Sales funnel is a representation of the steps that a potential customer goes through, from the first contact with the company to the closing of the sale. Usually, a sales funnel (or pipeline) is divided into 3 stages: top of the funnel (ToFu), middle of the funnel (MoFu), and bottom of the funnel (BoFu).
How does the sales funnel work?
Buying is not a homogeneous process, but it occurs in stages. That’s because, during their journey, the customer goes through several moments that reveal how close he really is to buying.
We have the moment when he hears about his solution for the first time, the research he does on the item in question, the purchase itself, the recommendation he gives after using the product …
A customer who has just discovered your product, for example, is less ready to buy than one who has already read the reviews on your site.
So, to determine the level of maturity of the customer in relation to the purchase decision, we divide these moments into parts and thus define the stages of the sales funnel.
Isn’t that clear? No problems. Let’s explain the sales funnel steps now, one by one.
Top of the Funnel – Learning and discovery
The top (ToFu) is known as the stage of consciousness because until now the person was indifferent to his own need or problem.
In other words, it did not seek any product or service because it was unaware that it had this demand. However, when she has the first contact with you, she understands that there is this gap and will then study it.
This is the time to put yourself as an expert.
Provide materials that help your visitor to diagnose the problem and fully understand it! So, any doubts he has on the subject will seek you out.
At this stage, we are usually dealing with visitors, people who came to your site in some way, but about which you still have no information.
So, when it comes to educating her, offer rich materials in an attempt to convert them into leads and get them in the funnel.
Middle of the funnel – Recognizing the problem and considering the solution
The milestone that defines the transition from the first stage to the second is the recognition of the problem.
The visitor has read a lot about the subject and admitted that he really has a demand. Now he is looking for ways to remedy it and it is his role to come up with tips and techniques that can help him.
At this stage, we usually deal with leads, people who have already interacted with your content, and provided basic contact information in exchange for access to some content.
As the lead does not know how to solve his problem, he considers several solutions, including the purchase of a service. However, you have doubts if this is really the right option for you.
Be honest: tell me exactly when to buy a product and present alternatives to it besides buying. You can offer new pieces of content to qualify and get more information about it.
Making it clear that your goal is to help him and not sell to him at all costs, you establish a relationship of trust that will be beneficial when the lead is already qualified and can move on to the next step.
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Bottom of the Funnel – The Purchase Decision
Finally, at the bottom of the funnel (BoFu) we are dealing with MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) – leads that have gone through the entire education process and that Marketing has classified as ready to receive contact from a salesperson.
An MQL knows that it has a problem that it will not be able to solve on its own and has already realized that it will need to hire a service.
If you have followed the process correctly so far, you are already known by her as a market reference and someone she can trust to negotiate.
So, it’s time to give that little push and show that you are the right partner for her!
After some comparisons with other companies, MQL will choose which it believes to be the best alternative and will close the sales funnel, making the purchase and finally becoming a customer.
It is worth remembering that some companies also include a fourth stage: after-sales. This step is focused on retaining the new customer and transforming them into a promoter of your brand.