Much of your strategic marketing process will focus on moving potential opportunities through the funnel. Leads enter the funnel and channel promising leadership every step of the way to the final decision you hope to make. It is a step-by-step process, directing the prospectus to the end.
Defining these steps and filling in the gaps in the process will make your marketing much more effective in the long run. A sales funnel breaks down into four key areas: awareness, interest, desire, and action.
Sales Tunnel – Four Key Areas
A potential lead enters your sales funnel the moment a lead becomes aware of you as a brand with the potential to provide a useful service or product. The awareness stage is when you capture the largest group of potential customers.
You can bring knowledge about your brand and services to your customers through several marketing channels, including:
- Social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn;
- A quality blog on your website that provides the information your prospects need;
- Pay per click ads;
- And organic traffic to your sites on search engines.
These channels should lead prospects to landing pages where you provide the opportunity to drive to make the next important decision, expressing an interest.
At this stage, a potential knows who you are and has now expressed an interest in learning more. Through a landing page, capture information about your lead and offer something useful in return, such as a white paper, ebook, e-mail newsletter, or free demo.
The interest stage is an important phase, because it is where you start to build a relationship and develop trust between the brand and your perspective. It is extremely important to provide value to your potential at this stage.
A solid product or valuable information will help keep an interested. A « throw » freebie will stop prospects and make it clear that you only want their money, not their trust.
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After interest comes desire. At this stage, show potentials how you can provide innovative solutions to help their business grow or solve a key problem they face. At this stage, you want to position yourself in relation to your competition and show different potentials from others in your industry.
Be careful at this stage. Many people can see the end right now and want to convert an asset into a sale. But ignoring this step could put pressure on a potential too early and take away a quality advantage.
Continue to build a relationship, demonstrating the value you have for your potential. Continue to fill the sales funnel with the benefits of marketing.
The shift from awareness to interest and from interest to desire will eventually lead to action. Now is the time to take a pitch and submit a proposal for consideration.
You have already made yourself known, so that a potential person understands what you can offer. You have a special interest in providing high quality information. You have cultivated desire by showing how your solutions can address the unique needs of a potential. Now is the time to put a perspective into action by submitting a convincing proposal.
Understanding every step of your sales funnel will lead to more prospects of making that final decision and taking action. As you evaluate your funnel, look for gaps in which the process breaks down and fill in these gaps with intentional actions at the end of you.