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What is a Sales Funnel?
Why do I need a Sales Funnel?
How do I make a Sales Funnel?`
The Best Sales Funnel Templates for 2019.
What is a Sales Funnel?
Think of a regular funnel, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom.
A sales funnel is a visual representation of your company’s customer flow.
For a better explanation, here’s what you’d look like in Amazon’s sales funnel.
- You visit Amazon.com
- You view a product
- You add a product to your cart
- You check out your cart
Different companies have different variations of a sales funnel.
Some companies use images, a few use excel sheets, others use CRM tools.
The reason why it’s called a “sales funnel” is because of its shape.
You have a lot of prospects coming to your website, and you incrementally lose them as they move towards becoming customers.
Leads are lost as you convert prospects into sales. Big top, small bottom.
Funnels aren’t only useful to see how customers are buying/signing up though. You can put funnels anywhere on your website that involves movement.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what are the different sales funnel templates and how you can create your own.
Why do I need a Sales Funnel?
I. Break big pictures into individual strokes.
A customers’ sales journey through your website can take hours, days or even months.
This makes the challenge of improving existing systems quite daunting.
By breaking complex processes into simple steps, you can identify flaws, test solutions and improve performance.
Using a sales funnel, you can get insights like –
- What’s medium is your largest driver of traffic
- Where in the funnel your customers drop off the most
- When in the sale is the best time to close the deal
II. Day to day operational insights
Humans are great at breaking down information that is represented visually.
With data represented pictorially, it allows you to keep constant track of your website’s performance.
Using a sales funnel, you can also get a bird’s eye view of all your deals in a single glance.
This allows you to derive cleaner insights into the daily operations of your team.
From gauging slow days to preparing for high-value deals, a sales funnel helps you stay on top of your sales and marketing efforts.
III. More accurate financial forecasting
If you have long sales cycles (ranging from weeks to months), quarterly or yearly reviews become a hassle.
You could have an entire quarter where no sales are completed, but your pipeline is filled. You could conversely have quarters where you close lots of deals but acquire no new leads.
A well-oiled sales funnel enables predictive revenue models. By applying historical probability to each stage, you can calculate income inflow for the future.
Example: You have 90 (each worth $10) customers in the final stage of your funnel and you know that the average conversion to a sale is 30%. With a sales funnel you can use this data to bookmark $300 of revenue.
How do I make a Sales Funnel?
In this section, we’ll address three big questions
- What goes into my sales funnel?
- How long should my sales funnel be?
- How can I automate my sales funnel?
What goes into my sales funnel?
Your Sales Funnel is built by charting the core movements of a customer through your website/offerings.
Using the Amazon example from earlier; a customer could visit Amazon’s FAQ or Careers page during the flow. But these aren’t counted because they are not core steps.
To identify the core steps, you need to build a minimum viable funnel. Funnels of this nature are predicated on four basic mile markers in the sales journey.
- Awareness – Where a customer hears about you. This could be through a blog piece, Facebook ads or a YouTube video. You need to educate the customer.
- Interest – You’ve explained the problem to your customers, now it’s time to tell them why you’re the solution. These solutions are usually bartered for contact information (like emails).
- Decision – Now that they’re intent on a solution, you have to sell yourself. Talk about social proof, customer reviews, and testimonials. Your solution should be the only solution.
- Action – This is the stage where money talks. Offer discounts, coupons, free shipping, waived migration fees or reduced onboarding costs. They’re ready to buy, you need to compel them.
Depending on the kind of business you run, your funnels may vary in shape and size.
If your sales funnel is for a mom-and-pop store, your funnel might look like this.
A customer walks into the store -> Customer looks at a product -> Customer puts the product in the cart -> Customer walks to check out -> Customer completes the purchase.
If you’re a B2B business settling large accounts, however, you could have more steps.
Which brings us neatly to.
How long should my sales funnel be?
For most companies and individuals, the ideal sales funnel is five-seven steps long.
Any longer, and you risk over-engineering the flow. Any shorter, and you miss out on steps.
In either case, ensure your funnel is built proportionately to the stages in your sales cycle.
Once you’ve built the bones of your funnel, it’s time to put the flesh and tissues in.
To this end, you can build two funnels.
Your first funnel is based on historical data. Identify how many opportunities move from one cycle to the other. Calculate drop-offs, pass-throughs, and percentages.
This gives you your real sales funnel.
Next up, your ideal sales funnel. Establish your desired revenue target at the bottom of the funnel.
From there work backward using the percentages from your real sales funnel. This will give you the number of opportunities you need at every stage to hit your revenue goals.
You can use this data to set targets for each stage. For example, to achieve $30,000 in revenue, you can now predict that you need to have X traffic, Y leads and Z conversions.
How can I automate my sales funnel?
One of the downsides of a sales funnel is that you have to constantly be on top of it.
If you’re entering data manually, you constantly have to be on your toes.
Entering prospects through the top, and siphoning them through the process. Eliminating those that fell off. Updating the math to see if you’re still running on par.
For this reason, and a few others, most companies stick to automated sales funnels.
This can range from a simple Google Analytics visualization report to full-blown Hubspot campaigns.
Verloop can help automate your sales funnel from start to finish. Traffic is converted into leads, leads into customers.