A sales funnel is one of the best ways to help you understand the process your customers went through to become a sale.
A typical sales funnel consists of the following three steps:
Each of these steps moves a lead further down the funnel and closer to becoming a sale.
How Does Lead Nurturing Drive a Lead into a Sale?
An experienced content marketer knows how customers have moved along these steps down the funnel and understands what type of content drives customers to move forward. Not everyone who reads articles or listens to podcasts on the subject may be ready for the next step in the sales process, however.
This is where lead nurturing proves useful by generating long term opportunities and providing engaging content until prospective customers are ready to move forward down the funnel themselves.
The 3 Basic Stages of a Sales Funnel
For each of the three stages of the sales funnel you should consider your audience’s needs, recommendations for content, and the lead nurturing that brings it all together.
This is the first stage in the sales funnel where leads express a general interest or need. At this stage, leads may not be ready to make a purchase decision, but rather are looking for preliminary information.
Here, your content should explain your product or service without making the lead hunt around for too long. After all, people don’t tend to linger around a site if they cannot find what they’re searching for instantly. When visiting a site for this information leads often want to know what a product or service will cost, their need for it, and what options they should consider.
Your content should focus on informing leads about your company and industry, and on providing the information they need to make an informed decision. Depending on various factors such as timeline and cost, your leads at this stage may keep your company and solution on their minds while they build up the budget to make a purchase.
The next stage of the funnel is consideration. In this stage your leads are sure of their needs and will return if they were impressed by your price and product.
Content at this stage should build upon the trust you established in the awareness stage. You are more actively engaged with these leads as you dig deeper into the information about your brand and product and clarify any questions leads still have.
Prospect questions will become more specific in this phase, so your content should be more targeted to address their questions. It’s OK if you only have a few pieces of content here, but consider developing variations of these content pieces for a prospect who may be messaged multiple times. You don’t want to send that prospect the same content piece repeatedly, but you’ll want to drive home your value proposition each time. So a white paper, an email, a blog post and a guide with similar themes can work well in this phase.
Here’s the part you’ve all been waiting for – the sale.
If you’ve done your homework in the previous two stages, this should be a straight-forward process. Your leads know what they want and you know what they want – all you have to do give it to them.
Take a look at your statistics, see what your customers want and send them a promotion based on their interests to sweeten (and close) the deal. You may offer a coupon, estimate, demo. free trial, a consultation, etc. to make them take that last step. You may have a few content pieces handy (e.g. emails, sales slicks) that help in overcoming any final objections that could impede the sale. Hopefully, you won’t need them, but if you do, they are handy so you keep the deal moving.
Give your Lead Nurturing a One-Two-Punch!
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SharpSpring marketing automation can send emails based on how website visitors interact with your marketing materials and communications – completely automatically. This means that your nurturing campaign educates leads when it needs to, and helps close the deal when they’re ready.
SharpSpring is the most cost-effective marketing automation solution out there, and our user interface will get you up and sending in minutes… why not contact us and give it a go?