funnel provides a powerful tool.
This is spectacular to observe the probability of conversion of each sale, or process, also called forecast.
Another interesting point is that the verification of the previous transactions allows adopting more efficient strategies, in this way, it is possible to improve the results of the actions.
Apart from identifying points of improvement in previous transactions, this vision should be considered to evaluate the performance of the sales team.
When checking for inconsistencies, it is best to address new strategies or correct some weaknesses in the processes already adopted. Remember, it is always possible to obtain more attractive results, just use knowledge and expertise.
Phases of the sales funnel
This stage of contact is based on identifying and attracting potential users through different methods such as content, traditional marketing, official directories, among others.
The proposal with these aforementioned means is that the user can interact mainly, to leave their contact information.
Prospecto / Lead
At this stage, we have all the information of the users, which will proceed to a classification.
This filter must be done to identify whether or not it is feasible to invest in the potential user and leave aside those who are ultimately not interested in what we have to offer them.
In this phase, we must wait for the selected users to show attention or interest in our offers, in order to go directly to it with our offers.
Here the type of product or service that the user is willing to purchase can be determined.
To know what the user wants, we must ask questions through sent surveys, commercial visits, telephone calls, or any other of the strategies that exist for the capture of information.
Once the type of product or service has been determined, we can start the sales process and in this way, convert the user into a customer.
The user funnel
Who said that this type of procedure is only done by companies?
It is very important to understand that the user is not just anyone who makes decisions lightly or who is captivated by any stranger. People also have a filter that helps them determine whether or not to consume a certain brand.
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Let’s look at the phases that a user goes through before making a purchase:
Need and attention
In this initial phase, the user begins to feel interested in a certain issue, however, they do not yet have or are not aware of their own problem or a need to meet.
Here the user manages to identify his problem and begins to undertake the task of looking for the information that helps him solve it. We, with our services, may be able to offer such information.
How? Using marketing strategies content, for example!
With clear information, the user is ready to choose the product or service that we have to offer and thus solve their problem once and for all.
Differences between sales funnel and marketing funnel
I want to clarify this issue well before continuing. Many times we talk about the sales funnel as if it were exactly the marketing funnel and, since both have similar names and related phases, we do not see the differences between each of them.
The marketing funnel involves marketing and advertising actions that have the objective of attracting visitors, converting them into leads, nurturing them with relevant materials, and segmenting them as they become qualified leads.
In other words, leads are classified of more to less propensity to buy a certain product or service.
In the end, all the information that is obtained through the marketing funnel is passed on to the sales team, giving them much more willing business opportunities.
The sales funnel, for its part, receives the leads qualified by the marketing team and works with them based on the information they have obtained. This funnel has various stages, from first contact, calls, meetings, etc.
All sales actions involve negotiation processes, diagnoses, preparations, proposals, etc. Your only goal is to convert your marketing lead into an effective customer.
The sales funnel also qualifies users with a lead scoring system.
The two funnels work hand in hand.
While the sales team needs the marketing team to generate more qualified business opportunities, the marketing team needs the sales team to understand what type of content to create, based on the definition of the buyer persona made by the salesperson and not in assumptions.
Stages of marketing and sales funnels
Now let’s talk a little about each of the stages of the two funnels, marketing, and sales so that you understand what they consist of and what are the most recommended content for each of its parts.
Top of the funnel
At the top of the marketing funnel, users are still in the discovery phase, that is, they are curious about a topic, but still do not know what the problem is.
Therefore, this stage is defined as the part where users are educated, helping them discover something they do not know. Some examples of content for this stage are:
Blog articles for or basic materials to answer questions such as: what, how, why, that help solve the discovery phase of a user’s problem,
Articles that are well suited to this type of content, since they focus on explaining a topic in a basic and global way, to arouse interest or help identify a need.
At this point in the funnel, it is not worth launching an offer to users because we are not yet clear about the problem they have.
They are easy and quick to understand, therefore, ideal for the education stage.
