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It doesn’t matter how good your product is — it’s the sales that count when it comes down to business. That’s where sales funnel management comes in: Converting customer interest into success.

So, where do you start to manage every stage of the buying process efficiently?

The sales funnel is a marketing visual aid, and we’ll be looking closely at the different stages that define it. Then, we’ll see how you can make it work for you by identifying touchpoints unique to your target audience.

Keep reading to find:

Effective Sales Funnel Management

Defining Sales Funnel Management

Marketing Sales Funnel

What Sales Funnel Management Is and Where To Begin

The Digital Marketing Funnel and How It Affects Your Business

Final Thoughts: Getting Better Sales Funnel Management

Defining Sales Funnel Management

Simply put, a sales funnel is the path potential customers follow to become paying customers. It starts with business owners and their marketing teams identifying their target audience, then converting interest into sales.

But that’s not all when it comes to sales funnel management.

The tricky part comes when managing each stage of the funnel. This analysis is essential and forms the foundations of all customer relationship management. Many believe marketers attract attention, and it’s job done, but that’s just part of it.

Turning the customer’s interest into sales is crucial. Typically, the customer journey looks like this:

  • Recognition
  • Attention
  • Demand
  • Response

Marketing Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is the marketing term for the journey customers take to make a purchase. Visually mapped as a funnel, it helps siphon off sales, filtering out those who simply show passing interest.

Planning marketing funnel stages
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What Sales Funnel Management Is and Where To Begin

You’ve got your storefront, so now it’s time to bring in the customers. The first step at the top of the funnel is building awareness.

People must know you’re there.

There are many ways to gain recognition. Traditionally, it may have been through cold calling or even placing a newspaper ad. Nowadays, there are many more options, including emails and social media, with e-commerce being bigger than ever.

Outreach is essential for making connections.

Whether you’re setting up a LinkedIn profile or receiving referrals, sales funnel management requires that you go where your target audience is.

The Marketing Funnel Stages

As the customer experience has evolved in the digital space, so too has the marketing funnel. Regardless, the core principles remain the same. It’s simply a case of marketers now taking on the role of sales reps at different stages.

While it varies from business to business, the different stages of the sales cycle will usually go as such:

  • Awareness: Letting potential customers know you’re there.
  • Attention: Retaining that interest through solid messaging.
  • Analysis: Asking questions and learning more.
  • Intentions: Meeting the needs of your audience and their expectations.
  • Reviewing: Deliberating over factors such as pricing.
  • Purchase: Sealing the deal with a sale.

Where once it was one-size-fits-all, with mass-marketing casting wider nets, you can now hone in on niche audiences far easier with modern sales funnel management. But this does mean you’ll need to define your sales strategy more carefully.

Digital marketing funnel leads
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Starting With the Lead Generation Funnel

A lead is anyone who’s shown interest in your product, however slight. It’s then down to you, as part of your sales funnel management, to follow up on that interest, drawing in any potential customers by making an impact.

In the past, this may have been through a cold call after gaining the contact information of potential new customers. But now, you can find new leads online, using strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO) and even viral social media posts. This advanced form of prospecting makes it a lot easier to identify qualified leads.

A qualifying lead is someone who’s shown active interest in what you’re selling. This interest could come in the form of handing over details to repeated visits to your website and using an online shopping cart. Once they’re in, you then need to nudge them to the next stage.

It’s just a case of getting the balance right — not hassling your customer with too much pressure and scaring them off.

