Planning a “Sales Funnel” for your business involves crafting content to address each of the four stages of a buyer’s journey: Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action. Each stage requires unique types of media to encourage buyers to take desired actions such as filling out information forms or making purchases.
The Awareness Stage
At the top of your sales funnel, the awareness stage, customers become aware of your product or service through advertising, social media or word of mouth. Here, you must focus on proper planning in providing useful information to demonstrate to buyers that you understand their needs and can assist in solving their problems.
This type of content often takes the form of long-form blogs optimized with search terms used when researching solutions; while simultaneously offering buyers free value without directly advertising your brand.
Once buyers have passed through the awareness stage of your sales funnel, they’ll move onto the consideration stage – this is when they begin evaluating your product or service and assessing if it is an ideal solution to their problem.
They may pose questions like “Will this solution fit with my current business model” and “What outcomes should I anticipate from using this product or service?”
At the consideration stage, you must provide educational content, case studies and testimonials to build trust with leads.
Allow leads to engage with your team through live chat, phone call or email; Casper offers such an option in its mattress size comparison guide that allows customers to connect directly with an agent before purchasing their mattress.
After their consideration stage journey, prospects will reach the decision stage, where they decide if your product meets their problem and make their purchase decision.
They may compare pricing and packages of competitors’ offerings to find one with more value; you may encourage prospects into action by offering incentives like free shipping, discounted codes or complimentary products with their purchase.
The Interest Stage
The Interest Stage of the Sales Funnel centres on creating awareness of your products and services among potential leads. In this stage, marketers can employ various tactics such as social media campaigns, website content (articles and blogs), paid ads, search engine optimization (which you can learn about here), webinars, trade shows or email nurture campaigns to draw their target market’s interest towards your offerings.
As you engage prospects at the interest stage of your sales funnel, it’s important not to oversell. Rushing leads directly from engagement into action can turn them off instead of closing deals; to ensure you are providing appropriate messages, track and analyze marketing metrics like traffic levels, click-through rates, dwell times on websites, form submission numbers and email open rates to see which pieces resonate with your target market.
Once leads reach the action stage of your sales funnel, they may be ready to purchase your solution. To assist them in making their decision, offer incentives like free shipping or discounts on complimentary products as a means of making it easy for them to make their choice.
Once a deal has been closed successfully, don’t forget to follow up with a customer satisfaction survey so buyers feel heard and valued, which can increase repeat business for your brand.
Though some experts question their validity, sales funnels still provide businesses with an effective framework to organize and focus their marketing efforts to attract new customers while keeping existing ones satisfied.
A strong sales funnel will enable your business to effectively communicate the correct messages to each prospect at each step in their journey – ultimately increasing brand loyalty while driving up revenue growth.
The Decision Stage
Once prospects reach the interest stage, they begin exploring their options. Whether purchasing a fridge, mattress topper or software testing tool – prospects will conduct research to determine which solution best addresses their unique needs and problems; this could involve comparing features, sizes and pricing across competitors; having an identifiable value proposition allows your business to establish itself as a trustworthy source of information and guidance during this phase.
As a salesperson, you have an incredible opportunity to differentiate your business at this stage by being attentive to your prospect’s concerns and meeting them head-on – whether through providing free trial periods or other means that encourages them to try your product for themselves.
Depending on the nature of your business, this may also allow you to tailor your marketing strategy around specific customers with individual concerns.
At this stage, you must be well informed as to the information your prospects are searching for when making decisions about solutions to their problem and researching their pros and cons.
Content that can engage prospects at this point includes frequently-asked-questions pages, videos about specific product features or side-by-side competitive feature analyses; such content shows why your product fits perfectly into their needs while showing why it stands above competitors’ offerings.
The Action Stage
At this stage, prospects are ready to select their solution of choice and conduct extensive research into multiple solutions to ensure they select one that meets their specific problems, needs, and budget requirements.
Content that assists prospective customers at this point includes frequently asked questions pages, product reviews, live demos and side-by-side competitive feature analyses; such information helps build trust between the customer and your solution; in turn, resulting in their decision to purchase.
As a marketing professional, you should understand how sales funnel stages function to support your company’s growth goals. Your marketing and sales teams should collaborate to deliver information when potential customers require it; this enables you to reduce potential customer numbers who do not fit with your business and increase conversion rates.
The original sales funnel model first proposed during the 19th century is known as the AIDA model and encompasses four customer stages – Attention, Interest, Desire and Action (AIDA). Although created decades ago, this framework continues to serve as an invaluable way of understanding customer buying behaviours and planning effective marketing strategies – something of a bible for people within the industry or those who operate within it.