A sales funnel relies on a variety of marketing channels to promote the business. A social sales funnel primarily uses the power of peers to promote the business.
WHAT A SOCIAL SALES FUNNEL IS NOT
A social sales funnel is not a sales funnel that necessarily uses social media. It could be… but it’s not a requirement. A social sales funnel could easily be a situation where one friend “sells” another friend on a must-see movie, just by talking to them. The important thing here is sharing, not the channel used to share. A social sales funnel would still be successful even if if Facebook and Twitter weren’t around but it’s even more successful because social networks are around.
HOW A SOCIAL SALES FUNNEL WORKS
A social sales funnel is one where the marketing and sales efforts are primarily performed by evangelists (previous customers who are so happy with the business’ service that they want to share it with everyone). They eagerly share their positive experience and recommendation with people who they think will also benefit from the business’ offering.
Many businesses have evangelists in their sales funnel but a business with a social sales funnel gets to the point where most of its marketing and sales activities are performed by previous customers. To get to this point, a business needs to have tweaked its evangelist equation so that it’s very sharable and easy for a happy customer to promote to their peers.
The advantage is that the business doesn’t need to do very much marketing (although it probably still does some traditional marketing). However, the business can focus less on marketing because it has a growing army of advocates who are heartily recommending its offerings to receptive audiences. A social sales funnel is more profitable and can often be less work, simply because a key marketing and sales component is augmented by others who are doing it for free.
How would you rate the social quotient of your sales funnel? Are you spending lots of time marketing and selling? That’s not a bad thing, but if you want a social sales funnel, you’ll want to invest into branding, customer service, and product quality to enable your evangelists to share more easily.