The awareness stage is when your customer first learns about your product. However, the depth of awareness is different for every potential buyer.
Some people may have extensive knowledge of your products or services, while others might only know a little. In both cases, they’re aware, but one may not have as much interest in what you’re offering at this time.
A customer that moves onto the interest phase of buying what you’re selling puts them a step closer to purchasing. However, interest doesn’t always indicate that they'll see the need for your products or services.
Customers can express enthusiasm about what you’re selling and still not buy. Why is that? Well, it’s because interest doesn’t always indicate a need.
Potential customers can show interest in your offerings all day and night, but they may not find it helpful enough to finalize the sale.
Sometimes, it’s challenging to gauge how much time to spend on a customer who may not buy from you. You can’t always predict what they'll do, but you can watch for signs that demonstrate their readiness to buy.
If potential customers don’t buy from you and don’t have any further questions after showing interest, they probably decided what you have isn't for them. They more than likely made up their minds and won't buy from you at this time.
If a customer shows interest and still has questions about what you’re offering, they might be close to making a decision. You know they’re almost ready to buy if they ask questions about quantities, price, subscription terms, and so forth.
However, beware when trying to assess whether a person will buy or not. They could be stuck in between the interest and decision sales funnel stages for days, weeks, months, or years. In this case, it’s best to ask permission to keep them on your newsletter list and leave them alone for a while.
For example, a customer may not make a decision to buy yet. However, they may be ready to opt into your email or text messaging subscription list.
At the action stage, customers are probably adding items to their shopping carts and are ready to check out. Someone or something may have interrupted them if they don’t follow through with the purchase.
For instance, someone may really want to buy an item, but they don't have their credit card on hand. Then, they perhaps forgot about completing the transaction when looking for their credit card. Maybe a storm occurred, and the person trying to place an order had a sudden power outage. Or, an individual's child may require assistance while they're mid-transaction.
Keep in mind that other customers may simply change their minds last minute. Some consumers also add items to their shopping carts to calculate how much they'll have to pay.
Regardless of the circumstances, an abandoned cart email can keep your business top of mind and encourage consumers to finish buying.
Sales funnel vs. marketing funnel
You likely will notice some overlap between the marketing and sales funnel steps. After all, the end result is eventually to make a profit. However, the sales funnel prioritizes putting your products and services out there.
Sales funnels also guide customers into a decision-making process. You do this by offering low-pressure support, making it clear that they can take their time to decide.
Marketing funnels are a bit different. They typically focus on brand awareness, which is the process of making customers aware of who you are and what you’re selling.
Regardless of the differences, both types of funnels can support your sales and marketing efforts.
Reasons your business needs a sales funnel
Don’t take your current entrepreneurial success for granted. You never know when the market will change, and you don’t know when customer demands will shift. Keep anticipating their needs and continue to provide essential products and services.
Furthermore, it’s wise to provide buyers with upselling opportunities after they have made their first purchase from you. Sales funnels also help you execute systematic customer relationship nurturing at every decision-making phase.
In addition, sales funnels enable you to keep track of customers throughout the decision making process. Here are a few other reasons your business needs a sales funnel.