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What is a Sales Funnel: Definition, Examples and How to Create One

what is sales funnel

The sales funnel is all the steps someone has to take to become your customer.

According to the sales funnel definition, it resembles a funnel in that it is the widest at the top and smallest at the bottom.

Each stage of the funnel moves qualified leads to the next level and eliminates those who are not a good fit for your product or service.

Your sales funnel could exist as:

Retail store

Sales team



Personal consultation



Why is a sales funnel important?

The path that potential customers take is shown by your sales funnel customers take. It allows companies to visualize each step that prospects take on the path to conversion.

These insights help you choose the correct marketing channels, produce relevant messaging at each stage, and convert more prospects into customers.


How does a Sales funnel work?

Sales Funnel

A visitor reaches your website via a Google search or social link. This individual is now a potential. The visitor may read some of your blog posts or browse your product catalog. At some point, you offer the individual the opportunity to join your email list.

The term AIDA makes it simple to recall the four sales funnel stages: awareness, interest, decision, and action.

These four stages reflect the mindset of your prospective customers.

You, as a marketer, must take a different approach at each stage so as not to deliver the wrong message at the wrong time.


Examine each sales funnel stage.

1.  Attention

This is the first stage, and it’s called the “awareness” stage because this is when people first hear about your solution, service, or product. This is when you first get the attention of a consumer. It could be a tweet, a friend’s shared Facebook post, a Google search, or something completely different.

2. Interest

The prospect is actively seeking answers and ways to reach their goals at the “Interest” stage.  They’re researching, comparing, and deciding. They use Google to look for answers. They’ll think about the problem they’re trying to solve and look at what else is out there to make sure your product or service is the best one.

3. Desire

Now that the prospect knows about your company and how it can help them with their problems, they will look into it more. Customers are ready to buy in the sales funnel’s decision stage. Hopefully, you’re one of two or three options.

4. Action

After the sale, the customer acts. But just because a customer gets to the end of the funnel doesn’t mean that your job is done. In other words, you want your customers to stay around. Thank your customer for the purchase, invite them to get in touch with feedback, and, if necessary, make yourself available for support team.


An Effective Sales Funnel Example

Let’s use an online bookstore as an example of a sales funnel.

You know that most of the people you want to reach are on Facebook. Most of them are men and women between the ages of 20 and 50. On the page, you ask the prospect to sign up for your email list in exchange for a lead magnet. Easy enough, right? Now, instead of prospects, you have leads. People are moving into the funnel.

1.  Attention: You made an ad on Facebook to get people to go to your website.

2. Interest: In exchange for a lead, you give something of value.

3. Desire: Your content gives your audience information and gets them ready to buy.

4. Action: You give your leads a coupon they can’t refuse, and then you market to them again to keep them coming back.


How to Build a Sales Funnel Fast

sales funnel

Now you’re excited, right?You want to make a sales funnel now—and fast. Don’t be afraid. You might think it’s hard, but it’s not.


1. Create a landing page.

The landing page might be your only chance to make an impression on potential customers, so the copy should be strong and convincing. It should also have a way to get the prospect’s contact information so you can keep in touch with them and show them how valuable you are.


2. Offer something valuable.

You have to give a prospect something in exchange for their email address. For example, you could give away a free e-book or whitepaper that is full of useful and interesting information.


3. Nurture the prospect.

Now that the prospect is interested enough to give you their email address, keep them interested by sending them information about your product or service.


4. Close the deal.

To close the deal, make your best offer, one that is hard for the prospect to ignore or turn down. For instance, you could give a demo of the product, a free trial, or a discount code.


5. Keep the process going

At this point in the sales funnel, the potential customer has either bought something or decided not to. In either case, you should keep talking and getting to know each other better. Don’t forget about the people who have already bought from you. Instead, keep trying to get in touch with them.


6. Optimize your sales funnel.

Your sales funnel can be improved in many ways. But the best way to figure out how to improve your sales funnel is to look at the results. Start with the funnel’s top. You make content, whether it’s paid for or free, to get people to look at your brand and click on your CTA. Try something else if one piece of content doesn’t work.


Final Thoughts

With your potential customer’s pain points and questions in mind, you can now plan and implement a start-to-finish sales funnel that will make you a better salesperson.

Take the time to build a sales funnel that shows what you want and what your audience wants. Grow it over time, adapt your approach to the different stages of the sales funnel, and figure out why what you’re doing isn’t working.


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