The sales funnel qualifies prospects throughout the marketing process, making it easy to predict sales, find out about any problems in the pipeline, and take quick corrective actions. Proactive contact management systems allow salespeople and managers to follow work progress, check contract details, and improve closing ratios. Creating an efficient sales funnel offers many marketing benefits including  widening or narrowing criteria to produce more sales leads, showing when companies need better training for salespeople, and helping show where to focus sales efforts for the best returns on investments.

Setting up the sales funnel demands a strong understanding of company sales. Different criteria apply to wholesale and retail sales,  and more lucrative sales might need more inclusive screenings to give companies more prospects who sales staff can target with personal closing efforts. Sales and marketing people help define the criteria for screening prospects and the sequential steps of sales efforts. Analytics can measure the number of prospects at each stage, so managers can fine-tune the results to match company goals.

Understanding sales funnels in the simplest terms proves relatively easy. Four steps define the process, which starts with 1,500 leads or visitor visits to websites. Companies might get 10 percent of these viewers to click on the “order” button. The sales funnel has reduced the number of leads to 150. Only 30 people actually finish the sales process, so the funnel that starts with 1,500 leads ends with 30 sales, which makes a 2 percent conversion rate. Clever design, compelling content, and correct targeting help increase conversion rates for better ROI statistics.
Many companies focus on the wrong targets, choosing quantity over quality. The benefits of online marketing and social media networks allow companies to interact personally with their customers. Some products and services work better with Twitter, or B2B sales efforts might get better results from LinkedIn. Choose the right campaign for each forum to target likely buyers. Social media networks emphasize the value of sharing, so make it easy for people to share by posting compelling content, sharing incentives such as prizes or discounts, and offering freebies or valuable advice.

Branding efforts help create repeat business, so encourage satisfied clients to promote products among their friends and associates. Encourage customers to stay loyal by asking for their opinions and allowing them to create content to use on blog posts, testimonials and FAQs. The sales funnel qualifies leads and improves targeting efforts, so companies get high returns from online marketing efforts.