The purpose of a Marketing & Sales Funnel is to plan and manage marketing initiatives focused on sales conversion. The funnel is a classic framework used to visualize how effective teams are attracting (the upper, wider part) and converting (the lower, narrower part) prospective customers. While customers do not follow a predictable linear journey, the funnel continues to be a useful model to plan different elements of a campaign focused on where customer segments are on their path to conversion. Each phase of the Funnel represents where customers have a different need and level of intent. Marketers can use the Funnel to determine how to best address each stage of the funnel to increase conversion rates over time.
How can we convert prospects to customers?
- Clearly identify the single goal for your marketing and sales program. If you have more than one conversion action or business outcome that you are driving towards, you will need more than one.
- Consider the Phases. These are marked by a significant change in the level of interest or intent of a prospect, and the corresponding change in qualification or value that the prospect has to you.
- Describe the characteristics of prospects within each phase. How will you identify them and what do they need to proceed? Review the descriptions to ensure they are different enough to warrant a specific phase.
- Describe how you will generally engage with prospects at each phase. What types of tactics will you use and how will you motivate customers to proceed? Again, make sure that each phase is different.
- Review the first draft of the Marketing & Sales Framework with your team. Validate that each phase is mutually exclusive, measurable, and covers all facets of the path to conversion for your sales goal.
- Teams can use the funnel to identify at which phase a prospect becomes a ‘Sales Qualified Lead’ for outreach.
- Don’t go overboard with the number of phases, you need to be able to measure all actions and segments.
- Remember to use multiple funnels to measure different marketing campaigns and conversion actions.
The Purchase Funnel concept is credited to E. St. Elmo Lewis