The Final Stage in the Sales Funnel Most Companies Miss

Anyone in the marketing or business world understands the importance of a sales funnel. Creating a killer sales funnel is essential to getting the best results out of the sales process, increasing revenue, and fueling growth.

Sales funnels may be unique to the business, but they usually include the following stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Evaluation
  • Engagement
  • Commitment or purchase

There’s a missing final step, however – one that can make all the difference for your business.

Retention – The Key Stage in the Sales Funnel

Many businesses think the sales funnel ends when the sale is complete. The customer made the purchase or signed up for a subscription or service, so the work is done.

The modern sales funnel requires more of the business, however. Customers are no longer left on their own after the purchase is completed. They expect businesses to provide value long after the purchase, and businesses can benefit in many ways.

Offering value and assistance to customers after the purchase significantly improves customer loyalty. If a customer knows they were cared for after the business has their money, whether by providing helpful content or correcting a problem or concern, they’re more likely to offer repeat business.

A loyal customer that keeps returning to the same business has a higher average lifetime value. Since bringing on a new customers can be between five and 25% higher than keeping an existing customer, all businesses and industries benefit from getting the most out of current customers.[1]

Finally, a loyal customer is more likely to share a positive experience through referrals, driving more business your way. According to ProfitWell, customer acquisition costs are up over 60%.[2] Marketing is more expensive and consumers are less trusting of brands, making the already expensive task of customer acquisition even more expensive and challenging.

Referrals are crucial for bringing new customers to your business and improving sales conversions. Customers may refer your business on their own, but you may also benefit from a referral program that rewards both referrer and the referred.

How Influencers Help with Customer Retention

Customer retention is more important than ever, especially as the market and economy become more dynamic and unpredictable. Businesses need to maximize the possibility of future purchases through customer loyalty and engagement, and influencers can help.

As mentioned, trust is a big obstacle for consumers with new brands. Influencers offer a layer of credibility and confidence for consumers considering a purchase, especially if they’re an influencer they’ve followed for a long time and trusted in the past.

Even if you’re not looking for more purchases, but you want to maintain a relationship, influencers can keep the conversation going. This gives customers a reason to continue following your accounts, and if an opportunity comes up, to recommend your business to someone else.

Influencers also speak more directly to customers and can adapt more quickly to market shifts. For example, if the market is experiencing record inflation, influencers can adjust their tone and approach to address affordability or value in a product to keep the content relevant.

Shift Your Focus to Retention

At a time when marketing is increasingly expensive and consumers are less trusting than ever, focusing on the customer retention stage of the sales funnel nurtures loyal customers and brand advocates who can keep your business moving forward.