Sales funnel refers to the journey of potential customers till they are converted to customers.It provides businesses with a framework of sales strategy from which to build out a plan.The sales funnel consists of four phases of the sales process:

1. The awareness phase:

Creating awareness is the first stage in the sales funnel when the potential customer hears of the offer, product, sales or services. At this stage in the sales funnel, the potential customer must be made aware of what the business can offer to solve his problem. The focus must be on content /information that identifies consumer segments, highlighting the potential problem and introducing the brand.

The do’s:

  • Introduce your products/brand.
  • Draw people into the Website/community
  • Educate customers about the possibilities offered by your brand
  • Initiate their journey.

The Don’ts:

  • Don’t try to hard sell Example, In Dorco’s shave talks content website, customers are educated on the possibilities of using a different razor.
  • Dorco ad gives value to people looking for solutions, without aiming for returns.The content pieces Dorco include:
  • Pre shave prep your face deserves
  • So you have an ingrown hair
  • How to get rid of razor bumps
  • Tips to help ensure your next shave is the best These content pieces provide valuable information to the customer. It may even solve their problem. There is no hard selling.

An important e commerce sales strategy is a well-honed search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) strategy that can help boost chances of capturing the attention of the customer.

Use of brand relevant key words helps increase Domain rankings (DRs). Barometers used in Google search engines include site speed, relevance and mobile-readiness which need to be boosted for the brand to rank high.

Some Do’s to increase your search results ranking and drive increased awareness stage traffic:

  • Improving user engagement on Google by writing long-form, educational content including video and/or downloadable which require clicking
  • Creating educational videos about the brand and using them in blog posts and on the homepage and in Facebook ads to drive fans.
  • Creating short, educational videos or visual content to showcase the product to advertise on Facebook and blogs to drive traffic.For example, Renogy, selling solar panels need to educate customers on why they need them, how they are made and their long-term value. They use lots of content to do this.
  • Creating tools to help educate consumers and build trust with the brand.For example, Naturally Curly uses tools to educate those with curly hair on their hair type, at the same time subtly pushing their products through as well. They do this with two tools:
  1. The Texture Quiz – this quiz lets people know the type of curly hair that they have (and the products that go best with it).
  1. Frizz Forecast lets folk drop in their zip code and are then shown their hair forecast for the next couple of days.

2. The interest phase:

Capturing interest is the second phase of sales funnel. At this stage, they are interested in what the brand offers. They are interested in learning more about the brand /product/ services. The potential customer shows interest at this stage to engage further with the brand to see what is offered.

For example Naturally curly uses its Frizz forecast to create a chance to connect their content to their product. The interest stage in the sales funnel is a chance for the potential customer to window shop.The Do’s help convert interest of potential customer to sales:

  • Appropriate use of navigation:

The user will be kept longer on the site by the use of a header that travels with him to allow him to toggle between pages.Use of filters would allow him or her to scale down the products he sees on each page. There must be a List that speaks to what he is looking for, and buttons that allow him to make a purchase.

  • Integration of social media:

Links to social media most used by potential customers establish Mutual connectivity.

  • Providing an offer with clear calls to action:

Incentives/offer/ discounts in exchange for email information Will provide a way for reaching out to the customer.

  • The Decision phase:

 This is the third stage in sales funnel when the potential customer is contemplating a purchase. At this stage, the consumer must be convinced of the value of the actual product or service.

Sales strategy to influence decision:

  • Providing Clear, compelling product descriptions with specifications and key materials.For example, Yumi has a pop out sizing chart for all its products.Beatific, the seller of a paper journal, calls out the product’s specific build and materials to help buyers understand why their journal over others.
  • Using bullet points and high-resolution visuals to display information in an easily understandable format.
  • Use of peer reviews: Written reviews make the experience valuable for potential customers.Valid complaints must be dealt with professionally and promptly.For example, Enertion Board assures customers that product reviews are real and verified – to add additional social proof for  the purchase.
  • Offering perks: Free shipping, discounts, and easy returns not only makes buying seamless, but also get customers into follow through on their purchase and make them want to buy again.

3. The Action Phase:

This is the fourth and final stage in Sales Funnel.  The customer, having decided, needs a final push into action of making a purchase. The focus must be on friction less purchasing experience.

This can be ensured by:

  • Helping customer save time, by use of transnational account Proper navigation and use of digital wallets.
  • Use of progress indicators to prevent them from navigating away.
  • Making customers aware of the site’s security to alleviate their Concerns.
  • Accepting all forms of payment: it’s crucial to meet the payment preferences of your customers