What Is the Classic Sales Funnel?
Salespersons have been benefiting from the concept of the ‘Classic Sales Funnel’ for more than a century. Back in the late 1800’s, E. St. Elmo Lewis mapped the theoretical customer journey and proposed the ‘Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action’ purchase, model. The marketing and sales community members have clung to this concept ever since.
There have also emerged various disputes ranging from who owns it- marketing or sales, to whether it is still applicable today and many more. All said and done, we as marketers love the sales funnel.
There are many names and versions of the funnel. Some call it the ‘the sales pipeline’ or the ‘purchase funnel’ or even ‘conversion funnel’. But as William Shakespeare has said,
“A rose by another name would smell as sweet.”
Likewise, the funnel will help you understand the customer journey and increase sales if used efficiently, no matter what it’s called.
Understanding the classic sales funnel is a huge topic. For 17 years, we have captured data from online and offline interactions with both leads and customers. We have a unique perspective on the lead nurturing process. So we decided to do a series on the classic sales funnel. This introduction and overview graphic is the first article.
Let’s get straight to the model. We will refer to every stage of the funnel and how you can use SEO to get more clicks. Mostly, we will talk about the most ignored bottom half of the funnel. We hope that by the end of these efforts, all your leads convert into buying customers and your funnel transforms into a cylinder!
The sales funnel is the ideal process that your leads go through as they move from being someone who could potentially be a customer to an actual one. The conversion rate of a lead transforming into a customer is a highly contextual concept. For example, the conversion rate of an automobile establishment is definitely not going to be the same as a small-scale food industry. As digital marketers, let’s have a look at the conversion rates of landing pages.
According to WordStream, the average landing page conversion rate can range between 2% to 10%. The above average landing pages can have a conversion rate as high as 11.45%
The sales funnel illustrates a hard-hitting marketing or sales fact…Every sales’ activity initiates with a large number of prospective buyers but tapers down into a much smaller number of people actually buying a product.
As mentioned earlier, there are countless versions of the funnel but the one which we will refer to in our Sales Funnel Blog Series contains has these seven stages:
Feel free to download the SALES FUNNEL graphic. And watch for Part 2 to learn about digital marketing and how it works in the classical sales funnel.