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Sales funnels are something that I’m continually surprised by. Just when I think I understand all the value they have to offer, I find another huge benefit. At their core, these funnels facilitate communication, forward-thinking, and taking things one step at a time.
When I score a lead, I often want to jump ahead and get right to the long-term sales relationship, but that kind of ultra-speedy growth without foundation can lead to failed customer relationships more often than not. Having the perfect sales funnel for every situation nips that kind of messiness in the bud and allows my team to thrive every time.
Let’s take a look at the hidden powers of sales funnels and find the right template for your business!
What is a Sales Funnel?
While every single customer and client is unique, their journey through your company likely won’t be. Customers across the board are going to have similar questions and requirements to make a sale, and a sales funnel allows you to visually see those steps in order.
This structure is crazy helpful, especially when training a new sales team, connecting with multiple customers at once, or trying to understand how clients interact with your brand as a whole.
The basic sales funnel can be broken down into four major steps:
- Awareness - This is the initial stage where potential customers become aware of your brand and the products or services you offer
- Interest - Once a customer is aware of your brand, they may show interest by visiting your website or social media pages, signing up for emails, or requesting more information
- Decision - During this stage, customers are considering buying, and are weighing their options. This is where marketing materials, demos, and testimonials can help push them toward a decision
- Action - This final stage is when the customer purchases or commits to a service. This can also include post-sale follow-ups and upselling opportunities
When you understand these steps and adjust them for your own business, you can easily pinpoint any sticking points within your funnel. Maybe your leads are easily getting to the interest stage but are hesitant to move toward a decision. This will show you what needs extra attention.
Why a Sales Funnel is Important
Beyond simply making your entire sales process easy to understand for the sales team, a sales funnel has tons of benefits.
- Increased Efficiency - A streamlined sales process with clear-cut steps helps your salesforce focus their efforts on what works
- Improved Lead Generation - By capturing leads at different stages of the customer journeys and understanding what they’re looking for when you can successfully move them toward being qualified leads
- Enhanced Lead Nurturing - By providing targeted content and messaging at each stage of the funnel, you can build stronger relationships with potential customers and guide them toward making a purchase
- Better Understanding of Customer Behaviors - A sales funnel allows you to track and analyze customer interactions at each stage, providing insights into their interests and pain points
- Faster Sales Cycles - By getting them the right information at the right time you can help customers make decisions quicker, giving you time to bring in even more leads
- Provides Measurable Results - With clear steps in place, it’s a lot easier to track your customers, measure sales performance, and identify areas for improvement. This is key for data-driven decision-making
The more you understand about your customer journey and the way your sales team operates, the more control you will have over your conversion rate.
Sales Funnel Templates
Because it operates as a guide for your particular sales team, your sales funnel is going to look a little different than any other company’s. However, it can be helpful to have a template to start with.
I’ve compiled five simple sales funnels for different businesses and campaigns that can help you get a feel for the expansive possibilities that these structures provide. Find the one that fits your business best, or mix and match to create the perfect customer journey for you.
Referral Sales Funnel
When you use a specialized marketing tactic like referrals, your sales funnel will shift to fit that workflow and customer journey. A funnel becomes extra important because you need to keep track of all the moving parts.
1. Awareness of the Referral Program
- Create online ads promoting the referral program
- Engage with existing customers to raise awareness
- Utilize email marketing to inform customers about the program
2. Referral Acquisition
- Encourage customers to refer their friends through incentives
- Provide customers with unique referral links
- Offer rewards or discounts for successful referrals
3. Conversion and Engagement
- Follow up with referred leads and provide relevant information
- Nurture the relationship with personalized communication
- Encourage referred leads to make a purchase or sign up
4. Reward Fulfillment
- Deliver rewards to referrers for successful referrals
- Express gratitude through personalized thank you messages
- Encourage referrers to continue referring
5. Long-term Relationship
- Continue engaging and nurturing relationships with referrals
- Provide exceptional customer service
- Encourage referrals to become advocates for the brand
Another surefire way to keep from missing any steps in this funnel is to use software like ReferralHero that automatically tracks referrals and moves leads and referrers through the funnel to fulfill every step.
B2B Sales Funnel
It’s well known that B2B sales operate differently than B2C, with clients spending more time researching companies and trying to make the best choice for their team. 52% of B2B buyers say the sales cycle has gotten even longer in the last couple of years.
