A well-developed sales funnel can be one of the most important resources to complete before starting a new year. Without an idea of what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, your marketing strategy can come off as confusing and ineffective. Most importantly, you could end up wasting a lot of time and money trying to figure it out. Below is a breakdown of what you should be focusing on while you move prospective customers, volunteers, clients, etc. from knowing you exist to becoming your commission-free salesperson.

Sales Funnel

Awareness

“Yeah, I’ve heard of you all!”

Your awareness campaign is commonly referred to as “top of the funnel” activity and includes all general awareness marketing. Top of the funnel activity is typically the most expensive endeavor and most difficult for tracking ROI; nevertheless, it’s the most important marketing activity to invest in.

Awareness campaigns should be simple and direct. What is the most important takeaway you want people to leave knowing? Focus your copy, creative and media buying on the elements that bring to life your value and unique selling points. If something in your awareness campaign doesn’t contribute to this simple message, get rid of it. Phone numbers, email addresses, website URLs, complicated calls to action, dates, instructions on how to make a transaction can all be saved for lower funnel activities.

Awareness Marketing Examples Include: Outdoor advertising, television and radio commercials, print ads, broad social media campaigns, event sponsorship, public relations, etc.

Interest

“I have a need and you have a solution.”

Once a person has a need or desire for your service, they have entered the Interest portion of your sales funnel. To illustrate this transition, think about buying a car. Two years ago, I had a perfectly reliable vehicle, but now the miles have caught up to me and it’s time to make a change. The brands and dealerships that I’m going to be interested in are going to be the ones that I’m most aware of, because trust comes with familiarity. If you were shopping for a new car and someone told you, “Check out the Yamaguchi Blaze! It’s fast, reliable and fuel-efficient,” chances are, that recommendation would fall on deaf ears because you’ve never heard of this brand and thus don’t trust it.

Interest Marketing Examples Include: Updating your website homepage, optimizing your search engine presence, social media campaigns targeted at behaviors, trade show booths, weekly or monthly newsletters, digital retargeting, online reviews, etc.

Decision

“I’m interested in your services/product, but are they the right fit for me?”

If your prospective customer is in the Decision portion of the sales funnel, it’s time to bring out “the closer.” Depending on how complicated your product, service or sales process is, you’ll need to be more or less hands-on. Something simple like purchasing a product online or in a department store simply needs educational material if requested and a reliable checkout system. Something more complicated like enrolling in a college or selecting a healthcare provider needs a full-time staff member available to help walk customers through the purchasing process. Decision activities need to be heavy in resources and customer service in order to ensure a pleasant buying experience.

Decision Marketing Examples Include: Comprehensive website pages that explain details of your product or services, long-form video content, events with a call to action at the end, dedicated sales staff, special promotions offering discounts, etc.

Action

“I’ve decided to move forward with your services/product. Now what?”

Some people might think that once you’ve achieved a transaction, whether that be money, volunteer commitment, pledge, etc., that you’re done. Honestly, you could just stop there, but doing so is leaving money on the table. Good sales people and fundraisers know that the best sales come from those that have already bought from you, and the next best sales are their friends and families. There’s a reason universities put such an emphasis on alumni relations. They know that those alumni, if kept in touch with, will continue to be a source of donations, merchandise sales and legacy students. Action activities celebrate the transaction and encourage future action.

Action Activities Include: VIP distinctions, personalized logins for future purchases, regular newsletters, promotions for referrals, requests for surveys or reviews, following social media pages, invitations to events, incentives for multiple or bulk purchases, etc.

If you enjoyed this blog, you can download our free white sheet in the bottom right corner. This includes a simple sales funnel document that you can complete with your entire team.