The objective of a sales funnel can be understood by looking at it in the context of lead generation.
Lead generation is a term that is often used in sales and essentially this means that you’re reaching out to people that are in your target demographic and then slowly introducing them to your brand.
You’re not trying to force your product down their throats right away but instead, you are collecting their details so that you can slowly build a relationship and then sell to them.
These people are your cold leads – the people who have shown no interest in your brand and who never asked you to contact them but who nonetheless fit into your target demographic.
The next type of lead is the warm lead.
This is someone who has shown an interest in your brand and who is now potentially ready to be marketed to. Perhaps they subscribed to your mailing list, or maybe they liked you on Facebook.
Finally, you have your ‘qualified lead’.
This is someone who has shown an interest in buying from you – perhaps by requesting a quote or clicking to get more information about a product.
In terms of your sales funnel, the qualified lead is the person who is now ready to cross the ‘free line’ and become a paying customer.
This is a crucial concept to understand when constructing a sales funnel because it shows you how you’re going to reach out to new leads and then develop them into paying customers. You start with your cold lead and you end with someone who loves your brand and is committed to buying.
Lead Management and Scoring
Thus, you should include some degree of lead management and scoring in your sales funnel.
You will do this first by collecting email addresses from subscribers and the easiest way to do this is with an autoresponder. From there, you’re then going to organise those leads so that you know who is at each point in your funnel.
The best autoresponders have another great feature too, which is the ability to ‘score’ your leads.
This means that they can tell you who is the most engaged at any time automatically, with no need for you to calculate that yourself. They will do this by calculating the amount of emails they open, which pages of your site they look at etc.
You’ll then be able to identify who is ready to buy from you and who just needs that extra nudge from a sales-oriented email!