Finding an article on the internet that talks about the sales funnel is not a difficult task. Many managers understand the concept, but are always left with doubts as to whether they have actually created and are correctly executing each stage of the sales funnel.
Not only the sales area, but also the marketing sector must view each sales step as a process that has rules, directions and actions to be taken.
And this interaction between marketing and sales is also essential to obtain exceptional results.
We created this article with the aim of showing in practice how to create the sales funnel steps, implement and execute in your company.
Importance of having well-defined steps
Every sale has its beginning, middle and end. Imagine in a company, with so many businesses coming up, how difficult is it to control at which stage each customer without having well-defined processes?
The sales funnel is a tool that organizes prospects according to the stage they are in.
The importance of having the sales funnel stages well defined according to the reality of your business are several. The manager can have a view of the whole, identify where the biggest flaws in his sales process are and plan improvement actions.
For example, he can see that the “presentation” stage (which would be the middle of the funnel) is the one with the highest rate of loss in the funnel. With this information, it is possible to invest in a solution to improve this rate, how to better train salespeople, reformulate the presentation, etc.
With standardized steps, the manager is also able to observe which businesses are really close to closing and thus predict how much he will sell at the end of the month. Having sales predictability helps keep the company healthy and growing, avoiding desperate promotions to hit targets at the end of the month.
There are countless advantages to having the sales funnel steps well defined. We will show in the next topics how you should implement and perform these steps.
Are you more interested in what a sales funnel is? See our post .
Sales funnel steps
We have already aligned some concepts and now we are going to focus on the subject of this article which is how to set up the steps of the sales funnel.
Before showing you how to create in practice, let’s share some basic steps that will help your sales team create their own process:
Here is the first contact your customer will have with the company. It is the top of your funnel, where the turnover is higher, but many contacts are also lost.
New businesses can arise through outbound prospecting , which is when the salesperson himself seeks customer contact information through research and calls. Or they can arise through Inbound through lead generation and nutrition .
The trigger for him to go to the next step is to check if the contact generated, really is in accordance with the persona of your business. This way, you will only deliver to your sales team qualified contacts who are more likely to close a proposal.
This is the moment when the seller qualifies if the customer really has the need and faces the problem that will be solved by his product or service.
This qualification is usually done in a telephone conversation, videoconference and in some cases, in meetings.
The trigger for the next step is for the seller to confirm the needs and interest of the contact generated in the previous step.
With the qualification done correctly, the time has come to present your solution according to the customer’s scenario.
It is at that moment that the seller specifies how his solution will help in the problem that the customer faces, the characteristics of the solution, advantages, investment value and proposal submission.
The trigger for the next step is the completion of the tasks explained in the previous paragraph.
Here the client is evaluating your proposal and most likely comparing it with the competition.
This is the moment when the funnel is getting smaller and smaller and your team needs more attention, as it has been worked on a lot until the customer gets here.
In addition to negotiating values, the client will want to clear all doubts regarding your solution, as the time has come to decide and he needs to trust your company to close the deal. Try to take a position as an advisor and not want to push a sale.
The trigger for the next step is the statement by the customer that he will close a deal with your company.
After the customer’s statement, it is necessary to sign a commitment for your company to perform the service.
This confirmation in simple sales is usually the payment for the product or service. In complex sales it can be a signed contract or the customer sending the purchase order.
It is necessary to have this step, as many salespeople relax when the customer says they are going to use their solution, but the sale is only given as a win when in fact the sale is confirmed. And that will be the trigger for you to consider a sale made.
Now that you understand these steps in the sales funnel, it’s time to put them into practice in your business reality.
How do I set up the sales funnel steps in my business?
Each business has its particularity. Some steps presented may resemble the reality of your company and others may not. We’ll show you a step-by-step guide for setting up your company’s sales funnel steps:
1- Meet with vendors
Many managers make mistakes when choosing to set up the sales funnel alone or with the company director. The salespeople who most know how the sales steps are are, who are in direct contact with customers.
Our tip is to explain the concept of the sales funnel steps and ask each one to set up a funnel according to the deals that have already been closed and take it to a meeting.
Start by brainstorming the steps that salespeople thought about. Many times someone will talk about a case in a sale that had to go through a different path, everything is learning! The important thing is to analyze what is really standard and what is an exception in your business.
3 – Establish the triggers
In the previous topic, in all stages of the sales funnel we described what is the trigger that makes you change from one stage to the next, remember?
When establishing which steps are in your sales funnel, determine which triggers will change each step. This standardization is essential to make the process less subjective, since the salesperson will only transfer the prospect to the stage when that fact happens.
4 – Document the sales funnel steps
More important than creating the sales funnel steps is your department documenting which steps were determined and the triggers for moving from one step to the next.
It doesn’t have to be a formal document. It is possible to map this process step by step , visually and so that all salespeople have easy access to consult. Thus the concept of the stages will be implemented in the best way.
Final tips for success with the sales funnel steps
After establishing and documenting the stages of the sales funnel, the role of the manager is to verify that the execution is going in the best way.
For a better analysis, having a CRM is essential to monitor the progress of the business and the funnel. Check in the business history if it really went through the trigger for the seller to have changed steps. And if you find an error, correct the salesperson by explaining the trigger.
Do not take the steps of the sales funnel created as an absolute truth, analyzing how the business standard is being. Return after a few months to see if what has been planned is actually happening in practice and if necessary rebuild the steps of your sales funnel.
The link between this process between sales and marketing is essential as well. For this, you can bet on a marketing automation software that will send information from leads to sales and vice versa.