Reasons You Need A Sales Funnel: Benefits & Advantages

What is a sales funnel? What is it for and how to set it up?

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As with all relationships in the digital environment, in the world of online shopping, everything happens much faster than in physical stores. This is because the purchase process is done in the same space: the screen.
 
But then, how not to lose a customer to “the next site”? The answer is not simple, but it is effective: mapping the purchase journey and having a very well structured sales funnel.
 
If you’ve never heard of a sales funnel, don’t worry! This post was made to help you. We will tell you what it is, what its steps are, why you need it, and how to build your own sales funnel in digital marketing

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1. What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is a strategic model used by the marketing and sales areas of companies to map the key moments of the consumer acquisition flow, together with the customer’s purchase journey. It can also be called a sales pipeline.

This model (represented, literally, by a funnel ) divides the purchase decision process into three stages:

1. Top of the funnel (or ToFu);
2. Middle of the funnel (or MoFu);
3. Bottom of the funnel (or BoFu).

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2. What are the stages of the sales funnel?

The sales funnel is divided into three stages.

Let's take a look at the characteristics of each of them:

2.1. Top of the funnel

The top of the funnel (ToFu) is the discovery phase, where there is awareness of a need and awareness of your brand.

In other words, in this part of the funnel are people who didn’t necessarily have a problem or were looking for a specific product.

This is the typical case of someone who is browsing social media, sees an interesting ad for a cool brand, and ends up buying a product they didn’t need, but ends up falling in love with the product.

Here, we are still talking about the first phase of the purchase journey: that moment when the person becomes a potential customer because they end up being interested in your brand and/or what it offers.

The consumer can make the purchase right away or take days, or even weeks, to move through the funnel.

So your challenge here is to create strategies that take the person as quickly as possible to the next stage of the funnel.

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2.2. Middle of the funnel

In the middle of the funnel are people who have already identified with the need or desire to buy the product or service.

This is where remarketing strategies come in to rescue that user and rekindle the person’s interest in your brand.

You know when you Google a product and then spend weeks seeing ads for similar products from different sites and brands?

Well, this is the most common remarketing strategy.

Another option is email marketing, which can be used to bring content, exclusive offers, and special discount coupons to try to win back the customer.

For this strategy to work, you need to capture leads, that is, potential consumers who give their contact information in exchange for some benefit (such as a discount coupon or an e-book on an interesting subject, for example).

If your company offers high value services that require a decision maturation process, such as a course, for example, a good solution is to have a relationship ruler like a newsletter.

Thus, you gain the public’s trust, gaining relevance to the moment of purchase.

In the middle of the funnel, it’s time to communicate with that potential customer and not let them forget about you!

A good option is to offer exclusive discounts for those who have registered on the site and nurture this base of future customers with special advantages.

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2.3. Bottom of the funnel

The user returned to your site after the remarketing strategy and is now at the bottom of the funnel.

This means that this customer is about to close the deal and it’s time to not let them slip away.
 
As soon as they puts products in his cart, remind him of the discount for the first purchase.

Make them a flash offer to cause a sense of urgency and get him closer and closer to the end of the purchase journey in your store.
 
At this stage, the customer is just a few steps away from completing the process.

Therefore, it is time to play the final card for conversion.

In these cases, mental triggers, such as showing a few items in stock or determining a deadline for the offer to end, can be decision-makers.

3. What is the sales funnel for?

The sales funnel is used to predict and track the path taken by the potential buyer from their first contact with your brand to making a purchase on your website.
 
From the prediction of your persona’s behavior through the customer journey and the sales funnel model, it is possible to create actions specifically aimed at each stage of this model and, consequently, conquer more consumers.

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4. How to build a sales funnel?

Setting up a sales funnel is a laborious task, but one that can pay off a lot. So, check out the step-by-step guide to plan yours:

4.1. Map the shopping journey

The purchase journey is the path your customer takes to make a purchase from your company. To determine how this journey takes place, it is necessary to know your audience in depth.

Therefore, it is necessary to do research and understand some important things.

