Contributors from members of the Copper team
A sales funnel gives you a methodical approach to converting leads.
It provides a process to follow, ensuring each lead is given the content they need right when they need it. Through properly nurturing your leads, you can move them through the funnel until they finally reach the end where they’re ready to buy.
The thing is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a sales funnel.
While sales funnels typically follow the same four phases (awareness, interest, desire, action), the steps involved within each phase can be drastically different from company to company.
If you try and apply a sales funnel to your organization that doesn’t fit with your sales reps processes or how your leads become customers, you’ll have leaks in your funnel that you won’t be able to close up.
One easy way to avoid this with a sales team: Create a funnel that’s unique to your organization.
There is a lot you can learn from other companies’ sales funnels as you’re creating a process of your own. To give you some inspiration throughout each of the different stages, here are two sales funnel examples to check out.
CoSchedule is is the first of the sales funnel examples. It's a marketing tool that helps you schedule, upload, and plan your content calendar. They’ve also developed a strong sales funnel for piquing their audience’s interest and ultimately converting them into customers during the sales process.
Let’s take a look at what CoSchedule does at each stage of the sales funnel.
At the top of CoSchedule’s sales funnel is their social media platform. At this stage, CoSchedule is looking to make their audience more aware of their brand and what they offer by appealing to a challenge the audience might be facing.
Here’s an example Tweet, focusing on audience members, including potential customers, who struggle with writing email subject lines.
This post doesn’t ask for much. In fact, it doesn’t ask for anything at all.
Instead, it just gives an engaging bit of information and a quick educational GIF about CoSchedule’s email subject line tester.
While they may not click through to the website just yet, they’re now probably connecting the brand with improved email marketing campaigns.
Interest and evaluation
If someone does choose to click through to CoSchedule’s website, they’ll be brought to the subject line tester tool. At this point in the sales funnel, the lead is interested in knowing more about what CoSchedule has to offer.
Users are brought to a page that looks just like the GIF from the Tweet. (Bonus points for consistent branding!) When they hit the “Score My Subject Line” button, a page pops up to collect contact information.
They’re also prompted to share some information about the company they work at and the overall goals of the business. This is great information for the marketing and sales team to work from.
Finally, users are given their results during this sales funnel stage: a free analysis of their email headline.
This quick sample allows CoSchedule to collect lead information while also giving a quick glance into a product that they offer.
Users walk away feeling satisfied that they have a better understanding of how CoSchedule can improve their lives while the brand has the information it needs to send targeted content to bring leads back later on.
You might also notice that CoSchedule offers a 14-day free trial of the tool right on the results page. This pushes the lead to transition into the next stage of the sales funnel.
The email subject line scorer is just one piece of what the CoSchedule tool can do. However, it can spike enough interest in the platform to convince users to try the whole tool out.
A free trial is a great way to create desire within your prospects. The free 14-day offer can be just enough time to give prospects a feel for how CoSchedule can make their marketing and posting easier.
The no-credit-card commitment also makes it easy for leads to give it a shot. Because they don’t need to worry about getting accidentally charged or hidden costs or fees, it creates a no-pressure environment for them to just test the tool out.
Within the free trial, users are shown a countdown to when their trial expires. This is designed to create some urgency that could encourage the prospect to finally commit.
Finally, when the free trial is up, the lead should have a good idea if the tool is right for them or not. At this phase of the effective sales funnel, it would be up to CoSchedule to make a final offer to ultimately close the deal.
What should you take away from CoSchedule’s sales funnel example?
CoSchedule’s sales funnel is centered around creating an awesome user experience for their leads. From the social media post to the free tool trial, CoSchedule shows––not tells––prospects what they can expect.
Here are our major takeaways from the successful sales funnel:
- Use visuals to grab attention on social media.
- Create a lead magnet to collect useful information about your leads.
- Offer a free trial to hook interested prospects.
Tray.io is an API automation platform tool that promises to connect your entire tech stack at scale. Their sales funnel is another great example you can learn from.
Let’s take a look at their four-stage process.
Tray.io begins this sales funnel with a paid ad on Google for the term “automation tool.”
Although the average click-through-rate for Google Ads is only 2%, getting the Tray.io name at the top of such a relevant search term can increase brand awareness and make a connection between the company and the solution they offer.
This kind of sales funnel also works a bit differently than our first example. Because the user is searching for a specific kind of tool, it puts them a bit further down the sales funnel already. They’re more aware of what solution they’re looking for during this part of the sales process, meaning Tray.io can be more direct in the content they’re offering.
Interest and evaluation
Should the user decide to click the Google Ad, they end up on a landing page that presents options on how to learn more about the Tray platform.
Leads are offered a recorded demo, a live group demo, or even a personalized 1:1 demo––and can choose a funnel that works best for them. This is a great way to ensure that you’re taking care of multiple types of leads with different comfort levels when it comes to learning about your product.
When leads choose which demo they’d like to view, they’re prompted to share some contact information.
Just like in the CoSchedule example, this gives Tray the ability to reconnect with leads after they engage with their demo. Tray’s team can also follow up via email to schedule a 1:1 demo or prompt video watchers to participate in a live group webinar.
After filling out the opt-in form, leads are shown videos on how to use Tray in different use cases.
These quick but educational walkthroughs of the platform can give interested leads an idea of how they might use the tool to make business more efficient.
At the bottom of the videos page are different case studies. (You can learn more about how to create case studies here.) This helps to further qualify the leads and push them to the next phase of the sales cycle.
Although demonstration videos are a great way to show how a product works, they usually do very little to showcase real results that users can expect. In the Tray example, case studies help by applying the use cases from the videos to an actual company.
On their customer story page for Vox Media, Tray sets up the problem, provides a solution, and gives clear results.
They even share a testimonial from the client.
This kind of customer story encourages prospects to put themselves in the customer’s shoes. If they struggle with similar problems, they don’t have to imagine—they can see—what kind of results they could get from implementing the tool.
The right storytelling will make your audience want to see what results the tool can achieve for them, increasing desire and prompting them to move further down the sales funnel to the final stage.
At the bottom of the customer story page, visitors are again prompted to sign up for a 1:1 demo.
This final call to action encourages interested prospects to reach out to a sales rep for a final, personalized walkthrough of the platform.
During the 1:1 demo, Tray reps would need to address the unique challenges and issues that the user is trying to tackle. They’ll also want to offer special tips, deals, or solutions to ultimately convince the prospect to buy, and complete a sale.
What should you take away from Tray.io’s sales funnel?
Tray does an excellent job at personalizing the sales funnel to meet the needs of their target audience and prospective customers. By recognizing that each prospect may have different expectations for learning about the Tray platform, they’re able to offer tailored solutions to fit each individual’s preferences throughout every sales funnel stage.
Here are our major takeaways that sales reps and sales managers can study from the high converting sales funnel:
- Google Ads can help you increase awareness with prospective customers by appearing at the top of popular searches.
- Offer multiple demo solutions to fit the needs of each individual lead.
- Use customer stories to help your prospects place themselves in a customer’s shoes.
Use sales funnel examples to create a system that works for your target audience.
Both CoSchedule and Tray do an awesome job at creating sales funnels that convert leads into paying customers. However, don’t just try and copy these examples step-by-step to attract potential customers in different stages of a sales funnel.
These sales funnels have been created with each target audience’s unique personality traits, challenges, and goals in mind. You’ll want to do the same when creating your own sales funnel.