Sales Funnel, Sales Pipeline, Sales Recipe are concepts you hear about all the time. But did you know the Sales funnel concept was actually developed way back in 1898? That's right almost 120 years ago! It was developed by Elias St Elmo Lewis to explain the sales procedure for life insurance. (More info)
Lewis described a funnel with four distinct layers in the sales process. Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action.
This basic concept has been built on, added to and revised many times throughout the years to describe different sales cycles or procedures.
Basically, in concept, they all work the same. At the top a potential customer becomes aware of a product or service. In the mid section, that customer gains some level of interest and desire and eventually at the bottom takes action. (hopefully to purchase).
Can you apply this same principle today? How can you use this tool on your website? Well, there are tons of differing ways to implement a sales funnel so I can't just say "Sure, do a,b,c" and off you go. So let's take an idea and give you an example.
Let's imagine that you are the Acme Widget Co. and you have just developed the new X1 Widget. How do you get the millions in sales you deserve for this great new product? What would the sales funnel look like?
1. Awareness: At the top (awareness) you get the word out, make people aware that the new X1 exists. This is where potential clients enter the funnel. Maybe a blog post, a Social Media post, advertising, word of mouth, all of these... But some way or another the potential customer hears about the X1 and enters the funnel.
2. Interest: In the next section (interest) your potential client is deciding if they have any interest in the new X1, What does it do, what does it look like, how will it solve my problem etc, etc. This is where you give them information and more information, you gauge their interest in the X1. Now some potentials will drop out of the funnel here and at each level so it's your job to minimize that number and reintroduce them back into the funnel if possible.
3. Desire: The next level is desire. This is where they realize they might want an X1, maybe it will solve a problem for them, maybe they like the look of it. In this section, your job is to show them why the need this new X1 how their life will be better with it. All the great things they could accomplish with an X1, you get the idea, build the desire.
4. Action: The bottom section is action. Hopefully, the action they take is to purchase, but they may ask for more information, they may ask for a specification or if it will do XYZ. So you comply and provide more information (which is sending them back into the funnel at a higher level.)
The idea is that if you make them aware, give them information, answer all their questions, overcome all their purchasing obstacles they will become the proud (and happy) owner of a shiny new X1.
This then leads to yet another level, Satisfaction. This is where you continue to "take care" of your new X1 owner so that they will come back for the X2 and send their friends to do the same.
Simple, right? Well, the concept is simple but most sales funnels are much more complex. You need to identify the necessary steps in your sales funnel and then build the content, autoresponders, and other processes to build awareness, start the flow and keep the funnel full of prospects at all times. Identify and plug the leaks, add the information necessary to build the desire and overcome the purchasing obstacles and then assure satisfaction.
Until next time,
Director of Digital Marketing
Cotts, Inc. is a digital marketing agency specializing in helping small businesses. We are located in the small city of Pottsville in Schuylkill County, PA 17901.
We build results-driven websites, expert social media content & strategies, custom interactive kiosk systems, digital signage systems and print campaigns so your business can compete in this digital world.
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