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Sales funnel – what is it? Definition and example

The decision to finalize the transaction is preceded by a series of steps that must be performed by the customer to reach the destination. That is, buying a product that meets its needs. The individual stages of this process are presented in a sales funnel. What is it, why and how to use it? Read on!

Achieving business success requires thoughtful action and skilful use of tools that allow for scaling. One of them is the sales funnel – the star of this publication. Before we present an example of a sales funnel and explain why it is so important for the company’s development, first a pinch of the necessary theory.

Sales funnel – what is it?

What is a sales funnel? This is nothing more than a sales process presented in the form of an inverted pyramid.

Sales are the result of how we advertise a given product, how we will build interest in a potential customer and correctly understand their needs. A sales funnel is an extensive and effective technique that enables segmentation of recipients (lead classification), planning marketing activities and forecasting sales results. Building a sales funnel is a presentation of individual steps that are performed by the recipient, from the first contact with the brand until the purchase is made. So at every stage of the sales process.

Each of its subsequent levels (which are set individually by the company) allows you to narrow down groups of potential customers. At the bottom of the funnel, there are people ready to buy the solution we offer.

The conversion funnel is a visualization of individual stages of the process, the end of which – closing the sale, depends on the promotional and marketing activities taken.

How to use sales funnels?

Now that we know what a sales funnel (marketing funnel) is, let’s explain why it is worth creating it. In short, it is the basis for a well-thought-out strategy for promotional activities and a way to increase the conversion rate. Detailed development of the sales funnel and classification of leads (depending on the purchasing stage at which they are located) allows you to ask the right questions and provide equally appropriate answers to arouse the needs, build our expert image and make the recipient shout: BUY! The sales funnel is extremely helpful in understanding the differences between customers at different levels and in standardizing activities for salespeople.

The funnel will allow us to determine the most appropriate methods and tools that increase the chances of acquiring a customer, which will be precisely matched to the expectations, at every stage of the shopping journey. The marketing funnel is process optimization, saving time and resources, and maximizing the profit from each potential customer.

How to create a sales funnel?

The sales funnel is in the form of an inverted pyramid. There are two types of it, which differ in the strategy of acquiring a potential customer, specifying the target group, and, as a result, the form of the message that we will serve him.

Purchase funnel – types

– A wide conversion funnel – its purpose is to reach the widest possible group of recipients and increased lead generation. Most of them will not become customers of the brand, but by directing the message to a very large audience, the chance of reaching people who will ultimately decide to buy increases.
– Narrow conversion funnel – appealing to more specific recipients. Their group is narrower than in the case of a wide funnel, the message reaches initially (or potentially) interested in the offered product.

3 stages of the sales funnel – ToFu, MoFu, BoFu

A. ToFu (Top of the Funnel) – top of the funnel. At this stage of the funnel, the most important thing is to attract traffic as part of the activities undertaken (paid and free). We can focus on offering substantively rich content, focus on arousing interest in the product during conferences or making so-called “cold phones”. It’s also worth considering positioning and investing in paid campaigns. Thanks to this, our recipients will increase brand awareness.
B. MoFu (Middle of the Funnel) – the middle part of the funnel. This is where the potential buyer from the top of the funnel, who is aware that using a given solution may bring benefits, “falls in”. Awakened needs motivate him to learn more about the available solutions and compare the competition’s offer. What to do to win with it? Gain trust! As we know, there is no sale without it. At this stage, it will be useful to send recipients to dedicated landing pages, send e-mails with the details of the offer, tell directly what the purchase of a given solution will bring. It is well-thought-out content marketing that increases the chance of acquiring potential customers.
C. BoFu (Bottom of the Funnel) – bottom of the funnel. At this stage of the sales funnel, consumers interested in the offer are one step away from making a purchase decision. How to get them to buy? We can use social proof of rightness (reviews, ratings, success stories), or propose price bonuses.

If your marketing activities aimed at potential customers at the bottom of the funnel bring the desired effect, you can launch fanfares – the purchasing process has been closed! This is where simple payment methods and thanks for placing the order will work.

However, making a purchase is not the end of the sales process and the work of the marketing department. It is worth taking steps to maintain the customer’s interest, attach them to the brand and … encourage them to make further (satisfactory!) Purchases. That is, the emphasis on after-sales service.

Remember! The sale is based on trust and sympathy. They are the basis of your sales funnel, regardless of the stage at which the recipient is. Match the form of the message to the needs and sensitively build a valuable relationship with the client. All sales pages will benefit – as evidenced by the increasing conversion rate!

Not everyone will be your customer

Even a precisely created conversion funnel does not guarantee that the person who fell into it will “fly” through all the stages and finally “flow out” in the form of a loyal customer. In the process of getting to know the brand and raising awareness, the recipient may decide not to build a relationship. This is normal. Thanks to data analysis, you will gain knowledge at which stage you fail most often and you will be able to take corrective steps.

You can bet, for example, on remarketing. This works well at every stage of the funnel, but the more defined the target group, the more important it is. Sealing the funnel pays off!

Sales funnel – examples of use

Each company is different and has its own individual way of selling. Does this work? Maybe it needs some grinding? A shopping funnel will provide the answer. How to properly build it and accurately reflect the sales process?

How to make a sales funnel?

Do you know what the top of the funnel looks like? How many of the calls made do you send the offer? How many prospectuses are actually displayed on the submitted material? Or maybe traders skip the followup? Who decides to buy, and where the initially interested recipient “says thank you”? How many customers stay with you for longer and decide to make more purchases?

By getting answers to these questions, you can systematize your sales and introduce standards of activities. Thanks to this, the trader will know, among other things, how many calls he has to make to make one deal, i.e. the transaction. And you are more likely to establish monthly sales.

Use of CRM at different stages of the funnel

Designing and implementing a funnel is one thing, and analyzing the collected data – another! Thanks to this, we will be able to optimize the sales process and increase profits. One of the tools that will allow us to use 100% of the power of each contact is the CRM system.

Thanks to it, we will find out which stages of the sales process need improvement. If a potential customer most often leaves the funnel when making offers, it is worth checking whether the materials sent, the form of their presentation or the price do not differ from the recipients’ needs.

HubSpot also enables segmentation of individual sales stages, data collection and purchase funnel management. The tool allows you to flexibly map the way your company operates, and additionally use the power of automation to seal activities and shorten the time needed for quality customer service.

Google Analytics will also be useful in keeping your finger on the pulse of sales. Thanks to it, you will learn, among other things:
– Which channels realistically increase sales.
– What specific product is of the greatest interest.
– What does your customers’ shopping path look like?
– At which stage of the process, clients give up the relationship.
– After what actions in the online store the transaction is finalized.

Ongoing analysis of the collected data is the basis for determining corrective steps, but also for forecasting future sales. If you don’t know what monthly results to expect – it’s hard to have a budget!

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