A single-step funnel is a sales funnel where a potential customer has to take one action (or make one step) to get to the next action (or the final destination).

A multi-step funnel is similar, except that there are two or more steps (usually a checkout and an order confirmation stage) after the potential customer decides to buy the product.

The main difference between the two funnels is that a multi-step funnel usually requires more effort from the potential customer. While a single-step funnel can simply require an email address or a click of a button to purchase the product, a multi-step funnel might ask the customer to go through a few more steps such as:

  • Fill out a form
  • Check email for order confirmation
  • Click a link in the email
  • Review orders and shipping details
  • Pay online
  • Get confirmation email
  • etc.

Because there are a lot more steps in a multi-step funnel, it’s much more likely that the customer will get stuck somewhere along the line. If they do get stuck, it can be very frustrating for them.

Difficulty Predicting Sales

One of the main reasons why multi-step funnels aren’t as effective as single-step funnels is that it’s very difficult to know how many sales you’ll get until the end. You can’t simply add up the individual conversion rates for each step and expect to get the same results. This is because you don’t know how many customers will take the different routes to get to the final conversion.

If you run a lead generation program, you can get a general idea of how many visitors will eventually become leads by looking at the average click-through rate (the number of clicks on an ad or a lead generation form relative to the number of people who see it) and the conversion rate (the number of leads generated from the total number of visitors)

Another downside to a multi-step funnel is that there’s usually a lot more work involved in managing the sales process. With a single-step funnel, you just have to make sure that all the necessary information is gathered at the right time and that all the forms are submitted on time. If everything goes well, you can consider the sale complete.

However, with a multi-step funnel, you have to monitor the whole process from start to finish for errors. There will always be the possibility that a visitor could get stuck along the way or that a form could be filled out incorrectly. In these cases, you’ll have to go back and fix them, which can be a lot of work.

Larger Customer Base

It’s generally better to have as many customers as possible. This is because having more customers usually means you’ll get better pricing and more chances to make money. Multi-step funnels are usually used when you want to grow your company and need an efficient way to get more sales.

The downside to having a large customer base is that you’ll have to keep in touch with them more often. You’ll be doing more phone calls and sending more mails to keep the lines of communication open. This is the main reason why it’s usually better to focus on building a smaller, more effective customer base.

More Work For Sales

Having more work for your sales team is always a good thing. It means you’re providing more value to your customers and convincing them to buy your product. When you have a large number of people to reach, using a multi-step funnel is usually the best way to go. It will give you the opportunity to segment the leads and analyze them based on their behavior (purchase history, response to marketing, etc.).

However, having more work for your sales team also means you’ll have to pay them more money. This can be a problem if you don’t have enough funds to pay for the additional staff. The last thing you want to do is overextend yourself by taking on more debt.

Longer Sales Cycle

When you have a longer sales cycle, you’ll want to use any type of funnel that will help you make the most of it. Longer sales cycles are common in mature markets where there’s a lot of competition. It can take a while for a lead to become a paying customer. You’ll have to wait until they reach the final stage of the sales process before you can consider the sale complete.

Using a multi-step funnel can help you speed up the process and close the deal sooner. Even if you have a longer sales cycle, it’s usually better to have a longer funnels. This is because long funnels usually provide additional benefits. For example, you might want to encourage them to take a look at your product by offering them exclusive deals or discounts. Or you can use a longer funnel to gradually introduce a product or service that’s more complex to the customer.

If you want to learn more about how to setup a sales funnel, check out this article from Perfect Order. For more information about sales funnels, keep reading.