The traditional role of being a “salesperson” for a company has changed irrevocably in the past few decades. Whereas many of us used to go door to door or cold call potential clients or leads to try to drum up some sales, the game has shifted considerably. Now, it seems like doing most of our transactions in the virtual world is becoming more and more common.
Of course, with these changes, we need to adapt. Admittedly, this has not been the easiest thing for a lot of us. Just the word “change” seems to inspire fear for many people – it is a part of human nature, really, to be resistant to it. That being said, it is difficult to justify avoiding some of the new tactics in this field.
Today, I will be focusing on the sales funnel. Just know that there are many other innovations, some being made right as you read this! We can see some evidence of that here, https://www.forbes.com/sites/stephendiorio/2020/11/10/the-dawn-of-the-21st-century-commercial-model/. Beyond that, though, let us dive right into our main topic for the day.
The Difference Between Sales and Marketing
I think that this is an important part of understanding this, so that is where I will begin. Many tend to conflate these two terms, and that is understandable. However, it is not necessarily “appropriate” given the considerable contrasts between them.
Think about it this way: marketing involves attracting potential customers to take notice of your brand and visit your social media pages or website. Sales is selling your products or services to those visitors after they are already there. As you can see, while they are intrinsically related, they are not the same thing.
Today, I will be discussing sales rather than marketing, but do not discount the latter entirely. When it comes to the funnel model, both do have a role to play. Let me explain!
The Funnel Model: What is it?
As the name for it suggests, it is a multi-tiered method of converting clicks into sales. There are multiple facets to it, and each comes with its own special considerations. While there is a base model like the one that I have pictures above, each individual business or organization will need to tailor it to their own practices and desired outcomes.
With that in mind, let us delve into the different tiers. We can start with the first one (examining from a top-down point of view, notably). The top is all about determining who your target audience is. While it may not seem important initially, it is actually the basis from which the rest of this model is structured!
You can find an example of what this might look like on Clickfunnels, but it can be summarized as such: your target audience should consist of the people that you are looking both to market to and eventually sell to. The second half of the definition is probably the more critical aspect to it, since the end goal should always be to try to get sales from the people that you attract.
After all, even if you attract a million people to their website, if they are not the group that is interested in purchasing your products, that will be money wasted. Thus, identifying this intended audience is critical. There are plenty of services out there that can help you to analyze your analytics if that is not something that you are comfortable with, of course.
Moving down the funnel, the next part is figuring out who the potential customers are within the audience that you are trying to attract. So, this is when we parse out the browsers from the buyers, essentially. As a sales representative, many of us are already familiar with this part of it.
However, how does it work on a virtual platform? Based on what I have talked about so far, you can probably guess that it is indeed a bit different than in a traditional storefront or door to door setting. Carefully timed pop-ups or information panels can make a world of a difference when it comes to these things, so those are some potential methods to keep in mind if you are feeling a bit lost on how to accomplish this.
The final part of the funnel might come as a surprise, but it is for your pre-existing customers. You see, a lot of the revenue that businesses make is from those who are already loyal supporters of their brand. It is much easier to convince someone to repurchase a product that they have already enjoyed than garnering new customers.
Thus, this part of the model exists to help remind us of this very important fact. It is, understandably so, easy to lose track of amongst the chaos that is trying to run a company. However, we should always have our current clientele in the back of our minds. You can learn more in this article.
Do They Work?
Now that you have a clearer picture of what they are, you are probably wondering how effective they can be. They have actually been around for many years, but only recently adapted to the digital sales world. This lasting power certainly gives them some credence.
Beyond that, though, if we examine it critically, it is easy to see the value in an approach like this. If we consider all of the aspects at sales at once, it can get overwhelming. Separating it into chunks instead for us to work through and take our time with is a natural extension of increasing general productivity and effectiveness in a workspace.
If you are still feeling a bit hesitant about it, I completely understand. Just know that it is a tried-and-true method that has worked for a lot of different organizations throughout the years. At the very least, it is probably worth at least checking out for your own sales team. It may help them to see if they have been barking up the wrong proverbial tree or if they are on track!