Last Updated on July 5, 2023 by Justin Su
Nowadays, the consumer takes time and puts in effort when making a purchasing decision in order to do so as a well-informed customer. As the business leader, you are responsible for engaging the client through each stage of their buying experience if you hope to convert the leads.
With adequate sales funnel data, a company will see the experience from the consumer’s viewpoint following their journey from the beginning to the end. Without incorporating these critical stages, the selling process can’t be optimized. With each passing year, there are significant changes in the selling process.
The market now is exceptionally customer-centric, meaning the client needs to be at the heart of any strategy you implement. A primary focus for any business is customer retention. When looking at a sales funnel today, there are six stages to consider. Let’s look at these in depth.
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What Are The Stages Of A Sales Funnel
For the consumer, the stages of a sales funnel leading up to retention describe the customer’s experience before the ultimate purchase of a good or selection of a service.
Retention is the final stage revolving around the critical component of establishing loyalty, preventing a separation between the client and the company. Go here for details on how to build a sales funnel.
A total of six stages make up each sales funnel, including “awareness, interest, consideration, intent, purchase, and retention.” The customer will have individual experiences at each level of the funnel.
- Top-level: The level where the consumer’s journey begins. The need is apparent with the client-finding your company when researching solutions.
- Middle level: The need has become definitive while the customer looks for varied options to solve the problem.
- Bottom level: The client is fully informed in order to make an educated decision when selecting an adequate solution to satisfy their issue.
The sales funnel with its six stages defined is as follows:
● Awareness as stage one
A buyer’s journey starts the moment a consumer recognizes an issue that needs solving using a specific product or service. This is the point when the customer is unsure where to begin their search and what exactly will resolve their problem; many questions must be answered.
The goal for a business leader is to ensure the information provided by their company is detailed and informative to answer any question a client could have. As a rule, potential customers will use search engines to become informed and to look for answers to solve their challenges.
A suggestion for marketing strategies for businesses attempting to attract leads at this stage is to incorporate SEO (search engine optimization, social networking, and draw people to your website using promotional events, an area where there will also be educational literature. It’s important to steer clear of aggressive selling content instead of offering answers to the client’s difficulties.
● Interest as stage two
After becoming aware of your business or reaching the first “touchpoint,” the consumer becomes a lead. It would help if you then progressed them through the funnel by creating interest.
At this point, customers are looking at their different options to see which will work the best for their needs. Some methods for drawing the client towards your business are describing the benefits, explaining the features, showing videos on how to use the products, and letting the experts speak through podcasts or webinars.
You can guide a consumer through this stage by allowing them to schedule a meeting, reach out for a demo, or complete a form on the site. Your method will determine whether they move forward or leave the funnel. The goal for the client at this stage is to become educated in order to make the best decision.
● Consideration as stage three
The client is now assessing your company while evaluating the potential for other solutions that might better suit their needs. You’ll want to cast away any potential doubts a consumer might have or objections, perhaps with a free trial, case studies or customer reviews, training videos or product demos, anything to secure their decision.
As a business leader, during this stage, the indication is you should also be evaluating whether these goods or services are ideal for the client as well, referenced as “lead qualification.” That requires knowing which questions to ask to determine the perfect lead in order to filter the pool so the company can concentrate on those capable of the most significant impact.
● Intent as stage four
A “high-intent” lead is one that is consistently engaging with the company through varied touchpoints. The individuals who fit the “lead qualification” are often on the website where they interact with the product pages. These consumers must be constantly engaged, meaning you want the client to have the most valuable experience at this stage.
A proposal should be directly associated with the client’s challenge with information on how these products will benefit the consumer in solving the issue. All objections should have a response.
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● Purchase as stage 5
Stage 5 is when a business leader sees the results of all their work with marketing and sales. This is the action stage when a client is converted into an actual customer. This is where you can assess your conversion rate to see how successful the sales funnel is and where improvements need to be made.
● Retention as stage 6
Most times, sales funnels will end at the purchase stage, but if you intend to “future-proof” the business with loyal consumers rather than those who buy once and move on, you need to concentrate on retention.
This is an opportunity to educate further on the goods or service, offer examples of varied use cases, and present added features or related options that can further solve their challenge successfully.
When you establish a sound consumer relationship, these individuals will advocate for your brand, offer positive reviews, and share by word of mouth on social networks their opinions and impressions with recommendations to try your solution. That will give you the opportunity to enhance awareness and maximize the sales funnel’s influence.