Those things are:

#1. What kind of content does your audience consume on the internet?
#2. Who are the possible digital influencers to help you in the persuasion process?
#3. What do your customers consider when choosing a product?
#4. How long, on average, does it take them to go through the journey and make a purchase decision?
#5. How do they make the process of comparing brands and products?
#6. What drives them to give up on a purchase?

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With all this information in hand, you will be able to design your customers’ purchase journey and better understand which are the most important moments for your website and the opportunities that you cannot miss.
 
Keep in mind that, most of the time, this journey will not be linear, since several factors from online and offline can influence the decision.

But that doesn’t mean you should give up, just that you need to be aware of this particularity of the online consumer.

4.2. Define milestones and strategy for each of your funnel stages

When we talk about important moments and unmissable opportunities to sell online, we cannot leave out milestones.

They are the crucial moments of your journey, that is, the ones where you can win the customer for good or lose a sale. It is precisely in these moments that you need to invest most of your strategy.

But, after all, what can be a crucial moment in your journey?

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Let's see examples of an online store sales journey milestones:

#1. Adverts

It’s the moment when your customers see an ad for your brand or watch a digital influencer’s story about your products.

These seconds are an important decision moment between continuing to scroll through your social media feed or heading to your website and seeing more.

#2. Coupons

When the person enters your website, you can take the opportunity to capture a lead (offering the benefit of the discount to him in exchange for his contact) and still get an incentive with a 15% discount coupon for the first purchase.

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#3. Browsing experience

When browsing your e-commerce, points of the browsing experience can also be milestones.

The first aspect to highlight is the ease with which the customer finds something of interest and adds it to the cart.

The more fluid the experience, the less time he will have to give up on the purchase.

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#4. Shopping cart

The shopping cart is also a big milestone.

Here, advantages such as payment flexibility, either with the various options and possibilities for installments, or delivery facilitations, such as free shipping or “lightning delivery,” can be good triggers for the customer to be convinced to take advantage of the opportunity.

#5. After sales

Will the milestones run out after your customer buys? Nope.

To retain a customer, it is very important to have a good after-sales policy.

This means keeping the customer informed of the product lead time and notifying them of status updates such as “order confirmed,” “order shipped,” etc.
 
These points control expectations and make the shopping experience more satisfying.

That way, you earn the trust of your customers.

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4.3. Measure your results.

After putting your funnel into practice, you need to measure the results of each stage of the funnel.

Continuing with the case of the virtual store, it's time to understand:

#1. Is the influencer’s story or social media ad bringing new customers to your website?
#2. The discount coupon you offer on the first purchase is used by how many people? Does it have a good conversion rate?
#3. What is your shopping cart drop rate?

In addition to these analyses, it is possible to invest in qualitative research to understand the reasons for dropouts.

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Therefore, try to find the right answer tto he following questions:

#1. If people browse your site for a long time but don’t buy anything, are they finding what they’re looking for? Are they not trusting your website?
#2. If they put several products in their cart and give up, what’s the reason? Price? Payment methods? Is shipping too expensive? Is delivery time too long?

There are many tools to track these metrics, and each company has its own preferences.

However, a good option to track these indicators for free is Google Analytics.

With answers to these questions, you can modify your planning and adjust the strategy of each step to improve their performance as needed.

5. How important is the sales funnel in digital marketing?

The sales funnel is important because, by mapping your buyer persona’s journey and defining the strategies for each stage, you know exactly what to do to win your customers.

Thus, you decrease the loss of potential customers along the journey.
 
In addition, with a well-structured funnel, you can monitor the flow of your customers and understand the key moments of your brand’s purchase journey.

That way, you can keep improving your strategies to increase conversions more and more.
 
For example, if you have an e-commerce that sells accessories and your audience is made up of young women who have access to a lot of content on the internet, you need to get their attention quickly.

This can be done with an ad on social media or a story from a digital influencer that your audience follows, for example.
 
This is an effective top-of-the-funnel strategy

However, if potential customers do not take any action upon entering your site, it may indicate that your mid-funnel strategy is not so well thought out.

