DO NOT check this box if you are using a public computer. User IDs potentially containing sensitive information will not be saved.
Sign on to Online Banking
Understanding the Four Stages of Your Sales Funnel
Over the last two decades, the way customers interact with businesses has changed. Today, customers often search for business and service providers online, and that means that the way small businesses reach out to customers has changed, too.
While online marketing options like blogs and social media have made it easier and more cost-effective to reach a larger audience, the rise of internet-related marketing has also created more "noise" for small businesses to cut through as they try to reach their intended audiences.
The sales funnel has always been part of the buying process, but in today's world, the processes have changed. To keep cash flowing into your business, it's important to understand the four different stages of the sales funnel — and know how to reach customers at each stage.
Stage 1: Awareness
In the awareness stage, you're trying to reach customers and turn them into visitors to your site. You can do this by creating blogs or social media posts about a certain problem your potential customers might be trying to solve. As they do online searches, the keywords you've used in your posts will help them discover your business.
As you create your social media strategy, be sure to choose social media platforms that your potential customers would use. You don't have to use them all, but you do want to make sure you're using the ones most relevant to your customer base.
Stage 2: Interest
At the second stage, you've gotten their attention and now want to turn them into sales leads. One way to do this is to offer something in exchange for their email information. This can be a case study that solves a problem they might be having, a webinar or even a coupon for signing up.
Stage 3: Action
There's a good reason for gathering your customers' email addresses: It allows you to market to them with additional offers, and to target these leads with promotions that align with what brought them to your business in the first place. Providing special discounts and offers can help bring them back.
Stage 4: Purchase
It used to be that the purchasing stage was seen as the end of the process. But good customer service and continuing to reach out to customers after they have made purchases can help keep them engaged and turn them into long-term or repeat customers. That sends them back to the first stage of the buying funnel, and gives you more opportunities to reach them with your services or products.
As you create your funnel, it’s important to work with your bank to ensure that you are making the most of your cash flow as customers reach the purchase stage. One way to do that is to develop a strong banking relationship that efficiently cover all your card and payment processing needs. Making it easy for customers to complete transactions is a way to keep them satisfied — and to keep them coming back.
Cash Flow Challenges
Insights on the top cash flow challenges business owners are facing today.
Browse All Articles »
Sign Up Now
Receive an email with featured articles and valuable insights for today’s business owners.
We've Made One Business Decision Easier —
Business Checking from PNC
Earn a $200 cash reward when you open and use a qualifying PNC business checking account by 09/30/19.
Get Offer Details »
Start Your Cash Flow Conversation
Give us a call at 1-855-762-2365 or fill out our simple form and a PNC Business Banking representative will get in touch with you.
Request a Contact »
Optimize Your Business Cash Flow
Important Legal Disclosures and Information
"Is Online Marketing Really Necessary for Small Businesses?" Forbes.com, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/02/22/is-online-marketing-really-necessary-for-small-businesses/#43523c3df3e8, Feb. 22, 2016
"The Inbound Marketing Sales Funnel Explained," Madison Marketing Group, https://www.madison.marketing/blog/whiteboard-video-the-inbound-marketing-sales-funnel-explained, downloaded March 24, 2018
"8 expert online marketing tips for small businesses," CIO.com, https://www.cio.com/article/2376444/vertical-industries/online-marketing-8-expert-online-marketing-tips-for-small-businesses.html, May 8, 2014
PNC is a registered mark of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (“PNC”). This article has been prepared for general information purposes by the author who is solely responsible for its contents. The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of PNC or any of its affiliates, directors, officers or employees. This article is not intended to provide legal, tax or accounting advice or to suggest that you engage in any specific transaction, including with respect to any securities of PNC, and does not purport to be comprehensive. Under no circumstances should any information contained in the presentation, the webinar or the materials presented be used or considered as an offer or commitment, or a solicitation of an offer or commitment, to participate in any particular transaction or strategy or should it be considered legal or tax advice. Any reliance upon any such information is solely and exclusively at your own risk. Please consult your own counsel, accountant or other advisor regarding your specific situation. Neither PNC Bank nor any other subsidiary of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., will be responsible for any consequences of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained here, or any omission. Banking and lending products and services, bank deposit products, and Treasury Management products and services for healthcare providers and payers are provided by PNC Bank, National Association, a wholly owned subsidiary of PNC and Member FDIC. Lending and leasing products and services, including card services and merchant services, as well as certain other banking products and services, may require credit approval.
GET IN TOUCH
Banking on the Go
We have tools to help you bank when and where you want.Mobile Apps Directory »
Be part of our inclusive culture that strives for excellence and rewards talent.Visit PNC Careers »
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved.