Marketing Funnel – Part 5

The marketing funnel - sometimes called the sales funnel, the purchase funnel, or the buyer’s journey, - is a fundamental concept in marketing for understanding the step by step process that consumers go through to make a purchasing decision.

Each week we will focus on one segment of the funnel and go into more detail. Last week we introduced the evaluation stage.

This week’s segment: Commitment

When you have gotten a prospect all the way through to the commitment stage, you are as close to making a sale as you’re ever going to be without actually making one. And that’s why it is crucial that you don’t stop to congratulate yourself too soon.

The commitment stage is significant because the prospect has chosen to do business with your company. They have reviewed your promotional materials, researched alternatives, gotten the answers to all of their questions, and have chosen your product or service.

Sounds like a done deal, right? Well, for many industries this is where things really get tricky. Now comes the negotiation, where your sales team tries to close the deal with the right price and contract terms.

For consumer goods and many other B2C companies, this stage might be less important. When a prospect chooses you, there may be very little negotiation available to them. But for B2B companies, this is the whole reason you have a sales team. If you lose a prospect at this stage, it’s a costly missed opportunity.

So be prepared with flexible, easy to understand terms and conditions. Give your sales teams the right incentives and the power to do what it takes to close. If you do, you’ll plug up one of the most painful leaks in the funnel.

Stay tuned next week for another edition of the Marketing Funnel series.