Lead generation funnel for conversions
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Finding the Qualifying Sales Funnel Metrics

An integral part of the sales funnel management system is measuring the metrics that help define the overall process. Here’s a quick overview of the sales analytics and metrics you should track:

  • Lead velocity rate: When marketing qualified leads, pay attention to the rate they get added. This metric provides a precise overview of the top of the funnel.
  • Conversion rate: Get a figure on how many leads are converting into paying customers. Dividing conversions with leads shows the efficiency of the sales funnel.
  • Sales cycle duration: Determine how long it’s taking to convert each lead into a sale. The longer it takes, the more active sales reps you’ll need.
  • Stage conversion rate: Varying between the different funnel stages mentioned, look at the rate people are moving through the sales pipeline. This figure will help you refine it.
  • Customer loyalty: Value doesn’t just come from the initial sale, but repeat custom as well. Customer renewal is an important metric that generates a continual lead supply.
  • Cost per acquisition: Making sure the sales process is cost-effective is essential. You don’t want any conversion costs eating into — or surpassing — your profits.

Through the Sales Pipeline: Step-By-Step

Every salesperson must build an effective sales pipeline. As an essential tool to have at your disposal, it tracks your sales force’s progress from the qualifying leads to the final purchase.

Similar to the sales management funnel, it follows the customer journey like so:

  1. Prospecting for potential sales opportunities by finding your audience, using everything from social media and your online landing page to broadcast and print-based media.
  2. Selecting the qualifying leads by knowing who will waste your time and who won’t.
  3. Initiating contact by following up on leads, whether through phone calls and emails or even invitations to online events such as a webinar.
  4. Building relationships with potential customers, ranging from responding to feedback or even interacting through LinkedIn.
  5. Finishing the deal and making the sale, leaving room for your customers to repeat the sales cycle in the future.

The Digital Marketing Funnel and How It Affects Your Business

The first step in the digital marketing funnel is driving traffic to your website by placing an ad, post, or simply using quality SEO.

Next, you need to make an impact with a powerful landing page. Turning that traffic into sales is crucial, as the next stage of the sales funnel management system begins as soon as people arrive at your website.

Let people know what you’re about immediately and hold their interest in any way possible.

Look at case studies for inspiration. For instance, you may be offering discounted classic novels, in which case you’ll want to appeal to a literate audience. Perhaps using a few famous author quotes could help?

What is sales funnel success without teamwork
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Working With Your Sales Team

Your sales force is instrumental in helping you achieve your goals, which will empower you to better understand your customers’ needs. Working together, you can create effective white papers and templates to help map out the sales funnel stages with more clarity.

While a marketing automation funnel system will take much of the workload, customers interacting with people can make all the difference.

Not only that, but they can find points you missed, providing a fresh perspective.

From engaging human-driven content marketing to establishing a bond with your customers, use people where you can. Balancing between sales reps and automation software is key.

Customer Relations – CRM Affecting Types of Sales Funnels

Customer relationship management (CRM) is used for streamlining the sales funnel management system. This automation removes the stress of menial tasks, such as checkouts and website navigation.

Instead, you can focus on attracting customers and then holding their attention during the middle of the funnel. It also means you can alleviate any qualms they may have, removing any potential pain points from the sales process.

A CRM system may not be the be-all and end-all, but it does go a long way.

Learning the Right Sales Process for You

From the top to the bottom of the funnel, knowing your customers’ wants is half the battle. Showcasing that on your ideal platform is the next step.

Some good examples include a music label providing samples or a games company offering a short demo. Get your customers interacting with the product and show them what they’re missing.

This engagement will ensure retention, as you allow your goods to speak for themselves.

Lead generation funnel results
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Final Thoughts: Getting Better Sales Funnel Management

There’s always room to continue working towards the perfect sales funnel, as sales funnel management is a constantly evolving process. When you have a clear marketing strategy, you should be well on your way to attracting the customers you want.

Once all of that’s in place, you can build up your storefront, which you can effortlessly start online today with Bluehost.

  • Machielle Thomas

    Machielle is a content enthusiast who has a passion for bridging the gap between audiences and brands through impactful storytelling. Machielle has also spoken at dozens of WordCamps throughout the years.

    Texas State University
    Previous Experience
    Brand Content, Content Marketing, Brand Lead, Operations Lead, Course Instructor
    Other publications
    Shopify, Contently
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