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Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is an integral part of a SaaS inbound marketing strategy. Here’s a look at how a sales funnel works and how to create one.

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is the sequence of steps prospective customers go through to become paying customers. It provides a visual snapshot of the customer journey consisting of the various interactions with prospects from the time they discover your business until they become your subscribers.

Why is a Sales Funnel important?

A sales funnel shows every step that customers take on the path to conversion, making it easier to create a content marketing strategy that reaches your target audience and converts them. You can see where prospects abandoned a conversion process and evaluate your content or sales process for a conversion rate boost.

An effective sales funnel informs your financial metrics, such as the weekly, monthly, or quarterly revenue from your sales activities. It is also useful to optimize the time taken to move an opportunity from the lead to a closed sale (average time to sale).

Stages of a Sales Funnel

The different stages of a sales funnel are as follows:

Stage 1 - Awareness

At the awareness stage, your target audience becomes aware of your SaaS offering via your social media, paid marketing efforts, blog posts, word of mouth/referrals, and other marketing funnel content.

Stage 2 - Interest

At the interest stage, prospects evaluate your offering. Case studies, demos, and presentations are the typical assets driving this stage of the sales funnel.

Stage 3 - Decision

At the decision stage, the customer is ready to buy. Typical content at this stage of the buying process includes testimonials, webinars, and sales and pricing pages.

Stage 4 - Action

At the bottom of the funnel, some of your potential customers will have dropped off. Provide extra support or educational material on effectively using your product and solving their pain points.

How to Create a Sales Funnel

Develop buyer personas to create targeted content. Gather social proof from existing customers. Plan your email campaigns and train your sales team on the language and words to use around prospects.

Sales funnel example

Create a landing page at the top of the funnel, explaining the unique benefits of your product. Include a call to action and a form for website visitors to enter their information.

Offer a lead magnet such as a free trial or consultation, ebook, or whitepaper to encourage them to fill out your form.  

Set up an email marketing campaign that drips educational content about your offering to your email list. Marketing automation and ready-to-use email templates will make your job easier.

Offer something of value that persuades them to take action, such as an extended free trial or a special discount.

If qualified leads haven’t converted, your sales reps can follow up to understand the reasons for abandonment. Continue providing a good customer experience and focus your marketing efforts on upselling to new customers.