My studies focused on generating awareness, I am grateful I have had the opportunity to learn how to manage leads through the sales funnel. Here are the basics:
Awareness – The first step of the sales funnel is about shouting your name as loud as possible. The more people that hear you the better. At this stage customers only need your name and a general understanding of your product or service, however everything is anonymous. Your customer profile only tells you were to stand with a megaphone. Tactics include a website with strong SEO, viral or promoted social media posts and ads, press coverage and etc.
Interest – Out of the pool you just created, who has the curiosity to learn more? Give your prospects the opportunity to identify themselves by offering them a whitepaper, webinar or regular newsletter. This is where the game of “sales tag” or lead management begins. Its about gently giving your customers the chance to learn more. Do not push too hard at this stage or you will spook them.
Evaluation – While a customer is weighing their options you can bet they are looking at other products and services. The amount of time spent in this phase will vary by prospect and by purchase. But there are some things you can do to tip the scales in your favor and they include a brand promise of commitment and consistency, becoming the industry authority, or by delivering value either through your product/service itself or through your relationship.
Decision and Purchase– From consumables to large purchases customers will take price, online product reviews, and friend reviews into consideration. Once their decision is made, there is little you can do to change their mind on this purchase.
Re-Evaluation – Hopefully, if you won their business the first time it is easy to win it again. However, every time you run out of a consumable you have the opportunity to re-evaluate your product choice and try something new. Contracts are re-evaluated less often but the principle remains.
Re-Purchase – Once your company has invested the time, money and resources to winning a new customer. Keep them on the short side of the funnel and turn them into a life long customer.