The sales pipeline from the English language is a tool that every entrepreneur should be familiar with. The funnel is used to describe a several-step sales process in which at each subsequent level, there are fewer buyers, but those most interested in the product. The purpose of its use in planning sales and marketing activities is to increase the efficiency and increase the company’s income. See what a sales funnel is and how to put it into practice.
Use of a sales funnel
The sales funnel can be used both in large companies and small enterprises of SMEs. It will work very well everywhere. It will allow you to divide the sales process into individual stages. Thanks to this, it will be easy to determine which client should be dealt with first and to what extent. The sales funnel also allows you to define the stages at which individual customers are, which will make the sales department know how to approach the conversation with him and what to propose to them, so that they go to the next stage. A sales funnel is also good tools for forecasting the results of individual employees and the entire company.
Sales funnel and sales stages
The sales funnel divides sales into 7 stages. Each of them is associated with a specific action that can be taken by a trader and marketer. In the first stage there are the so-called potential customers. We know nothing about these customers, no one has contacted them, but the market analysis shows that they may be interested in the company’s products or services. Potential customers are defined as cold leds. This means that there is still a long way to go to buy a product. First, the customer should find out about the company. For this to happen, the potential customer goes to the next stage of sales, which is the prospectus. The first contact usually takes place here – by phone or e-mail. Its purpose is to initially determine the needs and determine whether the company is able to meet them. If so, the next rung in the sales funnel. It identifies the exact needs and provides an approximate cost of solving them. Then you should contact the decision-making person in the field of purchases, he should confirm the needs, accept the solution and the approximate cost, as a result of which he submits a binding offer. At the next stage of the sales funnel, negotiations take place, covering the price, terms, delivery and other essential elements. If the order has been placed, the customer goes to the top of the sales funnel. For the company, this means that she won and led the customer through the entire sales process.
How to build a sales funnel?
The sales funnel should be adapted to the process taking place in the company. The one given above is only an example, not everywhere, e.g. conditions can be negotiated. When building a sales funnel, however, remember that it is widest at the bottom and narrowest at the top. An important value of the sales funnel is also the determination of the duration of the entire sales cycle and its individual stages. For each stage, appropriate actions performed by employees should be assigned to move clients to a higher level.