What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel can help you track your leads as they move down the funnel to become paying customers.

This post is for the small business owner who wants to optimize their sales funnel for maximum conversion.

Whether you have an online business or a brick-and-mortar business, you need a sales funnel to attract prospects and turn them into paying customers.

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is a marketing concept that shows the journey a customer takes from awareness to purchase. A high percentage of customers will enter the funnel and a few of them will buy. Hence, the term funnel.

Here’s an image of a sales funnel.

sales funnel

Importance of a Sales Funnel

If you own a business, you understand the agony of lost sales. Prospects leave the funnel without buying anything after consuming your materials, lead magnets, webinars, and so much more.

It happens.

However, if you have created a proper sales funnel, this will happen less frequently.

A sales funnel can help you to better understand your potential clients and what they are thinking, doing, and searching for at each point of their journey.

With this information, you can engage in the most relevant and engaging marketing activities and channels to convert more prospects into paying customers at each level.

Though sales funnels can be used for any form of internet business or marketing, not all sales funnels are the same.

The sales funnel for a health and wellness niche is different from the sales funnel for a money and wealth niche.

The Stages of a Sales Funnel

There are four major stages of a sales funnel:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action

Awareness

This is the first stage of your sales funnel because it is the point at which people become aware of your products and services.

They may also become aware of the issues that need to be addressed and alternative solutions.

This is the first time people hear about you, whether through an ad, a Google search, a social media post, word of mouth, or another traffic source.

When a prospect learns about your business for the first time, this is an example of the awareness stage.

Perhaps they saw one of your commercials, read one of your blogs, discovered your website through a Google search, or overheard a coworker discussing your product or service.

Interest

After learning about your brand, a prospect will evaluate it based on their level of interest and the answers you offer.

The prospect is actively looking for solutions to their problems and ways to reach their goals at the “Interest” stage.

They use Google to look for solutions.

They will think about the problem they are trying to solve and research your competition to make sure that your offer is the best solution for them.

Desire

Desire is the third stage of the sales funnel.

Now that the buyer is ready to buy, he or she may be thinking about many other options before making a decision. This is when they will compare costs, packages, and other aspects to choose which option is best for them.

You should make your best offer at this point.

You could provide free shipping, a discount coupon, or a bonus product when customers place their order.

The idea is to make the offer enticing so that the prospect will want to proceed and select your offer.

Your content can persuade the prospect to take action. Sales websites, webinars, or phone calls could all assist in converting a prospect into a customer.

Also, you could write a killer sales letter that persuades your prospects to take action.

Action

The sales funnel’s last stage is action.

By buying your product or service, the prospect becomes a customer (or they decide to leave without making a purchase).

If the customer makes a purchase, they have entered the ecosystem of your organization.

This process continues even after the sale is completed.

Your goal is to concentrate on customer retention so that the customer makes repeat or future transactions.

Your material should aid in the development of consumer loyalty.

Thank the consumer for their purchase, ask for feedback, provide after-purchase help, request them to sign up for your email, or enroll them in a rewards program.

How to Create a Sales Funnel

Creating a sales funnel is critical for moving prospects from the first contact to the final transaction.

The amount of behavior and engagement at each stage may then be tracked to assess where the prospect is in the sales funnel and how well it is functioning.

There are numerous ways to design an online sales funnel, and each organization and industry has its own form of sales funnel.

To establish a sales funnel for your company, follow these steps:

1. Create a Landing Page

The landing page is your prospect’s first opportunity to learn about your products and services.

Prospects can reach your landing page through many sources. For instance, an ad or link on a social network page, downloading an e-book or signing up for a webinar.

Your landing page should identify your business as well as the advantages of your product or service.

Your landing page may be your last chance to impress prospects. Therefore, the copy should be effective, compelling, and intriguing.

It should also include a method for collecting the prospect’s contact information so that you can continue to communicate your value to them.

2. Offer Something Valuable

You must provide something in exchange for a prospect’s email address. You could provide a free e-book or whitepaper with relevant and informative content.

The prospects will be enticed to get the free information and will give you their information (eg; email address and name) to get the free information.

With the prospect’s information, you can send them more messages and tell them about your brand later.

3. Nurture the Prospect

Nurture the prospect with information that teaches them about your product or service now that they have shown enough interest to offer their email address.

You’ll want to contact them regularly (once or twice a week), but not so frequently that they become bored or turned off by all the stuff.

Make certain that the material meets their primary needs and overcomes any potential objections.

4. Close the Deal

To complete the transaction, make your best offer, one that is impossible for the prospect to overlook or reject.

You may, for example, offer a product demonstration, a free trial, or a unique discount coupon.

If you are selling an information product, there is a specific way to create an irresistible offer.

The $100M Offer by Alex Hormozi will show you how to do this.

5. Stay in Touch

The prospect has either become a customer or decided not to make the transaction at this point in the sales funnel.

In either situation, you should keep communicating and creating relationships.

If the prospect becomes a customer, keep the relationship going by teaching them about your products or services, engaging them regularly to establish loyalty, and providing excellent service to keep them as valued customers.

If the prospect does not make a purchase, keep in touch with them via email frequently. Continue to use different email nurturing series to convert them into customers.

6. Optimize your Sales Funnel

Even if you’ve built a sales funnel, your work is never finished.

You should always be looking for methods to improve and optimize your sales funnel, as well as identify where you are losing prospects.

Pay attention to the places where prospects progress from one step of the sales funnel to the next.

Start at the top of the funnel.

Determine how well each piece of content is performing.

Is your early content capturing enough prospects?

The main job of your content is to get prospects to click the call to action (CTA) button.

If they are not doing so, or if one piece of content is receiving fewer clicks on the CTA, update that part or try something different.

Look at your landing page.

Your offer and CTA should be similar to the content that led the prospect to your landing page (e.g., blog post, Facebook ad).

Test every aspect of your landing page (for example, the headline, graphics, body copy, and CTA) to determine what works and what does not.

In the action stage of your sales funnel, test each offer.

Compare the outcomes of several offers (e.g., free shipping versus discounts).

How many sales do your email nurturing campaigns and other marketing activities generate?

If one offer performs significantly better than others, concentrate on using that offer to close prospects and see if you can improve on it.

Keep an eye on your customer retention rates.

Determine how frequently clients return to buy your goods or services.

Do customers return more than once, and do they purchase additional products or services? Keep note of how frequently they suggest others to your business.

Final thoughts on How to Create a Sales Funnel

You’re not done because you created a sales funnel. In reality, this is where everything starts.

Once everything is in place, it is important to track your progress.

Select your KPIs first, then create a measurement program.

Take the time to create a sales funnel that reflects what you want and what your target audience wants.

Optimize it over time, modify your approach to different stages of the sales funnel, and figure out why your efforts aren’t succeeding and why they are succeeding.

If you want better outcomes, collect data, evaluate it, and enhance your funnel.

Determine your talents and shortcomings.

Such inquiries will help you in determining where you need to improve your sales funnel. Then concentrate your efforts there.

If you need help creating a sales funnel with high-converting copy, contact us today.

The Complete Copywriting Course

Maku Seun is a freelance copywriter and direct response marketer. He helps digital marketers, coaches, and course creators boost sales by writing compelling sales copy which includes long-form sales letters, email copy, and website copy for their products and services. If you want him to write compelling sales copy for your business, click here.