ClickFunnels Product Review – What is a Sales Funnel and How Does it Work?


Have you always struggled to understand what is a sales funnel and how does it work? If yes, then you are at the right place.

Businesses who want to stay ahead in a competitive digital world must master the art of the sales funnel. It is a technique to simplify customers’ journey with the business. Effective digital marketing sales funnel helps businesses to convert new leads into lifelong customers.

Marketing a sales funnel is a complex yet effective technique. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily grab customers’ attention and offer an outstanding experience.

Creating a digital funnel is a step-by-step process and we will understand the process in this piece. Before that, go through this comprehensive definition of the sales funnel.

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is the journey of potential customers and starts when the customer first hears about the brand. You can consider it as a pathway that you can define to keep your customers satisfied. A business can create sales funnel to identify potential customers, lead them to business, and guide them to purchase products or services.

If you want to learn about creating a sales funnel, you should know how it works. Also, you should know sales funnel stages and steps. Keep in mind that these steps differ from business to business. Companies create these steps according to their business model. That, the basic concept of these steps remains the same.

For every business owner, losing a potential customer is overwhelming. But, when you have an effective strategy, you can keep your customers connected with the business through every stage of their buying process.

To achieve that level, you have to create a system that supports your business and helps your customers. A sales funnel is an automated system that supports businesses to satisfy their customers and boost sales.

In layman’s terms, the sales funnel acts as a customer journey and helps you understand how they engage with your business.

The funnel also explains why customers leave the business. Sales funnel drives sales and improves customer conversions. Moreover, it increases revenue and helps businesses scale in size. Sales funnel acts as fuel for your marketing efforts, which is why it is drastically growing.

Today, we have many tools to create and automate effective sales funnel strategies. ClickfunnelsOpens in a new tab. is an effective tool to drive positive marketing results.

Benefits of Sales Funnel

More than 68% of businesses don’t identify or attempt to measure their marketing results. They have no idea whether their digital marketing strategies are effective or not. If you don’t want to follow the direction of these businesses, you should create a sales funnelOpens in a new tab. and get control over your digital marketing strategies.

Here are some benefits of the sales funnel:

1.      Attract New Leads

A sales funnel helps you create the right content according to your target audience. As a result, you attract more leads and generate more revenue. Now, you might be wondering what the right content is.

Every business, business type, and industry has a different target audience depending on the preferences, buying ability, and interest. You can attract the right audience by understanding them.

That’s when the sales funnel comes in. It helps you to understand your target prospects, identify their problems, and share the solution in the shape of the right content. The right content provides solutions to a specific prospect’s problem or question. It can be an online quiz, article, or blog.

Once you grab the email address of a customer, they enter it in your sales funnel. Now you can build a relationship with them and sell your product or services.

2.      Streamlining Your Marketing

Another optimal benefit of a sales funnel is attracting leads and converting them into sales. Furthermore, the funnel also keeps your marketing strategies aligned and focused on a specific goal. So, if you feel overwhelmed when engaging with potential customers and keep them through the sales journey, you should consider integrating a sales funnel strategy with your business. In other words, it is about reducing missed opportunities and simplifying the marketing process.

3.      Engage with the Right Leads

You cannot convert every lead into customers. However, with the help of the sales funnel, you can determine the type of customers connecting with your business. When you understand the type of prospects who purchase your product or service, you can limit your marketing efforts to potential ones. That way, you can save a significant amount of money and resources. Spending too much money on leads that won’t convert can affect business progress.

4.      Ranking Your Leads

If you want to perform targeted marketing, you should sort and rank your leads. Ranking your prospect will help you identify who needs long-term nurturing and immediate attention. Keep in mind that different prospects want a different type of experience from your business. You have to understand these leads and plan your strategies accordingly.

5.      Build Relationship with Leads

Some potential customers take more time to make a buying decision. They look for the answers to their questions before they can trust the business. Meanwhile, others immediately purchase the product as soon as they land on their website.

However, that doesn’t mean that you have to leave them on their own. Instead, you have to share content every day and educate and build a relationship with them until they make buying decisions. They will start trusting your business when they receive authentic content with them.

6.      Increase Conversion Rate

The sales funnel helps businesses to convert leads into prospects and then paying customers. When you have a visual representation of a sales funnel, you can understand your audience and their current stage in the customer journey. When you know your prospect and their condition, you can easily convince them to take action.

The sales funnel enables you to plan your strategies according to your potential customers. As a result, you can meet their expectations and build trust. After building a relationship, you can convert them into customers.

According to ADI Consumer Electronics Report, businesses can increase their conversion rate by three percentOpens in a new tab. using a sales funnel. This may not sound interesting, but when you check your current conversion rate, you will understand the importance of the sales funnel.

An increase of three percent is a good start and you can scale the conversion by choosing an automated sales funnel tool such as ClickfunnelsOpens in a new tab..

7.      Predict Your Converts

Since there are many factors influencing the buying decision of the prospects, converting all of them right away is not possible. You need to understand that you can convert a limited amount of prospects at a time. Although digital marketing is a numbers game, you still have to consistently improve your strategy to build sales funnel.

The sales funnel can help you predict the volume of sales. This is an important part of running a business and managing a digital marketing campaign. When you can anticipate lead conversion, you can improve the funnel to reach more target audiences.

Sales Funnel Stages: A Complete Framework

sales-funnel-framework

With the help of the sales funnel, you can create a framework and create strategies according to your target audience. Keep in mind that educational content is highly important to build trust and help potential customers make informed decisions.

So, rather than trying to sell your product to a new prospect, you have to share valuable information about it. Not everyone knows the solution to their problems. They might be looking for the solution, but they may still have no clue what it is.

Therefore, your first step would be educating the prospects rather than selling the product. But, how would you know whether the potential prospects know about the solution or not? If that’s what you are thinking, you should understand the sales funnel stages in detail.

Sales funnel stages are different for every business and industry. However, the basic structure is the same. Here is the complete list of sales funnels stages:

  • Research
  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action
  • Re-engagement

In every above-mentioned stage, you will interact with the target audience according to their knowledge and help them make an informed decision. Following these stages, you can slowly bring prospects closer to making a purchase decision.

Now let’s understand each stage in detail:

Research and Preparation

Research and preparation is not actually a stage, but it is an important component of the sales funnel. You can create a successful funnel through proper research. In this section, you have to learn how the sales funnel works and how you can use it to increase sales and generate revenue for your business.

First, you should identify your brand values and define what the brand is all about. Also, you should consider your business goals and define strategies to choose from. Then, you should define your teams’ characteristics, qualities, and skills and identify your brand personality.

When you understand the core values of your business, you can create more valuable and long-lasting customer relationships. For instance, Patagonia, the clothing company focuses on saving the planet. They don’t aim to “sell” hiking gear and jackets. This is the reason why they create a strong relationship and encourage shoppers to buy products.

Similarly, you should also know your target audience and define your business goals. You can understand the prospect by creating a buyer’s persona, through which you can categorize your audience. Furthermore, you can identify what problems each prospect is facing so that you can provide solutions to simplify your prospect’s life.

Buyer persona can also identify effective solutions with the help of a sales funnel. The funnel will carry prospects one step at a time, so they don’t find the process confusing.

When you and your prospect can understand each other, you can create a long-term relationship. In other words, when you research your target audience, you can provide effective solutions to their problems.

Awareness

Awareness is the first stage of a sales funnel and it helps improve your brand visibility in the market. Furthermore, at this stage, you will start generating leads. If you want to target the right audience, you can cast a wide net at the awareness stage.

In this stage, you should create awareness among the audience without enforcing your brand. This means that this is not the right time to promote your business. Instead, you have to provide solutions to your leads. You can start with advice, a solution, or even an idea to attract the target audience. Here are some tools you can use to boost results at this stage:

  • SEO
  • Paid social media posts
  • Whitepapers and eBooks
  • Guest posting
  • Webinars
  • Independent research
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • In-person events

The content should be informative yet interesting, to move the target audience to the next stage, which is interest and evaluation. So, you have to show your creative instinct to stand out from the competition. You can check the buyer persona to identify ways to engage your audience.

The best way to create a robust awareness strategy is to identify the questions that potential customers ask on search engines.

