A marketing funnel describes customers’ journey with a brand. Understanding your marketing funnel can help you understand your customers better and connect with them at every stage of their journey. It will enable you to modify your marketing strategy in terms of tactics, content, and channels in order to improve lead generation and nurturing, boost conversions, and transform more customers into loyal brand advocates.
The modern marketing funnel is both complex and non-linear because today’s customers have a plethora of products and brands to choose from, as well as numerous channels to engage with a brand. It’s crucial to keep this in mind and implement strategies to connect with customers in authentic, personalized ways throughout the funnel. Here’s where technology and platforms like Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) come in.
With the help of SFMC and Salesforce certified experts, you can accelerate your Salesforce marketing funnel and optimize it for the results you are looking for – whether it’s more qualified leads, more conversions, or more closed-won deals.
Here are three ways!
Unlock data about prospects, leads, and customers at every stage of the funnel
The main Salesforce funnel stages are awareness, interest, desire, action, loyalty, and advocacy. In order to connect with customers at each of these stages – and transform them into repeat purchases, loyal advocates, and brand ambassadors – you need a specific strategy for each stage. And the starting point for creating this strategy is data.
Marketing Cloud Intelligence in SFMC provides a way to connect, analyze, and act on your customer data at every stage of their journey and your Salesforce funnel. If you are a B2C marketer, you can access cross-channel analytics and insights across every marketing or sales channel, including email, social, advertising, and web. For B2B marketers, Marketing Cloud Intelligence provides unified reports to help optimize leads, boost conversion, and accelerate sales pipeline growth.
With Marketing Cloud Intelligence, you can centralize all data so you get a single source of truth for marketing. Irrespective of data format, where it lives, or how it changes over time, Marketing Cloud Intelligence puts you in control of every data point so you can get deeper insights into both, customers and campaigns. Leverage these insights along with a consistent taxonomy and dynamic data modeling to see what’s working and to course-correct what’s not. Visual guides and natural language descriptions make it easy to understand the meaning of each insight so you can act quickly in all these ways to optimize your SFMC sales funnel and customers’ journeys:
- Listen to customers and engage with them across every channel of their choice
- Automate and optimize campaigns with SFMC and Salesforce email marketing templates
- Monitor every marketing investment and performance at every stage of the funnel
- Measure progress against goals and get automated predictions on goal completion to contextualize and improve performance
- Get real-time recommendations to pause underperforming campaigns and improve marketing ROI
Marketing Cloud Intelligence includes AI capabilities so you can surface insights quickly to inform and improve marketing campaigns at any stage of the Salesforce sales funnel.
Power meaningful journeys and personalized experiences across every channel and stage
Today you need to do more to engage audiences at every stage of the marketing funnel. Thus, once you capture a lead, you need to invest more marketing effort in Salesforce lead nurturing and conversions, and in gaining more brand advocates and loyal repeat purchases. You also need to do more “in the moment” marketing by:
- Meeting and serving customers on their preferred channels
- Engaging in personalized communication on every channel and at every stage of the purchase journey
- Sending targeted messaging and content to improve engagement and keep them “stuck” to your brand
- Activating and delivering personalized experiences to every lead or customer using first-party data
- Predicting preferences to engage in more relevant customer interactions and to make every moment count
In SFMC, Marketing Cloud Engagement includes capabilities that will help you do all of the above and more. One of the best ways to get more value out of your marketing funnel is to build engaging journeys and deliver personalized experiences to every lead and customer. And with Marketing Cloud Engagement, you can do this very easily.
Use its user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface to build connected customer journeys and unify them under a single view. These journeys will help you to win new customers and engage current ones. Design campaigns quickly with Salesforce email marketing templates and adjust them effortlessly to give customers what they want. Many of these campaigns can be automated with SFMC’s marketing automation features, so you have to do very little to win more subscribers and engage them in the inbox. Plus, AI-powered insights will enable you to send the right message to the right customer at the right time. You can also view and analyze campaign performance from one place with prebuilt dashboards for email, mobile, journeys, and more.
Track every stage of the marketing funnel lifecycle
The marketing funnel narrows down along the customer’s purchase journey. In the earlier stages of awareness and interest, you will cast a wide net to attract the maximum number of leads. The net gets tighter as you qualify leads and nurture them along the funnel. As you move down, the audience narrows down until you get leads who are most likely to purchase, and, ideally, become loyal customers and brand advocates.
You need to map these various stages of the marketing funnel in order to:
- Understand customers and the stages they go through in the buying process
- Get insights into how long it takes for a visitor to convert to a prospect, lead, and then, a customer
- See the actions prospects take to advance further down the funnel
- Identify which campaigns would be most relevant for every stage of a buyer’s buying process
- Accelerate movement from one stage to another to speed up conversions and sales
SFMC will help you map your marketing funnel and customer journeys. With Journey Builder, you can build personalized journeys based on customer data, such as attributes, demographics, browsing behaviors, and purchase history. You can then trigger these journeys based on real-time events like purchases and adjust them based on current or predicted behaviors.
Journey Builder will allow you to align your marketing messages across every stage and connect the entire purchase experience for every lead or customer. You can also visualize your marketing strategies to drive campaigns throughout the funnel and tweak these strategies based on campaign performance and changing trends.
Once you map the funnel, SFMC will help you implement its various lifecycle stages: Prospect (or Lead), Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), and Customer. If possible, aim for an MQL acceptance rate of 75%. Also, follow these good practices to implement and simplify tracking for the various funnel lifecycle stages:
- Add a custom field on the Lead record for the sales to add an explanation when they reject a lead
- Use a dropdown picklist to improve or adjust MQL criteria and improve conversion rates from MQL to SAL
- Use a custom object in Salesforce to track data at a granular level and enable shareable reporting for the full funnel
- Continually assess if the funnel is “leaky” at any stage and implement processes to improve conversion
It’s also useful to add date fields for each lifecycle stage after implementing the Lifecycle Stage Custom Object in SFMC. Updating these fields will create a timestamp every time a lead advances to the next stage in the funnel. In other words, you will understand the “funnel velocity”. Use this knowledge to implement the required marketing and sales processes to build effective campaigns that can accelerate the funnel and help you reach your revenue goals.
Also, take advantage of SFMC Email Studio to design and send personalized email campaigns to capture more leads, nurture them down the funnel, and convert more customers. With Email Studio, you can build everything from basic newsletters and transactional emails to complex campaigns and hyper-personalized messaging – all of which will help you foster funnel and sales acceleration.
If possible, automate the key transition stages in the funnel, in particular MQL to SAL, SQL, and SQL to Customer. The best way to make the power of automation work for your marketing funnel – and brand – is to work with a team of Salesforce certified experts like Email Uplers. SFMC also provides numerous tools to implement marketing automation and capture its many benefits, including Email Studio, Datorama, Einstein AI engine, and Account Engagement
You need a marketing funnel to understand the customer journey and give them what they need at every stage. Mapping the funnel will empower you to design and pivot your marketing and sales strategy for maximum conversions and sales.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Email Uplers will help you optimize and accelerate your brand’s funnel so you can increase sales, revenues, and brand value. Contact us to get started.