With a well-structured funnel, defined metrics, and continuous monitoring of the conversion of each of the phases, you will discover where your points of improvement are and you will be able to plan actions and campaigns to act on these focuses.

6. Seven tips to apply in your e-commerce sales funnel

At first glance, the sales funnel may seem like a seven-headed beast.

But don’t be alarmed: with the right practices, it is possible to design an assertive strategy for your business and increase your conversion rate.

In e-commerce, the sales funnel goes hand in hand with Inbound Marketing (or attraction marketing), a very effective strategy for generating and nurturing leads.

Through content of interest to your audience, it is possible to make customers spontaneously arrive at your store.

With that in mind, here are seven tips to help you build an efficient strategy for your online store:

6.1. Work with attractive offers

Whether through blogposts, videos, posts on social networks, email marketing, or banners in your e-commerce, your offer needs to catch the consumer’s attention at first contact.
 
Therefore, think of campaigns that are competitive in relation to the market in which you operate.

Explore the possibilities: when we talk about e-commerce, the ways to create promotions are diverse, such as free shipping, discounts by quantity of items, etc.

In addition, it is important to consider two balance points when creating offers:

#1. The competition is right next door, so it’s crucial to stand out among the rest;
#2. The offer needs to be attractive, but it cannot fail to be profitable and positive for your business.

6.2. Be objective

In e-commerce, not to lose sales, everything must happen very fast !

Therefore, we need to work with fast and effective methods of attraction.

For this, nothing is more effective than objectivity.
 
With so much information available, we need to focus on the right words to grab the user’s attention.

Before creating a campaign or publishing content, try to understand how your target audience will view the materials and if they are catchy and easy to understand.
 
For example, if the idea is to create a promotion for the first purchase, avoid information such as: “Click and check the special condition for the first purchase.”

This kind of approach can make the user give up on clicking.

Bet on more direct language, such as: “Go to the store and get 15% off your first purchase.”
 
Notice the difference? The second example not only invites the user to access the store, but also makes it clear that he will have access to a promotion and the value of the discount.

In this way, the chances of visits are greater.

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6.3. Focus on the user and their needs

Knowing consumer behavior is very useful when creating content and campaigns.

That’s because our customers don’t advance through the funnel stages together.

Therefore, they will not respond in the same way to certain stimuli.
 
So, when designing a strategy, know exactly which group of customers you want to reach (those at the top, middle, or bottom of the funnel) and focus on their needs.

Once we understand exactly what that portion of our target audience is looking for—and how they do it—it’s easier to deliver the solutions they need.
 
A very effective practice is to observe how people search in search engines like Google.

By identifying keywords in tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, for example, we have the opportunity to optimize our content and campaigns with the right terms, increasing the chances that users will reach them.
 
Having a website and content optimized for SEO, that is, for search engines, will make more people come to your online store without you having to pay for ads.

6.4. Provide quality content

Competition in e-commerce is not limited to stores that operate in the same niche market as you.

The competition for good spots on the internet is quite fierce, which is exactly why we need to deliver quality content to users.

In addition to understanding what your target audience is looking for, you also need to deliver the answers they need, right?

Just imagine if a user enters your blog and comes across shallow or incomplete content.

The image he will create of your brand will certainly not be positive.

Therefore, understand what your audience needs and deliver the best possible solutions.

In this way, you develop a relationship of trust between consumer and brand — and this is crucial for them to advance in the sales funnel.

6.5. Use simple forms.

One of the most effective techniques for getting contact data is forms.

Typically, to ensure positive buy-in, we need to offer something as a bargaining chip (an e-book, a catalog, a discount coupon, etc.).
 
However, it is very common for customers to give up when filling out the form.

Either because of the excess of information requested or because of that same laziness. So, for lead capture, focus on simple forms.
 
When creating the form, think about the information that is really important to you at this first moment.

Typically, the essential data is name, email, and phone. So try not to go too far beyond what is necessary.
 
