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This post was written by Geoffroy

There is a situation that keeps repeating itself on all computers in the world connected to the Internet. We are 100% certain that this has often happened to you.

While surfing the net, you enter an online store and some items you see catch your eye, so you click to see more details. Sometimes you even try different colors, different sizes, and then put the items in your basket to see the shipping costs.

And that’s all. That’s all!

You entered on the website and you leave without buying anything. And this situation certainly happens hundreds of times on hundreds of sites, which you have visited once, by chance, and which you will never come back to…

Then you go to Facebook, you browse other websites and you see everywhere ads for the shop you were on or even for the product you were looking at.

This situation is familiar to you, isn’t it?
Let me tell you something: you’ve just entered a sales tunnel.

Sales funnel? What is it about?

There are as many definitions of this sales tool as there are people who try to define it. So we will try to give you a simple one, without getting lost in overly technical considerations.

The sales funnel is a set of tools which make a prospect go from point A (generally, at the moment to get to know each other) to point B (generally, at the time of the act of purchase) in passing by all the intermediate points which maximize the probability of completing the journey to the end.

Despite the apparent simplicity of the concept, it was not until 1898 that an American advertising expert, Elias St. Elmo, popularized this tool with one of the most used sales formulas in history, the AIDA model.

And don’t be fooled by the relative age of this tool. It adapted to the times and remains one of the best ways to boost sales for your business.

The heart of the matter lies in the conversion and the vanishing points of each step.

If you’ve read this yet, you are probably interested in exploring the idea further. We all want to sell more!

To come back to the previous definition and to illustrate it, keep this image in mind:

Sales Funnel

If we go into details from the definition above:

  • Point A would be attention. Someone comes to meet you.
  • Point B would be action. Someone came to buy one of your products.
  • Interest and decision would be part of the path your visitor should travel between A and B.
  • Leaks are the percentage of people who don’t get to the next step and are lost to you.

So in any funnel, the most important points of attention are the conversion rates from one step to the next and the identification of vanishing points to “plug” them.

What are the different types of sales funnels?

We told you that there are as many definitions of funnels as there are people who try to define them. The same goes for the types of sales funnels, there are thousands!

There are so many ways to classify them that it’s endless. But, as we are here to simplify your life, we would say that the most important are:

  1. Online or offline funnels,
  2. Simple or complex tunnels,
  3. Automated or manual tunnels.

With these characteristics and the resulting combinations, we can define almost all sales funnels.

Online or offline conversion funnels

The difference between the two lies in (oh, surprise!) the media that we use.

In online sales funnels, we find the typical funnels with Facebook or Adwords advertising, those developed by email, those based on free webinars or mini-courses and those that combine all these tools.

On the other hand, offline groups include all the funnels developed by salespeople who make cold calls or by call centers, events, etc.

There is a third mixed variant which mixes the two channels. You could, for example, collect the phone number of the prospect online, follow up by telephone by a salesperson to close the sale online again.

Types Sales Funnels

Simple and complex sales funnels

The process that a customer follows from point A (getting to know you) to point B (buying from you), as you can imagine, can be very short and simplified or very long and complex, to complete this loop.

The simplest sales funnels are used for products that do not involve significant expenditure at and in cases where the customer is already “hot” (ie determined to buy from you).

On the contrary, the more complicated funnels are particularly useful for very expensive products where the customer knew nothing about you before being aware of you. In these cases, you often have to start educational work.

Manual or automatic sales funnels

In this latter classification, the difference lies in the question “who does the work?” »A person or a machine/a tool/an algorithm.

In automatic funnels, each operation is based on a series of technologies that help the customer to move forward throughout the process.

In manual sales funnels, a person makes contact and helps the customer to go through all stages of the funnel to close the deal.

However, the reality is never so simple and, as in the first case, there are also mixed cases here where technology performs part of the process and one person performs the rest.

Types Funnels

Do you want to set up your own sales funnel?

Now that you know everything about the sales funnels, the most important steps, and the types of funnels that exist, you are probably already thinking about building your own.

The most frequently used funnel has 4 stages which correspond almost perfectly to the AIDA model of which we spoke a few lines above:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Qualification
  3. Negotiation
  4. Signature

We will now get to the heart of the matter and we will describe this sale funnel from A to Z so that you can copy it.

Prospection

The main thing at this stage is to get the prospect’s contact details so that he or she can contact him or her and thus launch the sales process.

