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Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a technique that is used by internet marketers to guide their visitors towards the sales page. This may include preselling and “softening up” techniques as well as a physical trail. One of the most effective methods out there for getting sales is to create a sales funnel. A sales funnel is a navigational and psychological construction that guides someone from their entry to a website to the final result of completing whatever action the creator of the sales funnel had in mind. In many cases, this is to purchase whatever product or service is being advertised, but it can also be to get someone to enter their email address to be used in email marketing or to take another action.

The reason that this is called a funnel is due to the fact that everywhere on the website is designed to lead the visitor through the sales process to the call to actions that are implemented on the site. For example, someone enters at the top of the funnel and goes through the sales pipeline to raise their interest level. The potential customer is cold when they first get onto the website – like “cold calling” someone on the phone would be. The purpose of the sales funnel is not just to direct them to the place on the website where they can buy the product, but to raise their temperature throughout the sales process, increasing the conversion rate for each potential customer that visits the website.

How the Sales Funnel Process Starts

The sales funnel process starts with lead generation. Sales teams have to procure leads and it is no different in internet sales and marketing. The business owner will use assets like social media platforms, lead magnets and more to get customers to end up on landing pages where the sales funnel begins. Every part of the site is designed to get them to that end result, including sometimes sections like the information on small businesses “about us” page, contact information and the privacy policy.

The various stages of your sales funnel are set to work both navigationally and psychologically. If someone ends up on your landing page, then that page will convince them to continue on and pique their interest in the product or service. If they go to another page of your website, you should be able to nudge them back into your sales funnel. If they try to exit your website altogether, then that’s where the sale funnel attempts to stop them and turn them back on the path by offering an incentive to continue.

Sales funnels can be relatively simple or they can be enormously complex. However, they are one of the most important ideas is internet marketing and you can turn a poorly performing website into a multi-million dollar business with the right sales funnel. It is also worth noting that a sales funnel is not restricted to a single website. In fact, the whole of your online efforts should be constructed the same way with the sales funnel in mind. Your online activities outside of the landing page should be directed at getting people to go to the landing page, and that will lead them through the funnel to the buying process. That increases conversions by a staggering amount.

Fulcrum-Tip: It is also worth noting that the sales funnel continues onward after the conversion point, as you will see in the stages of the funnel that are detailed below.

Stage One: The Awareness Stage

The first stage in the sales funnel is the awareness phase. Before you can even get someone interested in your product or service, then you need to make them aware of it. There are various ways that you make someone aware of your product, but it starts with determine what problem they are trying to solve. If you don’t know what problem they are looking for an answer to, then you have no chance of convincing them that you have a solution. An example of something that belongs in the awareness stage is an advertisement for a hair-loss product for younger men looking to reverse their hair loss. In this case, you know who your customers are, and what kind of problem they are attempting to solve; you just have to let them know that there is a solution.

Stage Two: The Interest Stage

The next step in the sales funnel process is building interest in the product. This is done by the sales prospect conducting research. In many cases, this is exactly what your landing page does. If you can make someone aware of a solution to their problem, and then you bring them to your landing page where they read over the marketing materials that you have designed to raise their interest level. They may visit other websites to conduct research, but if you create your landing page effectively, they won’t have to in order to make a decision. Everything that they require to decide whether or not to buy your product should be present on your landing page already and naturally send them through the rest of the funnel stages.

Stage Three: The Evaluation Stage

You must ensure that your prospects are able to feel good about choosing your product over other competitors that are out there. That means answering their questions about the competition. You could simply allow them to go to other websites and check out the competition themselves, but this will result in very few customers coming back to actually purchase your product, because other sites will have convinced them of their own superiority. That’s why you have to make sure that you keep them within your funnel and address their questions about the competition.

Stage Four: The Decision Phase

The next stage is the decision phase, where the final decision about whether or not the prospect will purchase the product. This is also known as the negotiation phase. In this stage, you will reveal the price, a stage where many people decide not to buy. That’s why there are popups on many landing pages that come up when someone presses the closing ‘X’ that lower the price. You have to get the customer to make the decision to buy the product and then get them to accept your price. You can negotiate by lowering the price, but you can also negotiate by showing how much value you get for that price. For example, many affiliate sites list all of the different parts of the product and the benefits in order to build value.

Stage Five: Purchase Stage
The next stage is the purchase stage. This is very simple to understand. It is simply the stage where the product or service is purchased. However, if your goal is not to convert someone by getting them to buy, then the purchase stage is also the stage where your prospect completes the action that you desire them to complete. So, for example, if you were trying to get their email address, then the purchase stage is where they enter their email address.

Stage Six: Reevaluation Stage
In some types of businesses, you have regular contracts or products that must be renewed. In these cases, there are reevaluation stages. This is common in subscription-based products. For example, Netflix is a subscription-based product. Many companies try to eliminate the reevaluation stage completely by getting the customer to sign up for automatic payments so that they simply pay instead of actually reevaluating the product, which can cause them to back out of the transaction. If a reevaluation stage is unavoidable, then you have to make sure that you convince the customer to buy the product again. You may have to resend them through your sales funnel in order to convince them of the viability of renewing the product.

Stage Seven: The Repurchase Phase
This is where the customer repurchases the product or service. For example, if someone were to have to manually pay for Netflix each month, then each month they would go through the reevaluation phase once again and decide if paying the monthly subscription price is worth it and then clicking on the button or entering their payment information once again to get the subscription service. However, with most products and services, there will only be the single purchase phase. If you can get people to pay something monthly instead of one time, then it is definitely worth adding these phases to your funnel, but most of the time, products are set up so that they are only purchased once unless the customer needs the very same product again.

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