In marketing, the concept of “sales funnel” refers to the ideal process you intend your customers to experience as their status goes from Prospect to Lead to Customer and, last but not least, to Repeat Buyer.
At this point, it might be good to give several definitions in order to make the difference between a Lead and a Prospect. A Lead is an individual who has provided contact information, thus pointed towards a potential sales opportunity. Conversely, a Prospect is someone who, through two-way interactions, has shown his interest to make a purchase decision.
What is the goal of a sales funnel? The ultimate aim of using a sales funnel is to convert the “tire-kickers” into faithful customers, who enable you to create massive lifetime customer value. Just like a regular funnel, a sales funnel enables you to make things smoothier. Indeed, you don’t want your customers to spill all over the place -in other words, you don’t want to lose them- so use a sales funnel to increase the likelihood that all your targeted customers will go straight to their destination, the island of the “retained customers”. Websites and email marketing make sales funnels easier to build.
The origin of the sales funnel metaphor derives from the marketing notion of AIDA, which boils down four crucial steps to build optimal customer relationships: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. You can draw the attention to your product or service thanks to social media. You can attract prospects to your website by blogging: this leverages public content to attract more site visitors. After all, great marketing is about content. Then, you need to segment your subscribers’ list and target your marketing campaigns even more. Hone and nurture your relationship with your customers: provide value and information, learn from your leads and customers thanks to surveys for instance, and, above all, create backend products that solve your customers’ greatest problems.
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