What Are Sales Funnels & How Do I Create One?

An online sales funnel is a marketing tool we can use to sell products and services to our customers via our website. It's the group of steps we take to turn prospects into customers. Another way of thinking of it is as a business plan, taking web visitors from the 'I don't know you stage' to the 'let's do business stage.' 

Called a funnel because the biggest number of prospects are at the top of the list and as we work downwards, we funnel out the prospects, it looks like this:

You will see that the number of leads we work with are biggest at the top. As we move down each step of the funnel towards the sale, the number of leads shrinks. Before you get onto building a funnel, you need to know whether or not you should be using one.

Should I Be Using Sales Funnels?

The truth is, using a sales funnel is not for everyone. Some business owners don't believe it works for their customers. Others prefer to think of the buyer's journey as a cycle, rather than a downwards funnel. This makes this a useful tool, but not one which suits everyone.

 Using a funnel can help you to:

  • follow up on good leads
  • develop a relationship with your customers
  • tell your prospects what problems of their's you can solve

It's a great tool to help ensure you don't miss out on any stages of the buyer's journey.

What Are the Parts of a Sales Funnel?

The sales funnel image above is a complicated one. A smaller business can use a three part funnel with good results, which is what we will concentrate on using and making from here on. In a three part funnel, you have the:

  • top - focused on bringing awareness of your brand to your target audience. This is usually done through posting and being active on social media, plus having a regular blogging strategy. The content you create for both social media and your blog needs to be aimed at your target audience, giving them what they want and need. This positions you as the expert in your industry, which raises the level of trust they have in you. Read our article on creating website content for more help in doing this.
  • middle - moving those people from prospects to leads. This area is all about building those relationships with your audience. It's a culling of those who aren't good fits and begin to show them how you will solve their most burning problems. This can be done using blogs and also through newsletters too.
  • bottom - converting your leads into customers. Now you're ready to start selling to a specific audience. You've built up that trust and now is the time to get them to buy your product or service.

Each part of the funnel has a specific job. The online funnel on your website needs to move people through the funnel with minimal effort from you.

Guide to Making a Sales Funnel

So, how do you make a sales funnel? There is plenty of advice out there on how to do this, much of it conflicting. But here's a four step method we've found useful.

  1. Identify your target prospects - this involves knowing exactly who your ideal customer is.
  2. Filter out your prospects - just because someone fits your customer demographic, it doesn't mean they will purchase your product or service. Here is where you filter out the prospects who fit your customer persona, but are less likely to become a paying customer.
  3. Work on creating your funnels - what steps are you going to do to attract people to your business and move them towards becoming a paying customer/client? An example of this is writing a regualr blog, sharing it via social media, ask visitors to your blog to sign up to your newsletter and then send them emails to get them interested in your product or service.
  4. Establish your funnel -this is where you work through the steps or levels of your online funnel. Start at the bottom and know what your ultimate goal is. Then for the middle, work on how you will build that relationship. For the top, work on getting prospects to know about you.

The key to a successful sales funnel is to know what your target audience wants, get their attention and deliver on your promises. A website built with Website Builder is perfect for creating an online sales funnel on. Get started for free with your DIY website today!

Posted: Monday 12 February 2018