A marketing funnel illustrates the journey of a customer from a stranger role to a customer role.
Leads are nurtured slowly over time through the funnel.
The leads that arrive at the bottom of the funnel turn into customers.
Every single business in the world regardless of how small or big it is, has some kind of sales funnel and everything starts with your marketing efforts. Every single marketing funnel is unique.
You are going to create awareness and interest through your marketing efforts and that is going to make some people pay attention to what you are doing and they are going to become leads, now what the sales department is going to do with those leads is try to get some of those to buy, so the leads that start becoming closer to buy, those are that your prospects and eventually some of your prospects are going to buy.
Awareness: It is the responsibility of the marketing team to create awareness in the potential customers so that qualified leads will be generated. The marketing team can use social network ads like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, lead magnets, running campaigns, blogs, etc. The qualified leads that we got here can be Marketing Qualified Leads or Sales Qualified Leads. Let us say, you are providing online classes on various topics and for a stranger to be aware of that, you need to write a blog on the topic you are teaching, or use social marketing ads, video blogging, using lead magnets such as newsletters, free webinars, etc.
Interest: Here, in this stage, the qualified leads start trying to know a bit more about the product that you are offering. It is the responsibility of the marketing team to make the qualified leads interested in knowing more about the product. As part of creating awareness, let us say you are providing a free webinar, and if a stranger enrolled for it, then we can say that stranger wants to know more about the product. One more example is that the customer wants to buy a health insurance policy and you are selling the same, and he visited your website and for knowing the quote of the insurance policy, he entered the mobile number, so here as well, the stranger wants to more about the product, and once the stranger provides the phone number to know the quote, he becomes the sales qualified lead.
Consideration: Now the ball is in the sales team court, and it is the responsibility of the sales team to nurture these sales-qualified leads into prospects. Since the stranger (sales qualified lead) provided the phone number to the sales team, the sales team need to call the sales qualified lead to making him consider the product trustworthy and if the sales qualified lead considers the product trustworthy, then the sales team marks the sales qualified lead as the prospect.
Intent: Even though the sales qualified lead considers the product as trustworthy to become a prospect, he might or might not buy the product as he might just give the mobile number for future purpose and inform a friend, just in case if he shows an intention to buy the product, then he enters the evaluation stage.
Evaluation: Once he intends to buy the product from you, the sales team needs to convince him that the product is superior to the product offered by the competitors, and once the prospect is able to evaluation the product and if he gets convinced, he will enter the purchase stage.
Purchase: The prospect makes the purchase of the product to become the customer of the company.