In order to really win over potential customers / interested parties as customers, employees in sales and marketing use the so-called sales funnel.
A sales funnel is a visual representation of the customer journey from first contact with the company to purchase. As the name implies, the sales funnel is structured like a funnel that is widest at the top and narrows towards the bottom. It is divided into different phases, called sales funnel stages. Promising leads go through one stage after another, while prospects that your product doesn’t match are weeded out.
Like the customer journey, a sales funnel can be divided into three stages.
1. Top of the Funnel (ToFu): Awareness and discovery
Potential customers often have a specific problem at the beginning of their journey that they are concerned with and want to learn more about. Then, in the course of their research, they discover your company. This can happen in a variety of ways. They may have visited your website, or they may have followed a recommendation from an acquaintance, or one of your team may have contacted you in the course of cold calling.
This is where previously “not contacted” potential customers become “contacted” potential customers. In other words, they are now leads. Now it’s up to the salesperson to do their job well and ask the right questions to qualify the lead. This brings us to the next phase.
2. Middel of the Funnel (MoFu): Problem awareness and solution attempts
In this phase, your prospects/your leads get names and faces. The leads that are still in the funnel should now all be “ideal customers,” meaning that your product meets the need they have. They are now engaged with the opportunities that can solve their challenge. You should now be looking to make the decision easier for the potential customer. Find out if your offering is a good fit in a one-on-one conversation where you ask questions, and qualify your leads.
3. Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu): Buying decision
By the end, your leads ideally know everything about your problem and which solution is the best fit. Quotes are solicited and negotiations begin. And last but not least, a decision is made that will ideally win your company the customer.