Gaining perspective on the buying process and how it matches up with your sales process gives great insight on what works and what doesn’t for your business. Think of this match as a funnel, widely shaped at the top and narrow at the bottom. This sales funnel is the process that you lead your customers through as they search for and purchase services.
Steps in the Sales Funnel
- Awareness. This is usually initiated through marketing efforts, where prospects become aware of the existence of your product or service.
- Interest. This is the stage in which prospects become leads and demonstrate interest in your product by conducting product research.
- Evaluation. Here, prospects stack alternatives against your company in the hopes of making a final decision. If your prospect is seriously considering your company, they are a qualified lead.
- Decision. This is the final decision phase where prospects decide to purchase a product or service from your company.
- Purchase. From awareness to purchase, your prospect has become a customer, a sale has been completed, and the funnel ends here.
Depending on the industry and company, there may be more stages, but the basic framework is as shown above.
Utility of the Sales Funnel
It’s useful to think of your sales process as a funnel so that you can take the appropriate steps for guiding prospects through each step. Sales managers commonly adopt strategies and tools to optimize each stage of their sales process.
By using the sales funnel, you can track the number of prospects at each stage, and predict the rate of prospects who will eventually become customers.
Furthermore, by looking at the conversion rates from step to step, you can get a better idea of if your sales and marketing strategies are working. If you identify problems in your sales funnel you can take corrective action and turn your focus on that.