The sales funnel has been a buzzing term for quite some time in the marketing atmosphere. Perhaps, you’ve heard this being thrown around a couple of times during meetings and business exercises. You’ve read this a lot on various sales and marketing articles, and possibly you’ve grasp its concept as integral for business success.

So, what really is a sales funnel? Why do contemporary entrepreneurs go gaga over its purpose?

A sales funnel is a strategic method used by entrepreneurs to earn the audience’s attention. Thereby, they would lead them to a buying process and engagement that would result in a possible purchase. Simply put, the sales funnel helps business owners qualify prospects for greater revenue. 

Well, it has always been a long-standing goal by every company to accumulate loyal customers. However, the journey of effort must come to great lengths before you build that elusive trust of your target audience. 

Every entrepreneur understands the frustration of missing a sale. After a series of campaigns and pitches, demos, and charm, the prospect withdraws from the sales funnel without an actual purchase. Yes, it happens — but it happens less if you have a well-curated sales funnel methodology that is tailored to your business model.

To skyrocket business ventures, a definitive sales funnel must be followed. The process is divided into several steps, which vary depending on the particular sales model of the business. 

Here are the common phases of a sales funnel.

Awareness Phase – The initial process requires attention from the audience. Your business, as a possible solution to a problem, must be recognized by your prospective audience. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to know your company’s services. This can be done by positioning your campaigns where your target audience sees your social media posts, how-to blogs, newsletters, or webinars. As an initial step, your goal is to encourage prospects to engage — by liking, sharing, commenting, or inquiring — to gear them ready for the next step.

Interest Phase – The prospect’s curiosity has now advanced by means of subscribing to email lists and following social media pages. This implies that the prospects are anticipating further details that would add value or resolve their possible problem. By this, you want to leverage the opportunity to showcase business solutions by utilizing quality content to keep their interest aflame. In this stage, you have to be more specific. Your campaigns should be relevant and thought-provoking to provide answers to the prospect’s burning questions.

Consideration Phase – In this mid-funnel, the prospect’s problem has become more urgent and they inch toward the best solution as soon as possible. In this stage, you have to be more personal and authentic with your approach in providing the solution. The key is to gain their trust. This trust will serve as the turning point for the prospects to understand that your service is the best way to address their challenges. With this, you can position strategically your business testimonials, service trials, free ebooks, or consultation calls — to picture your business as the most ideal solution available.

Intent Phase – The intention of the prospect from the very beginning of this journey is to resolve the challenge. In this phase, the prospect is now determined to provide a solution by purchasing a service. Though they have to realize the specification of the solution and make comparisons on price and value to fully maximize the purchase. Here is now the challenge. Since you have now poked forward the prospect on the sales funnel, all you need to do is to glue their eyes on you by making an impression that you are the knight and shining armor that would resolve their problem.

Evaluation Phase – You’ve gained the prospect’s interest. Perhaps your social media campaigns have compelled them to take action. Or probably you’ve inspired them through your email sequence which made them realize their problem. Now it’s your high time to play the unsung hero. Show your prospect that you’re ready to solve their problem as efficiently as possible. The best way to do this is to conduct a competitive analysis, a one-on-one consultation, limited-time offers, and a free service trial. Getting to this stage is no simple feat. Make the best out of your efforts and ace the prospect!

Purchase Phase – Finally! The green envelope has been sealed. At this stage, a purchase has been made. However, it is important to keep the expectation of your customer on par with what you’ve promised. This stage requires conscious effort to keep them happy and gratified. Also, you want to engage them with your other solutions for possible repeat business. For every satisfied customer, retention is highly possible. They can also be your brand advocates plus the word of mouth resonates power to dazzle new prospective customers.

In the competitive arena of business industries, a well-defined sales model is imperative to thrive along the way. Building a sales funnel will help automate the sales process by going through the stages skillfully. An efficient sales funnel can put your business marketing on a strategic leap where you can consistently convert qualified leads.

Also, this intricate and challenging business concept can literally take your small business to the greatest heights — once done correctly. Hence, don’t take shortcuts and make an extra nudge of effort and you’ll eventually reap what you sow.