The metaphor of the funnel is used because people drop away at each stage of a long sales process: for example, many of your unqualified prospects may have existing suppliers with whom they're very satisfied. Others may have needs which other competitors are better-placed to satisfy. Still, others may love your products, but not have the budget to buy them.
Muzzle, a mac app that silences on-screen notifications, fully embraces this show don't tell mentality on their otherwise minimal landing page. Visitors to the page are greeted with a rapid-fire onslaught of embarrassing notifications in the upper left of the screen. Not only is the animation hilarious, it also manages to compellingly convey the app's usefulness without lengthly descriptions.
It's no surprise Unbounce is near the top of this list -- they've actually written the book on creating high-converting landing pages. Although there are lots of amazing things about this landing page, the two that I absolutely love are: 1) The use of a chat window instead of a classic form, and 2) the detailed -- but well packaged -- information below the form.
Imagine an autoresponder that doesn't just send emails, but allows you to track which channels your visitors are coming from, segment them based on actions they take and who they are (what they do in your funnels, how socially connected they are, what they purchase and more!), create custom follow up sequences (email, text messages and more!) for each visitor and FINALLY see the TRUE Lifetime Value of each of your customers!
The first stage in setting up sales funnel reporting is to understand your sales process fully (perhaps using a technique like flowcharting). While sales processes are often quite similar from company-to-company, there can be points of difference depending, for example, on the size of the order and the consequences to the client of making the wrong purchase decision.
Committed: Ideally, you want to close the deal when all red flags have been dealt with. In reality, most deals close while critical red flags still exist. At this point, you have provided the customer with a proposal that outlines key contractual terms. When a customer has agreed to move forward with a deal, they are “committed” (also known as “verbal commitment” or “verbal”). What remains is to work out the details of the contract, delivery and payment, all of which have the potential to“undo” the commitment. The commitment may be offered contingent upon certain terms being met.
Transacted: A sale has transpired when a contract is signed by both parties. From a salesperson’s perspective, the fulfillment of the contract is the responsibility of other parts of the organization, and the salesperson can now focus on the next opportunity. In the case of early-stage start-ups, however, frequently the person that sells is also involved in fulfilling the contract. A signed contract can be booked as revenue from an accounting perspective.
The first helps direct attention to the goal of the page -- for you to fill out the form -- in a way that's unobtrusive and feels less like a chore. The second gives this page an SEO boost (search engines will have more content to crawl) and assuages any worry from folks who need to know more about a piece of content before handing over their information, all while not distracting people from the chat window.