Assess your Sales Funnel, Find What Fuels your Business

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7 min. read

Sales, at first, seem dead simple: people see your product, most won’t buy it, and some will become customers. You just have to convince the ones who won't buy.

But there is way more to this.

From the first touchpoint to the closed deal, prospects follow a path filled with considerable deliberation. In other words, persuading people to pay is a much more complex process.

To add complexity, every business will see its customers follow a different path based on the product they sell and the profile of the eventual buyers.

Fortunately, persuading people to pay is an art, with muses known by the names of Marketing and Sales.

And one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal to enhance your sales process is the Sales Funnel.

We will now explore what a Sales Funnel is, and how to analyze yours using Blobr.

Here are the steps we will follow:

  • What is a Sales Funnel?
  • The different steps of the Sales Funnel and questions to explore yours

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is a method to understand, visualize, and strategize the journey your prospects take to become customers. It is divided into several steps on which you can act to optimize and enhance your sales process.

What’s striking about the sales funnel at first is its shape.

It is indeed shaped like a funnel, meaning that the top is wide and narrows down towards the end.

What’s compelling about the sales funnel is the simplicity of its shape and its adaptability to most types of businesses.

The benefits of establishing a clear view of your sales funnel are:

  • Gaining a better understanding of the factors driving conversion,
  • Building a more analytical view of your sales process,
  • Mapping the marketing actions you have already taken, and thinking of new ones.

We will now delve into the details of the different steps of the sales funnel, keeping in mind that every business can have a different approach.

The Different Steps of the Sales Funnel

We can broadly summarize the sales funnel into four phases: Awareness, Interest, Intent, and Conversion.

The first two steps are more in the domain of marketing, while the Intent phase is shared between marketing and sales, and Conversion is more firmly on the sales side.

More complex examples of sales funnels involve steps after the purchase, like loyalty or upselling.

A typical sales funnel for subscription-based businesses and e-commerce.

Awareness

This is the entry door and first contact of your prospect with your business.

This step can take several forms, all related to different forms of marketing: ads, SEO pages, cold mailing and outbound campaigns, referrals, etc.

With a tool like Google Analytics, you can assess the sources of traffic on your website, giving you essential clues about the state of awareness for your business.

Sources alone aren’t enough to get the view you need to understand the main drivers of traffic.

The sources of referral will give you a snapshot of the origin of your visitors.

Finally, another perspective is the most viewed webpages: they indicate both the most important entry points of your website and the interest of your visitors.

Interest

What makes a visitor a prospect?

Some will say that every visitor on your website is a prospect.

But this isn’t necessarily true.

One common misconception about this step is that the more people you shove into your funnel, the more sales you will achieve.

The risk with this strategy is to enlarge the top of your funnel, but in a way that won’t bring reliable prospects, leading to bounces.

To assess if your marketing strategy is aligned with your offering and message, you can check the following datapoint:

1. Time spent on your website: If there are discrepancies between where you show up and the message on your website, people will bounce almost instantly. If not, they will tend to read more carefully your landing page and visit more webpages.

2. Events: With good tracking of the activities on your website, you can determine what signs indicate visitors developing interest in your product. This can be by scrolling a specific page, clicking on certain elements, visiting the pricing page, etc.
This question will give you all you need to know about specific segments of your audience, notably the source of acquisition.

Intent

This is the last step before turning your prospect into a customer.

At this point, your curious visitors are starting to really know your product or offerings and are about to come on board.

Depending on your business, you can consider Intent several actions:

  • For self-served subscription-based businesses, a free signup can be considered a sign of intent,
  • For tools with limited access, it can be a wide array of initial contact actions: a question asked on your support chat, a meeting booked, etc.
  • For e-commerce, it can be a cart filled with no transaction.

Once your prospect gives personal information like an email, you can consider them to have demonstrated an Intent action.

People at this step are now known prospects and should feature in your CRM.

Now that you have attracted your visitors and succeeded in creating interest to the point of making them take actions, you can assess what’s working to iterate better.

A good way is to compare the acquisition channels of your visitors — the question we asked in Awareness — with those of your prospects:

And with this additional question, this time to get the acquisition channel of your paid customers, you’ll be able to have a complete view of your funnel.

Another way to assess the success of your content is to compare which specific content on your website generates user engagement on Google Analytics, compared to users who accomplished an intent action.

Conversion

Intent is not the end, and the ultimate goal is to monetize the signup or actually convert that filled cart, and more importantly, encourage your customers to upgrade or come back for more.

And, of course, avoid churn.

We covered this aspect in another guide, so here, we’ll focus on spotting signs of upgrading opportunities, and understanding what caused you to lose some deals.

Let's begin with the positive.

For subscription-based businesses, every user who turns out to follow their own path on the road to upgrading.

Here, we’ll take all the signals of those users who upgraded during a specific timeframe, to understand if some pattern exists.

It can be an increased activity on your documentation, more interactions with Sales, a ticket solved at lightning speed… everything you can iterate on other accounts is important.

For e-commerce businesses, we’ll look at both the interaction and the purchasing frequency. With the idea to spot the correlations between specific actions you took and purchases.

Of course, you can’t win them all, but you can catch up on some of your lost deals.

Understanding what made you lose those deals is crucial in improving your sales workflow.

And mapping the reasons can help you respond to several questions:

  • Is the quality of leads brought to Sales involved? Too many lost deals with a bunch of similarities can make you rethink your personas, or ICP.
  • Are there any discrepancies between what you’re offering and the final product? Between the marketing message, and the actual product, some of your leads can feel lost.
  • Is the product involved? Missing features, long delays to solve tickets can make you lose a bunch on free trials who would have converted otherwise.

This only covers some of the reasons.

The following question will provide you with a clearer picture of why you lost some of your deals:

You will find that there is always something you can improve to win the next one.

And if you find any issues you need to solve while building your sales funnel, check out our Library! We’ve got your back.

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