Product Blog

Latest in topics and discussions.

Establishing a Sales Funnel - ChannelOnline
  • Establishing a Sales Funnel

  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The sales funnel is a useful concept that shows how your business generates customers from the initial acquisition to the final contract. Most businesses end up establishing a sales funnel quite early on, and different teams will work on different stages of the sales funnel. This means that it's critical to understand how each level of the sales funnel works.

Stage I: Generating Leads
Most businesses use a variety of strategies when generating leads. It's these leads that get put into your funnel so that you can hopefully tempt them into buying your software or services. Most of the leads that you generate at this stage will go almost nowhere, because it is the top of the funnel where you're essentially deciding which leads are worth moving forward, and which leads are not. When you're creating leads, consider cold calling, flyers, advertising, and social media. Of course, there's a wide variety of strategies you can use for your website and advertising so that you generate interest.

Stage II: Interest
The next stage is to generate further interest in your product. Some companies offer a trial version of the software so that prospective customers can see how it works with their system. Others offer site audits that start a relationship and show how weaknesses can be turned to strengths. Typically, you need to show how your products or solutions can be integrated into their business and can benefit the business.

Stage III: Following Up
How you follow up on the interest stage depends on how you generated that interest. If you created a site audit, for example, or a review of company practices, depending on what your software offers, you can follow up with a phone call (usually somewhat scripted) to ensure that you maintain momentum. However, you would use a different type of script if you're following up after a trial.

Stage IV: Converting Your Lead
At this point, you need to convert your lead into a potential contract. This is where a substantial amount of negotiation is required, as price can be a tricky sticking point. Many businesses will negotiate on price, but you may also want to discuss what else you can offer to sweeten the deal.

Stage V: Contract
The final contract is the end of the sales process and the beginning of the support process. Typically, it's a good idea to consider the sale closed only when the first payment reaches the company's bank account.

To ensure you're establishing a sales funnel that is effective enough for your purposes, you need software that can handle the entire funnel process and keep different teams apprised of the details. ChannelOnline's built-in account management software helps you keep up with where each customer is in relation to the sales funnel and ensures that all information can be acted upon.