When your prospects are in this section, you can run advertisements on different channels. For instance, you can publish Facebook and Instagram paid posts. Also, you can publish the advertisement on non-traditional platforms such as video games and dating apps. You have to decide the platforms according to your brand persona.

You have to create marketing content that connects and interacts with the target audience. Even if you publish content on your website instead of social media platforms, you should use an SEO strategy. By optimizing your content with an SEO strategy, you can share your content with relevant audience searching their queries on Google. All these specific marketing techniques help you save significant money and time.

Furthermore, you have to define your strategies and action to generate more leads and move them to the next stage of the funnel. For instance, you can register them for an upcoming webinar session or newsletter. This is a great way to identify how many leads are converting and moving to the next level.

At the start, you might have a low conversion rate. This indicates that you have to improve your strategy for the awareness stage. For that, create more engaging and interesting content or opportunities to attract audiences.

It would also help to check whether you are targeting the right group of people or not. You have to change the strategies and tools in this stage until you grab the attention of the targeted audience.

Interest and Evaluation

After converting the leads from the awareness stage, the potential customers will move to the interest and evaluation section of the funnel. In this phase, you can directly interact with your target audience. The best way to interact with your potential customers is through email. Send informative emails to them so they can make an informed decision.

In this section, some prospects will still look for the answers to their queries. So, you have to resolve their questions and share ideas and solutions to solve their problems. When they know an effective way to solve the problem, they can make a well-informed purchasing decision.

Throughout this stage, your goal should be to build a strong and long-term relationship with potential customers. Once you attain their confidence and trust, you can move to the next section. That said, representing your brand voice isn’t as easy as it sounds. You can create content and share it on different platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Here are some tools you will use in this section:

  • ChatbotsOpens in a new tab.
  • Lead magnets
  • Blog posts
  • Email campaign
  • Free trials
  • Social media accounts
  • Retargeting campaigns

With the help of these tools, you can divert the audience to your websites so they can take action. When they land on your website, they can access contact information from the contact us section and consult with experts in your brand.

Keep in mind that you have to follow up with the prospects and share additional information once a week or a month. Even if they are not ready to purchase the product right now, they might purchase it in the future. Therefore, they should have complete information about the product and how it solves the problem. So, when they are ready to buy, they can interact with your business.

Now, you can slowly move your potential buyers to the next step through videos, discounts, and demos. These offers and discounts increase your target audiences’ desire to connect with your business.

Desire

Now, your audience has complete information about your product and they are ready to make a purchase. However, they may not be ready to close the deal because they want to choose the best solution. In this  important sales funnel stage, you will convince the audience that you are an authority site and you can resolve their problem. Here are some tools you can use to help potential customers move through this stage:

  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Customers reviews
  • Live demos
  • Pricing pages
  • Product comparisons

You have to help your target audience visualize how the product will simplify their life and show them that investing in your product is the optimal solution to their problems. If you haven’t shared a free trial or discounted offer, it is the right time to use this strategy. Discounted offers and free trials will help your target audience to better understand how the product resolves their problems.

Action

When the prospect reaches this section of the sales funnel, they are ready to purchase the product. Now you can seal the deal and convert the prospect into a paying customer. However, your goal must be more than helping customers purchase products. You have to share information about how the product improves users’ lives.

Here are some tools you must consider using in this stage:

  • Product training on Webinar
  • Customer success tips
  • Bundled packages
  • Special offers
  • Follow-up email campaigns

In the first few weeks, you should try to create a long-term relationship with the customer. When a customer is ready to purchase, but disappears before closing the deal, they may be hesitant about the product.

This means that the pricing or other features turned them off. Also, if a customer purchases a product but doesn’t return, it could mean that they didn’t like the product. In this case, you should send them reminders through email. Also, share answers to their questions so they become more familiar with the product.

But remember, never push your target audience towards a sale or upsell them. Instead, you should give your target audience some time, so they can easily choose the right product.

Re-engagement

Every business tries to offer a positive experience to their customers so they become loyal customers. According to Howard Business School, you can increase 25% to 95% profit by boosting 5% customer retentionOpens in a new tab.. A happy customer will return to your business multiple times. If they liked the product and service, they will bring new customers to your business through word of mouth.

Here are some tools to boost the re-engagement of customers:

  • Upsell campaigns
  • Referral programs
  • Product-specific tutorials and webinars
  • Re-engagement email campaigns
  • Live demonstration

Keep in mind that you should always share informative content with your customers, whether they are new or repeat. As a result, you can build a long-term relationship with them and eventually make them your brand ambassador.

Sales Funnel Examples

If have an eCommerce business for men’s clothes, then your target audience is men. To make the sales funnel process smoother, you must determine the age group that buys your clothes.

Now that you know your target audience, you can post content on your Facebook page using metrics. The goal for this Facebook marketing content is to divert the target audience on your landing page. When they land on your website, they can register and share their email address.

You can use these email addresses for a lead magnet. This might look pretty simple and effective, but only if you follow the sales funnel stages properly.

Once you convert the lead into a prospect, you will lead them to the next stage of the funnel, which is education. You will share educational content with them through email with inspirational designs and tell them why your business is unique and different. Furthermore, you can share discount codes and promotional offers via email.

Interested prospects will visit your website and make a purchase. Once your prospect becomes a customer, you will move them to the customer email list and share new products, promotions, and festive deals through that email list.

Here is an overview of how to use the sales funnel stages:

  • Awareness

Create an advertisement campaign and publish it on Facebook. That way you can drive leads to your website.

  • Interest

Offer them a special discount code or offer in exchange for an email address for lead capturing.

  • Decision

Share educational content on their email address and build trust.

  • Action

Provide special offers so they can make a buying decision. Once they purchase the product, you can start the marketing process for retention.

Types of Funnels

If you want to build a sales funnel, you have to divide your strategies into three types.

These types are:

Top of the Funnel (Marketing)

When your potential customer is in the top section of the funnel, they want a solution for their problem, but they don’t know what that solution is. If they are unable to name the solution, this means they haven’t researched the problem yet.

For instance, when you search the keyword, “what is a sales funnel and how does it work”, you may come across this comprehensive guide. Once you know the solution to convert more leads is creating a sales funnel, you can choose a reliable platform such as ClickfunnelsOpens in a new tab. to increase your sales.

Here are some components that can help you with this sales funnel type.

  • Blogging

Blogging requires you to write information and authentic blogs. But, before writing a blog to engage the relevant audience, you have to know the prospects’ questions and problems. Without knowing the type of information your target audience is looking for, you cannot offer a solution.

An effective sales funnel platform can help you improve your rank on search engines. Don’t forget to optimize your content with Google’s SEO algorithm. Without proper SEO content, you cannot rank your website on the top searches.

  • Paid Social Ads

Social media campaigns based on demographics can help identify potential customers. You can create targeted marketing campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. These platforms enable you to select different metrics such as age, preferences, and location.

With the help of paid social media campaigns, you can create a competitive advantage in the industry and reach a targeted audience in a specific niche. 

Middle of Funnel

When customers move to this step of the funnel, they understand their needs and solutions. They have detailed information about the products available in the market. Now they will compare solutions from different brands and choose the best option. If you want to engage and attract an audience in this stage of the funnel, you have to use the following tools:

  • Effective Content Section

You have to write blogs with long-tail keyword strings for specific searches. There are two major types of keywords, the head term, and the long tail keywords. For instance, if the head term is “Carbon Fiber Bike”, the long tail keyword can be, “what type of bikes are suitable for racing”.

While writing blogs for potential customers in this section, you have to clarify what your product is about. You can drive more conversions by choosing the right SEO and CRO strategies.

  • Performance Display Advertising

In today’s advanced environment, marketing teams depend on targeted marketing techniques. They understand user behavior and plan their campaigns accordingly. For instance, if you want to sell electric cars, you want to target a specific audience using the filter.

That way, only the audience interested in electric cars can see the advertisement. As a result, you can drive more conversion and build brand awareness.

Bottom of the Funnel

After moving from the above-mentioned funnels, the target audience will reach the bottom. Many customers take months and years to reach this section. At the bottom of the funnel, potential customers fully understand their problems and know the solutions.

Now they are looking for a vendor or brand who can help them solve the problem. If you want to be that brand, you should use these tools:

  • Search Marketing

Keep in mind that you will attract the users who want to purchase the product in this section. Therefore, you have to base this section according to your customers’ preferences and terms. You can use pages and sections from the middle of the funnel to drive more traffic.

