Journey Through a Sales Funnel

Stages of Your Buyer
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When building a sales funnel, you need to understand that buying involves a psychological construct. People don’t just convert from being a lead to a customer overnight (although this can also happen). Buyers travel through a series of distinguishable stages when deciding to buy a product or service. These stages are usually characterized by both emotional and rational thought processes.

As a marketer, your job is to make every prospect feel safe during the decision process. And to do this, you need to understand each stage buyers go through and align your marketing strategy accordingly.

Without much ado, here are the five stages buyers go through when deciding on whether or not to buy a product:

Productive from unproductive

1. Awareness

The first step every consumer takes in a buying decision process is becoming aware of a need. This is mostly triggered when customers feel a differentiation between their actual state and ideal state. It could also be awakened when customers come across advertisements that inform them of their deficiencies.

For instance, watching a commercial for chocolate could initiate your desire for chocolate at that particular time. Another popular example is the use of movie teasers to inform the prospective audience about a movie to be released soon.

What You Should Do:

As a marketer, you should ensure that you constantly make research on what type of needs arises among your prospects and how these needs drive them towards your products or services.

2. Interest

This stage is usually dependent on how strong the buyer’s drive in the first stage is. If the drive is strong enough, the individual will likely commence information search associated with the need immediately. He/she may ask for recommendations from family and friends or might decide to conduct a thorough search online.

What You Should Do:

As a brand marketer, your best bet at this stage is to conduct campaigns in top digital platforms that target such prospects. You must ensure that your brand gets into the prospects’ choice set. It is also pertinent that you guide such consumers through this stage by providing accessible and abundant information on your product. You could also make use of testimonials, guest posts, promotional blog posts, tutorial videos, white paper, etc. to market your product at this stage.

3. Evaluation of Alternatives

After obtaining enough information about the product in the second stage, the consumer examines, evaluate and compare the product based on certain established criteria. These criteria usually include the brands’ image, the features of the product, the prices, etc.

What You Should Do:

In order to boost your company’s chances in this stage, it is important that you simplify your products’ features such that it illustrates and emphasizes what set it apart from its other competitors. You can also make use of webinar.

This online tool allows you to reach more prospects and build your marketing strategy. According to TechValidate, webinars customers are creating an additional 25% or more qualified leads.

4. Purchase Decision

After evaluating the various alternatives, the buyer finally buys his/her preferred product. Usually, the consumer goes for the most attractive brand that can offer more benefits in relation to the price to be paid. However, the consumer may decide to postpone the purchase decision due to certain circumstances like job loss, financial loss, or relocation.

What You Should Do:

As a marketer, you should ensure you remove any barrier that may cause the buyer to postpone or cancel his or her purchase decision. You can do this by ensuring that you provide sufficient information that reinforces the purchase decision, such as showing options for payment, hours of operation, ease of delivery, and much more.

5. Post-purchase behavior

As a marketer, you should be interested in knowing whether your consumer is highly satisfied, indifferent or unsatisfied with your product after purchase. A satisfied buyer will not only become a regular customer but will also recommend your product to others.

Ensure that you do not exaggerate the product benefits while trying to convince the consumer to patronize your product. Most importantly, persuade your buyers to leave reviews of their buying experiences with your brand. And in the case of dissatisfaction, take responsibility and offer to either refund the money or send another product.

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