Developing a stellar marketing offer can be a very difficult process… let’s just get that out of the way right now! We hire, spend and train a department to be specifically focused on “driving customers and learning how to generate leads.” To fully understand the complexity of this process, it requires a complete marketing department that uses every platform well and truly has what it takes to transform a business and generate new customers.
How to Generate Leads Based on The Sales Funnel
Generating business/leads based on the sales funnel narrows the field and the guesswork associated with this process. When we talk about sales funnels, let’s clarify what we mean. Marketing companies distinguish the stage at which their visitor, lead or customer is currently placed. In other words, we nurture different leads/customers depending on their awareness of our product, brand or validation. Below, I will define and discuss 4 different stages based on the sales funnel we use internally.
Top of the Funnel – Awareness
During this stage, the prospect becomes aware of your brand/business and continues to seek more information regarding your offers. What you do, why you do it and how you do it can all be essential topics for shifting a prospect from a “NO” into a “MAYBE”. During this stage, the prospect recognizes they have a need for your product/service. Consider looking at your website through the eyes of a potential customer. Is the “About Us” page easy to locate? Is your contact information easy to find? Do you have customer reviews on your website (that are also easy to find)?
NOTE: getting past this stage can be sometimes the more challenging part when learning how to generate leads. Test your variables (e.g, color, text, customer reviews, phone number location)
Middle of the Funnel – Research/Education
During this stage, the prospect identifies the problem of why she/he is looking for more information or researching your company. Please note, this process can sometimes take between 2 weeks and 6 months, so if there is no immediate need, the prospect will sometimes put off the decision based on a lack of urgency and remain in this stage of the funnel for quite some time. But note that they are still interested and will be back for your services. Prospects will research (primarily online) potential solutions and other competitors who also offer your product or services…so stay aware!
Middle of the Funnel – Comparison/Validation
The prospect will typically find the “best’ solution during this stage. This solution may be based on numerous factors like: location, price, quality, guarantee, coupons, company history or customer reviews. The lead will begin to narrow the list of vendors that might have been chosen during the “awareness” or “research” stage. Validation on your product or brand can be tricky without analytics or particular offers. For example, if you were considering buying your first car and the company/website you have been using for research offers you a video guide or Podcast on “5 Basic Tips for Purchasing Your First Car,” it’s more likely (if the information is accurate and well received) that you would return to that website, make a call or schedule an appointment.
Bottom of the Funnel – Purchase
So you’re thinking, “finally the prospect (now a lead) is ready to pull the trigger and I need to go in strong for the sale” – well, not so fast! During the funnel process, your prospect has essentially already made up their mind about purchasing your product! This often makes the final stage the easiest part of the process because the prospect has already validated your services/product based on the first 3 stages of the funnel. Jeffery Gittomer says, “qualify hard, close easy” and this could not be more true in our experience.