The marketing funnel is not the same as the sales funnel. Although in essence, they seem to be, they have their differences and it is important that you know them.
Each one fulfills a specific function. The first one tries to convert the traffic that comes to your website into leads that can then be treated to qualify them. And the second, makes those qualified leads new customers.
It is a systematic process that, depending on the purchase time of your potential customers, requires joint work between those responsible for creating content and those responsible for making sales.
Marketing and Sales funnel
Taking into account the above, it is time for you to know the difference between marketing and sales funnels:
When the marketing team creates and launches an action, they expect it to generate new business opportunities. These opportunities generally begin with obtaining contact information from users who enter our website.
The actions range from the dissemination of content through organic or paid channels, to the conversion of the user to lead through web forms or some other conversion technique.
Once these marketing actions bear fruit, the information obtained is sent to the commercial department. This team will be in charge of converting them into new clients using the information already collected.
The key point of the funnel or marketing funnel is that it will allow you to identify and qualify a certain lead in order to guarantee that it closely resembles your ideal buyer.
These identification and qualification actions in the marketing funnel are performed at the beginning of the funnel, which is also known as TOFU.
The sales funnel follows after the marketing funnel. It covers the process that the sales team will carry out from the moment they obtain a qualified lead until they become a new customer.
Understand personalized calls or emails as the first and second contact. Also the qualification of that lead through a nurturing process such as lead nurturing, which attempts to provide additional information about the brand and its products.
Your rating or lead scoring also influences here, depending on your level of interaction with the brand through emails, social networks, advertisements, Facebook campaigns, and Google Ads, among others.
But for this funnel to make sense, it is necessary to have the support of the marketing team, who in turn control the qualification of those leads through their own funnel.
It is a joint effort and it yields surprising results when done in synergy under the rule of a good content strategy and lead approach.
Tactics and shortcuts
The theory is one thing, but in practice, we can face many realities. During the lead generation and opportunity management process, you can skip certain steps, although of course, at your own risk and responsibility.
For example, Facebook Ads offers a simple and highly effective solution for attracting potential buyers through your ads. With the selection of the “lead generation” objective, we can create segmented campaigns according to the region and the public that one wants to attract.
The good: You will get a lot of leads that could be ready to buy.
The bad: There is the possibility that a certain percentage of those leads have given their data through that campaign without having any idea what it is about.
These kinds of shortcuts would generate higher conversions if you first put those contacts through a nurturing process.
If what you want to sell is something complex to understand, it would be ideal that you send a chain of emails with high value content directed to all those leads that are at the beginning of your funnel. This is one way to ensure that your prospects know you better and understand what you want to sell them.
The lead nurturing tactic will help you create awareness between each lead about who you are and what you sell.
Meanwhile, lead scoring will allow you to classify those leads according to their level of interaction with each email you send them. In this way, you will begin to establish the necessary bases to give a score due to each contact you have made.
Phases of the marketing and sales funnel:
Like everything in marketing, marketing and sales funnel are divided into several important phases. Those are TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU. Understanding what it means and its function within the funnel will determine the relevance of your actions to take to each lead and the content to distribute.
TOFU (Top of the funnel)
TOFU is the highest part of your funnel. It is where all organic or paid traffic arrives and is later classified according to its affinity with each buyer person of the brand.
This is where all the content that is created for attraction has the most power, but it is also the part where a user still has no idea of their need because they are in a discovery or awareness phase.
It is at this level where the content in blog post format will help your brand the most to position itself among those users. After consuming them, your prospects will understand that they have a need that needs to be satisfied.
MOFU (Middle of the funnel)
MOFU is the second was from our funnel. It is in the middle and it is the place where the users who arrive are aware of their need and what they need to satisfy.
This is where we can be much more creative in creating our content of value in order to offer you alternatives in exchange for obtaining certain information.
It is at this level where the Lead Generation tactic begins to work. The user will begin to see you as an option, will enter the consideration stage -consideration- and therefore will want to receive more information about your brand and what it has to offer and you will be ready to give it in exchange for their data.
At this point, you must be clear about the needs of your buyer persona, in order to ensure that their passage of this level ensures the next sale.
BOFU (Bottom of the funnel)
BOFU is the narrowest part of our funnel. Here come the contacts that are already qualified to be sent to the sales team or ready to receive an offer.
The users who arrive here have already interacted with your content, they have visited you on your website, social networks, and other digital environments. They download your content and enjoy your videos or podcast.
They have entered the decision stage -decision- and they are sure that your proposal is the best, that is why your content must now be more personalized, such as a demonstration, free trial, audit, advice for a specified time, or some other tactic that take you from this point to the closing of the sale.
As you can see, everything has a meaning and is intertwined with each other. Understanding each element that you include in the development of a digital marketing strategy will make a difference in the development of your company.