These differences need to be represented in your sales funnel.
1. Lead Generation
- Identify potential leads
- Create targeted marketing campaigns
- Attend industry events and conferences
2. Lead Qualification
- Conduct initial contact with leads
- Gather information and assess needs
- Determine the potential for conversion
3. Sales Presentation
- Schedule in-person or virtual meetings
- Present product or service
- Address any objections or questions
4. Proposal and Negotiation
- Provide pricing and contract terms
- Negotiate terms and agreement
5. Closing the Sale
- Secure signed contract
- Collect payment
- Facilitate handoff to the implementation team
6. Account Management and Renewal
- Provide ongoing customer support
- Upsell or cross-sell products
- Conduct customer satisfaction surveys
- Secure renewal for future sales
The more specific you can get about each step, the easier it will be for the entire sales team to work together on a longer sale.
App Sales Funnel
On the other side of things, the app sales cycle is usually short and sweet.
1. Awareness of App
- Create online ads
- Deliver content marketing
- Send emails, conduct cold calls
2. Interest in App
- Social media and targeted ads to those showing interest
- Lead qualification and nurturing
- Offer a free trial or demo
3. Purchase Decision
- Customer downloads/purchases app
- Invests in the premium version
- Collect payment
4. Activation and Engagement
- Encourage users to use the app consistently
- Provide onboarding and tutorials
- Send push notifications or email reminders
5. Retention and Upselling
- Offer in-app purchases or upgrades
- Conduct customer service activities
- Gather feedback and make improvements
Understanding each step allows you to provide the right kind of support to customers throughout this speedy process.
Web3 Sales Funnel
Sales funnels for emerging technology like Web3 require more education and opportunities for clients to ask questions. You might be their introduction to this kind of product and need to ease fears as they come.
1. Awareness of Web3 Product
- Create awareness through social media and partnerships
- Targeted online advertising
- Attend industry events and conferences
- Content marketing and thought leadership
2. Interest in Product and Education
- Initiate conversations with potential customers
- Provide educational resources on Web3 technology
- Showcase use cases and success stories
- Conduct webinars and workshops
3. Proposal and Implementation
- Gather requirements and create customized proposals
- Provide technical support and implementation guidance
- Address technical and security concerns
- Provide demos and trials
4. Integration and Adoption
- Assist with integration of Web3 technology
- Provide ongoing support and training
- Track and analyze adoption and usage
5. Renewal and Expansion
- Ensure customer satisfaction and address any issues
- Renew contracts and upsell additional services
- Gather feedback and testimonials for future sales
- Leverage satisfied customers for referrals and case studies
Turning clients into advocates is far more important in this business, and staying on top of their journey makes that possible.
SaaS Sales Funnel
In a high-competition market like SaaS, you must have the right answers for leads at the right time.
1. Awareness and Lead Generation
- Utilize targeted online advertising and SEO to generate leads
- Host webinars and events to showcase the SaaS product
- Leverage social media channels to reach potential customers
2. Lead Qualification
- Gather information on leads through form submissions or demos
- Utilize lead scoring to determine potential customer interest
- Reach out to qualified leads and gather more information
3. Demo and Proposal
- Conduct product demos to showcase the features and benefits
- Personalize proposals based on the needs of the lead
- Address any objections or concerns and highlight the value proposition
4. Free Trial/Proof of Concept
- Offer a free trial or proof of concept to showcase the software
- Provide support and training during the trial period
- Gather feedback and address any issues to increase the conversion rate
5. Conversion and Customer Onboarding
- Offer various pricing plans and options to cater to different budgets
- Provide a smooth onboarding process for new customers
- Set up regular check-ins and support to ensure a successful implementation
6. Customer Retention and Upselling
- Continuously engage with customers and provide excellent customer service
- Offer upsells and additional features as the customer's needs grow
- Use customer feedback and testimonials to attract new customers
By keeping an eye on this sales funnel, you’ll be able to show off how your software outshines every other product on the market.
The Bottom Line
The sales journey can be convoluted and confusing, especially when you throw in complications like a large sales team or an extended sales cycle. Having a clear-cut funnel that you can follow through the entire process gives you control, and frees up mental energy to focus on what matters, the customer experience.
Whether you use one of these templates or create your own, knowing what happens when will give you the tools you need to turn interest into sales.
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