If your intention is to do some kind of research, draw the actions separately.

Thus, the results of the fundraising form are not compromised.
 
Keep in mind that asking for only the necessary information and making clear the reasons why you request that data will not only result in a better user experience, but will also be in compliance with the principles set out in the General Data Protection Law (LGPD).

6.6. Make good use of CTAs

The CTA (Call to Action) — is a very important element of digital marketing.

It is nothing more than a text, in a button or hyperlink, that clearly informs the next step that the user should take.
 
Through it, it is possible to encourage the user to do something, such as: download, buy a product, sign up for your newsletter, etc.

To create effective CTAs, it is important to think about a few details, such as:

#1. CTA layout and location with high visibility;
#2. Flashy colors and fonts;
#3. Attractive call.

6.7. Use catchy language

Last but not least, let’s talk about proper language.

This tip works in conjunction with almost all of the ones seen above, as it deals with how we will communicate with our target audience.
 
Everything users read on our site needs to be functional, that is, somehow direct them through the stages of the sales funnel until they become customers.

Therefore, it is necessary to use language that catches the reader’s attention.

Your customers need to be able to avoid losing interest and leaving the page without taking any action, especially if we’re talking about a sales page.
 
In this way, try to communicate objectively and intuitively, focusing on the points that can draw the public’s attention.

For example, if the idea is to promote a section of products, use clear headlines that provoke the interest of those who are reading.

7. Five benefits of the sales funnel

Is it worth investing in the sales funnel with so much work?

We have separated five benefits that will convince you that this is a valid strategy for your business.

7.1. Improves productivity

With well-designed strategies, it is easier to focus on actions that can, in fact, produce good results.

The sales funnel allows you to work with approaches to customers at different stages, and thus the plan becomes much more effective.

7.2. Facilitates the identification of opportunities

The sales funnel makes it possible to monitor, in real time, the behavior of your audience and how it advances your strategy.

With this, you can more easily identify opportunities to improve your business prospecting and conversion processes.

7.3. Makes predicting results clearer

Measuring results is a fundamental part of managing the sales funnel.

Therefore, since this methodology allows you to observe the progress of users between the different stages of the funnel, it is easier to understand the effects of each action.

7.4. Optimize business management

With the funnel stages properly aligned, your company’s commercial management becomes more practical.

This is because it is possible to design and monitor the development of strategies separately, according to each stage of the funnel

7.5. Brings inputs for product development

With frequent monitoring of how customers behave, what they are looking for, and what they need, we can understand what improvements we need to make and even what innovations we should invest in.

These inputs are very rich for any business, as they allow you to follow the right path according to the needs of your target audience.

8. CRM: The Sales Funnel Tool

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tool that automates all customer contact actions and can be very useful in ensuring that your sales funnel strategy works.
 
Once you have structured your conversion steps, purchase journey, and personas, CRM marketing can deliver exact and didactic results, in addition to making the management of the entire process much easier.
 
With the use of a CRM, you can develop a funnel according to your business goals.

In addition, you can centralize the information needed to track the progress of your strategy.

Check out the main advantages of using a CRM:

#1. Process automation;
#2. Customer follow-up;
#3. Relationship history;
#4. Registration of information and data;
#5. Outcome forecasts.

If you’re interested and need help finding the ideal CRM for your company, check out the ten super-functional systems below to get started with the sales funnel:

1. Answer

2. PipeRun

3. Mosquito

4. High Sales

5. Systeme.io

6. Zoho

7. RD Station

8. HubSpot

9. Agent

10. Salesforce

Conclusion

Designing a sales funnel is a long process. You will need to invest in targeted digital marketing strategies for each stage of the funnel, and finally, constantly measure the results of each one.

Despite this, the end result is what every entrepreneur expects: sales optimization and increasingly better conversion rates.

Well, that’s it. We’ve got to the end of our article: Reasons You Need A Sales Funnel: Benefits & Advantages.

We hope that you enjoyed reading this article and got some helpful advice from it.

Feel free to comment and share this post.
Thanks!!

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