What is the relationship funnel?
The relationship funnel, also referred to as the client relationship funnel or CRM funnel, illustrates the buyer’s journey from the initial awareness stage to becoming a loyal, long-term client. It encompasses various stages, including awareness, consideration, conversion, retention, and advocacy, with the goal of building strong relationships at each stage of the client lifecycle.
What is the purpose of the relationship funnel, and why is it important for businesses?
The purpose of the relationship funnel is to guide prospects through the various stages of the buyer’s journey, ultimately fostering meaningful relationships and driving client loyalty. It helps businesses understand and map out the client experience, identify areas for improvement, and implement targeted strategies to enhance relationships. The relationship funnel enables businesses to deliver personalized experiences and maximize client lifetime value (CLTV), by leveraging these relationships to gather powerful insights and to build social proof.
How does the relationship funnel work?
The relationship funnel consists of several stages that prospects progress through:
- Awareness: Prospects become aware of a brand, product, or service through marketing efforts such as advertising, content, or referrals.
- Consideration: Prospects actively consider the brand as a solution to their needs, researching and comparing options.
- Conversion: Prospects take a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or requesting more information.
- Retention: Clients who have converted are nurtured through ongoing engagement, personalized communication, and exceptional support service.
- Advocacy: Satisfied clients are encouraged to become brand advocates, sharing positive experiences, recommending the brand to others, driving word-of-mouth marketing, and contributing to building social proof.
At each stage of the relationship funnel, businesses implement targeted marketing and engagement strategies to build relationships and guide prospects toward becoming loyal clients. This may involve personalized content, email marketing, loyalty programs, support services, continued nurturing, and community-building initiatives.
Leveraging the benefits of the relationship funnel
The relationship funnel offers benefits that can further boost the efficiency of your marketing strategies. Observing the prospects' journeys through the funnel and leveraging these close relationships to gather client reviews can help companies glean invaluable insights to optimize their products, marketing, and sales strategies. These insights also help marketers to increase their personalization capabilities. Finally, the relationship model also strives to convert satisfied clients into brand advocates, who promote organic growth by recommending the brand to others and offering assets to build social proof.