Sales aren’t something you can "freestyle."

Sales aren’t something you can “freestyle.”

You need structure and you obviously need some sort of process.
What is the problem in today's sales industry? They drown in daily tasks and to-do lists. From follow-ups and demos to cold outreach and beyond, it can take time to keep all your prospects and customer relationships in order.
What is the best way to cope with this? Start breaking your sales process and customer communication into smaller, more manageable stages.
That’s where your sales funnel comes into place.

Rather than treating your prospects as one-size-fits-all, a sales funnel streamlines the process of taking a lead from a total stranger to someone who is sale-ready.

What is a sales funnel, and how does it work?

A sales funnel represents the stages of your customer journey from beginning to end. Each stage is a progression from the moment someone learns about your product until they’re eventually ready to make a purchase.
At Revocare Solutions, we have divided the sales funnel into

  • Lead In: the stage where the marketing team creates eye-catching content to get in customers.

  • Contacting: The customer shows interest in the post and schedules an appointment with one of our agents.

  • Qualification: Our agent gets in touch with the customer and asks certain questions to make sure they know the product.

  • Meetup: The customer is set for a meeting with a dedicated account manager to take them through the process.

  • Close deal: The customer ends up showing a massive interest in the product and the account manager closes the deal.

  • Retention: The dedicated account manager makes sure the customer, by any chance, does not leave, helps them out with every step, and makes sure they are satisfied with the service.

The concept of the funnel is simple: each stage of progression requires a different set of marketing and sales activities to keep people moving.
For example, you wouldn’t pitch someone hearing about your product for the first time the same way you’d pitch someone who’s a customer of one of your competitors.

Why does defining your sales funnel matter so much?

You most likely already have some sort of funnel in place.
For example, do you run ads? or conduct email outreach? Run product demos.
Each of these activities is part of your existing funnel. That said, many businesses don’t consciously think about individual stages or creating a structured process that moves people from point A to point B.
Now, let’s look at the funnel itself.
What is the top of the sales funnel? Well, think of a literal funnel. The widest part (the top), which represents the majority of your leads out there, are most likely people who have only a passing knowledge of your product or service.
The problem is that some businesses may focus solely on the top of the funnel, which means they end up missing out on bottom-of-the-funnel leads.
Why is that significant?
Because these folks are already at the stage where they’re interested in your product or service—they just need a bit of an extra push to actually make a purchase!
Maybe that means running a demo call or encouraging them to sign up for a webinar. In any case, sales (and marketing) teams cannot treat leads with the same level of product knowledge.
Beyond that, let’s look at some key benefits of having a solid sales funnel.

It’s easier to align your sales and marketing goals

In many companies, sales teams struggle because of a lack of alignment with marketing. The converse is also often true.
On the flip side, research shows that teams with aligned marketing and sales goals experience greater customer retention, higher win rates, and more revenue.
A sales funnel helps you make sure that your company’s marketing materials address the right prospects at each part of the funnel. For example, you might create general “how-to” blog posts for folks at the top of the funnel and specific webinars highlighting your product in action for someone at the bottom of the funnel.
This also signals the need for internal communications between your sales and marketing teams. Salespeople should be willing to share their insights and experiences when talking to prospects. Meanwhile, marketers could let Sales know what sorts of campaigns and messaging are their top performers.

It encourages your sales team to be more proactive.

Remember what we said earlier about sales teams being overwhelmed?
Recent research notes that a big reason that the average salesperson is struggling to meet their quotas is because of the many time-consuming tasks on their plates.
This is yet again where the sales funnel concept can help. By looking at your prospects in their respective stages, it’s much easier to figure out “what’s next” with them in terms of sales activities.
For example, it makes much more sense to prioritize a follow-up with someone who requested a demo versus someone who just signed up for your email list or downloaded an eBook. In the case where a salesperson is up to date on all of their follow-ups, they can begin researching or conducting cold outreach.
In short, a sales funnel encourages a more proactive approach to sales by sorting prospects into tiers based on how close they are to, well, closing.

It helps you pinpoint weaknesses in your sales cycle

Every company has weaknesses in its sales funnel, even if they don’t know it.
Let’s say your sales team is great at getting people to the demo stage but just can’t seem to convert deals from there. This could signal a problem with your approach to demos. (Perhaps they’re too long, not in-depth enough, etc.)
By identifying these issues, you can take steps to "fill" these gaps—and thus generate more customers.

What do you need to build a sales funnel?

Good question. A sales funnel isn’t necessarily something you have to “build,” per se.
Instead, consider the actions you need to take in this process—like communicating with your team, moving your prospects through the stages, and tracking your success each step of the way.

Marketing campaigns, tools, and analytics

You can’t have a sales funnel with a constant influx of prospects and leads.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the inbound marketing strategies available to businesses that can start at the top of the funnel:

  • Lead magnets (think: free guides, eBooks)

  • Email newsletters

  • Social media ads

  • Google ads

  • Website SEO

  • Marketing videos

  • Blog posts

These tactics and resources are perfect for reeling people in and building interest in your products. For example, someone who exchanges their phone number or email in exchange for a demo or opens your emails at a super high rate is likely a good candidate for sales outreach. From there, you can move them through your funnel.
The marketing strategies you use are entirely dependent on your company. In most cases, you need a combination of campaigns working in tandem to attract leads.

A CRM system

A CRM system allows you to track and make notes for each customer at each stage of their journey.
Based on your prospects’ actions, you can see which stage of the funnel they’re at.
Your CRM is also crucial to ensuring that you follow up with your leads and prospects in a timely manner.

A communications platform

Now, this is where it all comes together. When we talk about “moving” people through your funnel, we’re talking about having conversations with them.
Phone calls. Emails. Live chat and video meetings The list of channels where you can use different sales techniques goes on and on.
Regardless of how you get in touch, you need a communications platform to do the heavy lifting.
If you want a more streamlined approach to sales, structuring your sales funnel should be a top priority. Simply understanding the differences between funnel stages and how to appeal to prospects at each level ensures that your sales process makes sense.