The sales funnel is a familiar term to anyone who works in sales or marketing. But while the concept has been around since 1924, the process has become a lot more sophisticated since then — and there are plenty of new tools to help you turn prospects into customers. Here’s how to get the most out of sales funnel software.
What is the sales funnel?
Essentially, the sales funnel is a series of steps that people take on their way to buying your product. The traditional funnel has four different stages, the so-called AIDA model:
Awareness: consumers become aware of your brand or product, often through advertising. This is the widest part of the funnel.
Interest: they learn more about your product and its benefits
Decision: they start to lean towards your brand
Action: they make the leap, by requesting a demo or buying your product. This is where the funnel reaches its narrowest point.
What is sales funnel software?
In today’s complex and interconnected world, there are a multitude of ways to reach out to potential customers and nurture your relationship with them to guide them through the funnel. Add in the relationship between your sales and marketing teams, and decisions on who “owns” a particular prospect, and it becomes even more complicated. So it’s becoming increasingly important to harness software to help you manage the funnel.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system enables you to manage your relationships with prospects and clients, from tracking and monitoring every interaction to automating emails at different stages of the funnel. CRM software keeps everything in one place, making it easy to collaborate internally — for example, by ensuring a smooth handover of prospects or accounts to new salespeople — and to gain valuable insights into customer behaviour.
The role of analytics
As with any sales software, analytics will become a powerful tool if you use your reports effectively. With a CRM or sales funnel software system, you can keep track of customer interactions in granular detail, allowing you to really drill down into customer behaviour at all stages of the funnel.
So if customers are routinely falling away at the Action stage (e.g. when they request a demo), you’ll be able to act on this information and provide your sales team with further training to help fix the problem. Maybe they need to sell the benefits harder at the Interest stage; perhaps they are coming on a bit too strong during the Decision step. It may be that you need to tweak your automated email flows. By delivering actionable insights, sales funnel software will help your team perform at their best.
Integrating Varicent’s SPM solution with your sales funnel software
Sales performance management does not exist in isolation; instead, it’s part of a wide-ranging ecosystem designed to motivate your sales team and empower them to hit your revenue targets.
When you use Varicent, you’ll be able to integrate with all your systems, including CRM, so that you can access the data that will help you discover hidden opportunities and insight, and analyze this information to make evidence-based decisions.
The sales funnel has come a long way since the term was first coined nearly 100 years ago. Today, sales funnel software goes hand in hand with your sales performance management system, generating the analytics you need to help get the most from your salespeople’s performance and meet your business goals.