Sales and Prospecting: Understanding the Sales Funnel
With the recent shift in technology, as sales conversations grow even more buyer-focused, sales reps have begun developing their hacks, techniques, and processes for prospecting. Because of that, the importance of prospecting during the sales process of converting leads to customers can’t be stressed enough.
What is sales prospecting?
The definition of sales prospecting is when inside sales reps make outbound calls or send outbound emails to leads in hopes of creating sales opportunities.
Before we go any further, let’s talk about the difference between leads and prospects.
Leads and Prospects, not the same thing
Leads are potential customers who have expressed their interest in your company or services through various behaviors such as visiting our website, subscribing to a blog, or downloading an ebook. Leads become prospects if they are qualified and, therefore, align with your target audience and buyer personas.
You can have a prospect (not a lead) that can be classified as a potential customer even if they have limited or no interaction with your company depending on their qualifications and fit.
It’s also important to remember that although leads and prospects differ by definition, your goals with both are the same: Nurture leads and prospects until they buy your product or service.
As a prospect goes through the buying cycle, they get closer and closer to a buying decision
As a sales rep, your main goal is to get the leads and have that initial conversation with you to build a relationship and turn them into prospects in order to bag a sales opportunity.
Understanding the sales funnel
we understand that everyone has their approach when it comes to prospecting. However, a well-managed sales funnel will make sure the highest concentration of those prospects makes it to the bottom of the funnel. It’s getting interesting right? Let’s go ahead and go through each part for us to have a better understanding of how the sales funnel works.
Lead Status: They just discovered you
Your goal: Give them a reason to comeback
Tactics: Advertising campaigns, events, content, social media and more.
You couldn’t ask someone you just met to marry you, right? Sames goes with sales. You can’t ask prospects who’s just casually checking you out to commit to buying your product or service.
You need to let them know you a bit. Using social media platforms and creating interesting blogs is a way to do it.
Remember: success at the top depends on understanding your audience. Don’t start an AdWords campaign or write an entire ebook until you’ve done persona research.
Related: A Field Guide to Customer Journey Mapping
Lead Status: You’ve got their attention and they’re considering whether or not your product or service would benefit them.
Your goal: Figure out what their goals are. Then, show them you’re here to help them achieve them
Tactics: Targeted email newsletters and drip campaigns, free trials 1-on-1 demos and more!
To do this, you’ll need to get your prospects’ contact information so that you can begin to form a relationship with them. But how are we able to do that? You can get their contact information in exchange for something like a free e-book or a whitepaper in exchange for their email address.
Here are some examples of useful content prospects who may be willing to hand their contact details for:
- Product comparisons
- Case studies
- In-depth blog spots
Once you’ve got their contact details you can start sending them more targeted content like email newsletters and free trials. Building a connection with these prospects can help them trust you a lot to go through the next step of the sales funnel.
Lead status: They like what they see and they want it.
Your goal: Give them a clear path to purchase.
Tactics: Testimonials, discounts, promotions and more!
When you reach this stage that means your prospect is ready to pull the trigger and buy your product or service. You need to ensure that this will be easy and possible for them.
This is the time where you can present positive reviews, free shipping or even a free trial if they are still hesitant.
Losing deals in the middle? You can check the sales strategy that can be found in this article by The VA Hub.
Lead status: They’re about to become paying customers. These people are ready to commit.
Your goal: Seal the deal.
Tactics: Customer success tips, Insider tips and more!
At this stage, your sales reps are a good sales conversation away from closing a sale.
Once you’ve closed the sale it doesn’t stop there. This can be another way to get prospects and to earn more sales in the future. You can ask your new customer for referrals or to recommend your services to someone whom they know who needs the products or services. You can give them a reward in return like a month free subscription, free shipping or discounts that can encourage them to give you more customers.
Dealing with sales cannot be perfected. However, if you follow techniques and tactics then it can surely be a thing for you.
If you are looking to build your sales team, our company has a team of highly trained individuals who can help you close more deals.
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