Similar to blog posts, but podcasts have the advantage of a more relaxed consumption and make the user stay longer on your website.
A great way to bond with people who are going to learn more about your product or service and walk the funnel through nutrition.
Enter to learn in-depth about the development of some of these contents for the top of the funnel.
Middle of the funnel
In the middle of the funnel, users recognize that they have a problem and become interested in the ways that exist to solve it.
Although here the company, the product or service should not be mentioned specifically, it is already possible to present the different existing solutions for the problem (even solutions that the business does not attend to).
Depending on the case, you can start talking about the brand, but without going too deep. The ideal contents for this stage are:
In the same way that they can present a problem at the top of the funnel, they also serve to present solutions.
Although they are more complex to produce, they are responsible for starting a relationship with the user (similar to the newsletter). They can be produced from content already published on the blog.
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Returning to this second stage, suspects become prospects, also called leads. This means that they allow a greater approach, they want more content and more attention.
At this stage, personalized e-mails, e-mail marketing, and the use of the newsletter are valid. The contents are distributed more frequently.
This last aspect has demanded the automation of marketing since it is necessary to segment and deliver the correct material for the interested people.
At this stage, the company must offer more in-depth content.
Thus, it is worth investing in “how-to” processes and techniques, presenting trade-offs about products, services, tools, and methods.
It is also interesting to offer practical guides and other materials that can add value to the product or service that the company wants to sell.
The best content format options for the middle of the funnel are:
- virtual books,
- blog posts,
- and online presentations.
In this way, it is easy to perceive that the content has to be useful, educational and that it provides added information on concepts.
Whoever has come this far has already identified their problem and even understands that your company offers an attractive solution. These users are ready to consider a solution and take purchasing action.
It is very important that at this stage it becomes clear that your business has everything the user needs to solve their problem, that is why here it is allowed to talk about products and services. It is recommended to invest in content such as:
Deeper than the previous two. In general, they are contents that speak directly about the solution of the problem, with a brand present, most of the time.
They are indications of other customers that can serve as a reference for people who are thinking of buying your product or service.
Discounts can serve as a differential and incentivize purchasing decision-making.
Webinars or demos
Demonstrating the operation of the product or service is usually very interesting for those who are considering your company and looking to get to know you better.
Contact a consultant
Facilitating contact by the user with a sales representative can be a determining factor for the purchase (the sales funnel alarm begins to sound here!).
One last tip for this part: when you go to create content for the bottom of the funnel, try to combine good content with an attractive call to action and invite the client to speak with a specialist or consultant. This can open doors for new business!
Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
At this stage of the funnel, sales have a potential lead already qualified by marketing (that is, marketing has captured and nurtured him and now understands that he can become a potential customer).
Here the first direct contact is made using the personal information that the lead has already provided, in addition to an investigation to discover:
- if the lead really intends to solve their problem with the product or service,
- if you have other problems not yet identified
- and if you have the capacity (financial and time) to make the purchase.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
The second part of the funnel consists of showing the potential client the solutions that the company can offer, through a diagnosis and analysis of the current situation of the lead (identified at the top of the funnel).
Here the sales team can use the rich materials that marketing has created as a way to reinforce their diagnosis to the user.
Bottom of the funnel (BOFU)
At the bottom of the funnel are users who are already convinced that they need help and who are considering purchasing the product or service.
At this stage, the sales team must work on the best possible proposals, which meet the expectations of the contact and manage to convince him to close the deal, sign a contract and become a customer.
Is the development of the Sales and Marketing Funnel clear? We hope it was so.
Similarly, we wanted to highlight an issue. It is clear that we want our businesses and brands to rain sales. Ultimately that is our grand objective, right?
Without sales, we simply could not continue to offer our products and services. Hence the importance, for example, of the funnel.
However, let’s remember something: a sale is the consequence of good content.
Therefore, we invite you to read our content on Content Marketing. With it, you can target your content for each phase of the funnel and generate more sales opportunities!