  • CRO Conversion Rate Optimization

Now that you have worked hard to attract potential customers and drive them to this section, you have to optimize your site for more conversions. This means that you have to simplify the buying process for customers, so they can easily purchase the product. You must also streamline your on-page content and navigation process.

Connecting the Funnel

Many business owners have a misconception that every customer moves through the same funnel. However, things aren’t that easy as some customers move up, down, and leave the funnel at any time. Therefore, you need to create strategies to attract potential customers at any time.

You have to drop bread crumbs in the path to lead customers till the end of buying journey. You can engage those customers using the following tools: 

  • Remarketing 

Have you ever seen an advertisement about a brand after leaving the website? If yes, then you are familiar with remarketing. When a customer leaves your website, you can engage and bring the customer on track. Sometimes, these customers are annoyed by the interface, information, or any other element of the website.

In such cases, you can use remarketing tools and techniques to build a robust funnel. These tools can be a sequential message with an offer or discount to excite the audience so they move along the funnel. Keep in mind that you have to align your remarketing strategy with the funnel stage.

  • Email Marketing

Do you hate email marketing as a customer? If you do, the major reason could be irrelevant content and its frequency. If you control these elements and align your content strategy according to each prospect, you can convince them to return to the funnel.

A highly effective email marketing campaign contains relevant content and has a limited frequency.

Simple Steps to Create a Sales Funnel

If you want to create a successful sales funnel, you have to create different prospects and understand how they move down the funnel. When you know your prospects, you can improve engagement and track their behavior. Also, with lead scoring, you can identify your customers’ position in the funnel.

Here are five steps to create an effective digital sales funnel:

Build a Landing Page

When a prospect clicks on the advertisement, they reach your landing page. They will read the business information and understand whether you can help them with their problem or not. The landing page communicates your message with the target audience. It would be best to incorporate a customer information form on the landing page to make things convenient and get customer’s email address so you can share the latest information or promotions with them.

Offer Something of Value

In this section, you have to offer something unique to your potential customers. This could be a discount code, whitepaper, or eBook. People refer to this strategy as a lead magnet as it is the first step to bond with the target audience.

Start Nurturing

Now your customers know about the brand and how you can help them solve the problem. This means they are moving from the Awareness stage to the Interest stage. If they find the product interesting, they will share their email address to receive more information about the brand. Using their email address, you can create and share educational content through an email nurture campaign.

UpSell

Your prospect is now moving to the decision stage and you can offer customer an extended free trial, product demo, or special discount. All these efforts will encourage customers to make a purchasing decision.

Keep it Going

When the prospect moves to the action phase, you have to listen to their queries and simplify the buying process. Whether the customer purchases the product or not, you have to stay in touch with them. When you keep the communication going, you can build trust and change your customers’ decisions.

Common Sales Funnel Mistakes

Many marketing teams make some mistakes when creating a sales funnel for their business. The major mistake is the alignment of marketing content according to the above-mentioned stages. Creating random content and publishing on the website be a good idea. If you want things under control, you need to stick to the sales funnel stages.

Keep in mind that the content you create attracts both new and existing customers. If you share random content, people will not show interest. Therefore, you have to define the content according to your prospects and their position in the funnel. If you already converted a lead into paying customers, you should stop sending them introductory emails.

While creating your funnel, you should write the type of content you will introduce in each sale funnel stage. Remember:

  • The top funnel is to help prospects identify the solution for their problem
  • The middle funnel is to help prospects know about your brand
  • The bottom funnel is to convert prospects into paying customers

Summary

Creating and optimizing the sales funnel with your brand takes a lot of planning and hard work. You can simplify the process by using the information discussed in this piece. Staying in the competitive market is not that simple. If you want to convert more leads and gain a competitive edge, you should choose a reliable platform such as ClickfunnelsOpens in a new tab. to automate your sales funnel.

Clickfunnels Opens in a new tab.is a user-friendly tool that allows you to increase conversions. Furthermore, you can interact with new and existing customers with the help of this tool and simplify the process to create sales funnel and convert leads into loyal customers.

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