"The sales funnel" is a common name given by marketing professionals to a process that begins with a lead and ends in a sale.
Here are the basic processes of the sales funnel ..
- get your product or service noticed (raise profile)
- contact (eg a visitor visits your website, or Likes your Facebook page)
- turn a contact into a lead (get a contact to give you some useful personal information, such as their email address and likes)
- conversation (the courtship)
- conversion (turn the courtship into a sale)
- customer shares their experiences (recommendation, product review etc)
- retain the customer and ensure they stay loyal
Essentially what a business is trying to do is to ..
- create a buzz
- get potential customers (leads) interested in their products or services
- gather some information about the leads so they can start a tailored and relevant conversation with them
- convert them into a customer
- retain them as a returning customer
- turn them into a loyal advocate of your products or service