Get leads

Lead is a term for prospects for whom we have enough data to contact them and make a business proposal.

There are many ways to get them. The most common are word of mouth, registration via a form on your own website, and purchasing databases.

Pay attention to the purchase of databases. It is difficult to spot “potential customers” and “necessary data to contact them” by chance.

According to the experience of many customers, the purchased of databases hardly ever contain prospects (for example, if we sell web development and the provider sells me the data of a company with a cutting-edge website, this is not a potential customer), and most records have outdated insufficient, or directly incorrect contact information.

Don’t waste the money!

Contact the lead

This is the second part of prospecting and it is essential.

If you don’t believe us, let us give you two numbers.

According to the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP), 80% of sales are made after the fifth contact with the prospect. And yet, more than 90% of sellers do NOT contact prospects more than 4 times.

With this data in mind, it is very likely that for many if not most sales, you will end up losing it simply because you have not contacted the prospect enough.

This is one of the qualities that differentiate an average salesperson from a sales champion.
The pressure of everyday life means that these customers who must be followed find themselves in a ton of contacts “that will arrive when they can”, a tone that turns into an unmanageable skyscraper.

You have to watch them. Make things happen!

There is a simple and laborious way to avoid this situation. All you need is a good tracking method, a CRM and the right attitude.

Qualification

This step is overlooked by many sales teams who are afraid of it.

There are two ways of designing the sale, and only one is correct:
Like a WIN-WIN, where the seller wins and the customer wins.
Like a WIN – 🤷, in which the salesperson wins. Does the customer win? It doesn’t matter for the salesperson.

If a seller discovers that some of his or her prospects are not going to profit from his product, he must be honest, know-how, and end the sales process.

In this way, he will not waste his time on a sale which will probably never be concluded. And if however, he is such a good salesperson that he could sell ice cream to an Eskimo and opt for a WIN – 🤷, there is no doubt that the customer will make him the worst advertisement when he will report.

Business ethics are important and beneficial in the long term.

Therefore, qualifying your customers at this stage should be the second phase of your tunnel.

To do this, you need to talk to your prospects and find out what your ideal customer looks like.

Negotiation

This is the part that most salespeople master. But I have bad news. Each business is a different world in which you have to find the right style and the right negotiation approach for your product.

Some will have to contact the prospect by phone, others will need a face-to-face meeting, and still, others will need to negotiate by phone and at meetings for weeks.

The most important thing at this point is to have a sales pitch that you constantly use, evaluate, and improve.

Bonus track

There is a negotiation method that some salespeople use that does NOT work. E-mail.

If this is your case, here is a piece of advice… In negotiation, you need the information to flow back and forth in real-time in order to really understand the other party. Take her phone number and talk to her.

When you switch from email to phone, you’ll see your conversions at this point in the tunnel skyrocket.

Signature

Many salespeople believe that once the negotiation has gone well, everything that remains is to sit back and enjoy the success.

But, be careful. And if the customer has not paid, signed the contract, or carried out the action that seals your sale at 100%, you still have not closed your sale.

Of course, the end is so close that it is easier to relax.

But it is far from being the case.

You have to go all the way, otherwise, you will see some of your sales collapse without you knowing why, since all the work will have been done correctly.

At this point, if the closing does not take place at the end of the negotiation, you should continue monitoring.

By following these steps, can I end the sales funnel?

If you have put all of this into your sales process, it would be very tempting to sit back and enjoy your brand-new funnel.

But as with sales when we get to the end, it’s not over yet.

Do you remember at the beginning what the heart of the funnel question was?
No need to go back to the top of the article, we’ll refresh your memory… Vanishing points and conversion rates from one phase to another.

What cannot be measured cannot be improved; and when we design a sales funnel, the goal is to establish a process that we can repeat over and over again while improving it, testing small changes from time to time.

This is why it is crucial that at all times, you measure and analyze the operation of each phase, your conversion rates and the main leaks.

Now we have come to the end

In short, with sales funnels, it is the same with most of the daily tasks of a salesperson. Only three things count.

  1. Have the right attitude to make things happen.
  2. Have a process to repeat over and over to make it better.
  3. Have the tools to facilitate the first and second point.

And that’s where a CRM comes in.

But we won’t tell you about it. We want you to find out for yourself.
And the best way to do it is to try Efficy!

Find out if Efficy is the best option for your business

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