A Brief Look at Sales Funnel Management
In simple terms, a sale is defined as an agreement between a buyer and seller where the end result is that a product or service changes hands in exchange for a fee. It all seems straightforward enough, but not every sale gets to that point in a single step. Think of your buying history and take a moment to consider the steps that you took before finally taking the leap and making a purchase. In some instances, you will have made an impulse buy on the spur of the moment, but in most cases, there was probably some real thought put into the purchase before you handed over your money.
In those latter cases, you will have become part of a sales funnel, which is how the seller of those products and services operate. In fact, the moment that you set foot in a shop or visit an online store, you essentially have just entered in at the top of a sales funnel. You may not make a purchase at that time, but you may decide to sign up for a newsletter or request more information on the product or service that interests you. This request for additional information is looked at as a positive step by the seller and in some cases may be enough for them to move you deeper into their sales funnel and legitimize you as an actual qualified “lead”. In this case, the seller would effectively move you from the top of the funnel towards the middle.
This is where things can begin to get a little tricky for the seller. Depending on their sales process the seller may be successful at driving a lot of people to the middle stages of the funnel and now they have to create measurable activities and milestones to move their prospects along the sales cycle so they can become a customer. The sales team can not just leave all their prospects wedged in that middle part of the funnel. The goal for the sales team is to move you down to the bottom of the funnel in order to complete the sale, after which the process may well begin again as they look to bring you back and get you back to the top of that funnel over and over.
If this all sounds a little confusing, why not take a moment to look at what a traditional sales funnel looks like. In most cases, they are broken down into multiple steps, with the names of those steps interchangeable depending on how a sales team decides to handle their individual funnel. In the real world, these funnels may have anywhere between 4 – 10 separate and distinct steps but for simplicity, we have chosen to separate the funnel into 3 unique and distinct parts, which would be as follows:
- Top of Funnel Management (TOFU) More…
- Middle of Funnel Management (MOFU) More …
- Bottom of Funnel Management (BOFU) More …
While each individual company will have its own specific measures in place to handle each of those areas of their sales funnel, in general, the management of each is often similar across the board.
Now that you have a basic idea of how the sales funnel works, we are going to break each of those individual areas down for you. We are going to take a deep dive into the techniques, key performance indicators, and attributes of the TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU. Our hope is that the information provided will prove to be useful to both the seller and the consumer. We want to be able to help new businesses understand the concepts of sales funnel management while making it easier for consumers to understand why the businesses they use operate the way they do in terms of generating leads and creating sales.
Links to more content in the Sales Funnel Series: