Whether you sell a product, a service, or anything else, your customer’s journey to make a final purchase is called a sales funnel. It might be a leaky funnel, but it’s a funnel nonetheless. Sellers “drop” opportunities into their funnel, which becomes final sales.
Throughout the sales process, prospects might leave due to disinterest or lack of fit, but the best customers will always come out in the end. Appiloque can be your greatest asset in the pursuit of that outcome. That journey, from beginning to end, is outlined here.
The Four Stages of a Sales Funnel
1) Lead or Prospect. A lead or a prospect is a salesperson who has been in contact with who has expressed an interest in buying a product or service. The sales prospect might have received information about what the salesperson is selling, and they have agreed that the process is worth their time to pursue. Tracking the most promising of these leads is the best use of a salesperson’s time and effort since this will help prevent leads from being lost in the process.
2) Qualified Prospect. Qualification is the most critical and demanding stage of the sales funnel. It’s at this stage that the salesperson determines the prospect’s interest in whatever they are selling. When the prospect sees the value of what the salesperson is selling, they become “qualified,” and it is agreed that the sales process should continue.
3) Committed. By the sales funnel’s committed stage, almost all of the red flags that a potential customer can raise have been dealt with. There might still be a few red flags remaining, but for the most part, they are few and far between. At this stage, a prospect sees value in the product, there is a budget for it, and access to the final decision maker has been granted. An understanding to proceed in the sales process has been agreed upon, and a timeline for the final stage might have been verified.
By the sales process’s committee stage, there have been plenty of opportunities for prospects to “leak” out of the funnel. This is not necessarily a bad thing since unqualified or disinterested prospects are a drain on a salesperson’s time and energy since they are not likely to yield positive results, at least for now.
4) Transacted. At this point, a deal has been agreed on by both parties in a sales transaction. Fulfillment of the obligation of the sale is normally passed to other groups in an organization, and the salesperson should continue to monitor the process to ensure that delivery takes place. Still, to a great extent, the sale has been completed. At this point, a sale can be considered “revenue” from an accounting perspective.
A customer’s repeat business is mostly dependent on how smoothly this process took place, with the “service after the sale” being the ultimate determiner of the sales relationship’s future. At any time during this progress of this process a sale can become undone, and contingencies for the process to continue can be agreed on.
For a metaphor of the sales process, the funnel perfectly illustrates an opportunity as it passes from one stage to another until closing decreases, and the probability of a sale being consummated increases.