What Is A Sales Funnel, Examples and How To Create One (Guide)

Philipp S.
Last updated on December 16, 2022

Whatever you sell, it takes time to attract customers to your product. It’s a different sales process with a series of steps (a sales funnel).

Would you like to learn how to create a sales funnel that converts? A lot of businesses struggle with this, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps that you need how to create a sales funnel that brings in more customers and generates more revenue for your business. So let’s get started!

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What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is the process that you use to create relationships with potential customers and move them toward becoming paying customers. This process begins with creating awareness of your product or service and then moves on to building interest and desire. Finally, you need to take action and get the customer to make a purchase.

The number of potential customers dwindles to a few prospects in the middle of their journey, and after they reach the decision-making stage, the sales process ends with either a closed-won or closed-lost deal.

The importance of sales funnel

The sales funnel is important because it helps you to focus on the most important thing: your customer. By understanding the customer’s journey, you can create a process that will help you to guide them through each stage of the sales funnel and how to create a relationship that will lead to a sale.

The sales funnel illustrates the steps your customers will take before they purchase your product or service. By studying your sales funnel, you can improve its performance by filling in any gaps where prospects have dropped out and failed to convert into customers.

Knowing the purpose of your sales funnel will help you discern how customers move through it, and if they convert into paying customers. Furthermore, it gives critical information on what potential buyers are thinking at each stage of the sales funnel process so that you can invest in marketing activities that attract more prospects, has better messaging for every step of the funnel, and result in even more conversions.

Understand the 4 Sales Funnel Stages

It is very clear that four sales funnel stages can be identified as awareness, interest decisions and actions. The fourth stage represents the thinking of your prospects. The marketer needs different approaches for each stage of the sales funnel because it is impossible to send the wrong message.

1. Awareness

The first phase is denoted the “awareness” stage because this is when people become conscious of your product, service, or solution. They might also be made aware of the issues they need to resolve and a few ways to solve them. This would be their initial exposure to you, whether it’s through an advert, online search, social media post, word-of-mouth testimonials, or another traffic avenue.

Prospects become aware of your product or service through marketing activities such as search engine optimization, online ads, content marketing, social media, and so on.

2. Interest

Once they are aware of your brand, they will start considering your product or service. They might do this by visiting your website, reading your blog, requesting more information, and so on.

At the “Interest” stage, the prospect is searching for information about their problem and possible solutions. They may use Google to look for relevant content and compare different offerings to make sure your product is the best solution for them.

3. Decision

In this stage, prospects are ready to make a purchase and are comparing different providers (that’s you!) to see who can best meet their needs.

After becoming aware of your company and the solutions it offers for its pain points, the prospect will dig deeper to find information like pricing and packaging options. Sales pages, webinars, and calls can be helpful in this stage to help prospects make a decision.

4. Action

The final stage of the funnel is critical for determining whether a sale is made. If they don’t buy from you now, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost—nurture campaigns can keep you top-of-mind for future needs. In this stage, they take action and make a purchase.

Now that you understand how to create a funnel that works, it’s time to create your own. The first step is identifying your ideal customer—the one who is most likely to buy from you. Once you’ve done that, you can create content that will guide them through each stage of the funnel.

How to Create sales funnel from scratch

To build a successful sales funnel, you must first be able to engage the desired audience by moving the customer through the funnel – the sales funnel. Once you have identified the potential buyer, you can use lead scoring to track their engagement and behavior. Let’s walk through the steps to develop sales funnels.

Determine your goals.  

Once you have identified the problem you will solve and who your target audience is, the next step is to determine what your goals are. You can do this by asking yourself what you want to achieve with your sales funnel.

Some common goals for include:

  • Generating leads
  • Nurturing those leads
  • Converting leads into customers

Gather Data and Understand Your Customers

Tell your audience what they want and why. The more information we gather, the more efficient our sales funnel becomes. You don’t want to be sold to everyone. Your goal in marketing the service is to attract people who are interested in your products or services.

Your funnel should focus on the sales point you want. You might even discover new ways to improve your products to improve your business. The best question to answer your customer is a simple and straightforward one that will help your prospects get up in your sales pipeline.

Capture Your Audience’s Attention

The best way to build sales funnels is to attract prospects to them. You have to take it directly to the target audience and show them. Hire someone who knows everything about the content space and SEO companies. They will go with organic routes and publish many different types of content on their platform.

Explore different formats of content like infographics, books, videos, and social media. Organic Traffic: add forms to websites and pop-up pages to attract lead generation. There is a possibility for some advertising manually.

Build a landing page

We highly recommend building landing pages because they’re excellent for conversions. Your ads need somewhere to lead users, and a well-made landing page can do just that. Offer something of value, such as a webinar or PDF, in exchange for the user’s contact information so that you can focus on sales rather than simply gathering leads.

A great way to generate leads is by making a valuable offer.

Your preliminary offer is the first thing you offer to a lead in order to get their attention and interest. It should be something that solves a problem or meets a need that your target audience has.

Your preliminary offer can be in the form of a free ebook, a mini course, or even just a blog post that teaches your audience something valuable.

Once you have generated some leads, it’s important to nurture them so that they don’t get cold and lose interest. One way to do this is by sending out regular emails with helpful content.

You can also create a Facebook group or an email list where you can engage with your leads on a regular basis.

The goal of your sales funnel is to eventually get your leads to make a purchase.

To do this, you will need to create an irresistible offer that provides value and solves a problem for your target audience. Your offer could be a discount on your main product, a free trial of your software, or an exclusive

Qualify leads to confirm interest in the product.       

Leads that are interested in the product will become customers.

The final stage of your sales funnel is to close the sale and get the customer to make a purchase.

You can do this by offering a discount, a free shipping offer, or a special bonus

Nurture your qualified leads.   

Even if a lead is interested in your product, they may not be ready to buy.

You can continue to nurture them by providing valuable content that helps them make a decision.

When they’re finally ready to purchase, they will be more likely to buy from you because you’ve built a relationship with them.

Although email drips are the most common form of lead nurturing, you have other options at your disposal, like social media or paid retargeting. No matter which method you choose, always offer something that will make it easier for them to make a decision, such as an extended trial or discount. The objective is to remove any barriers and motivate leads to keep moving down the funnel.

Close the deal.       

The last step is to close the sale and get the customer to make a purchase.

By this stage in the funnel, the prospective customer has either completed a purchase or not. Regardless of their decision, it’s pivotal to keep the channels of communication open.

If they have converted into a paying customer, you need to focus your energies on ensuring retention and fostering loyalty. Those who didn’t buy anything from you should still be receiving some form of nurturing content every few months – even if they don’t convert immediately, that could change later down the road.

Measuring the Success of the Sales Funnel.

After you’ve closed the sale, it’s important to track the results so you can see what’s working and what isn’t. Analyzing your sales data will help you fine-tune your sales funnel and create a more efficient process. It will also help you identify any areas where you may need to make changes or improvements.

Sales Funnel Stages Explained: The 5 Stages of Filling Your Sales Pipeline

The main difference with a similar look in terms of design and function is a way to engage the prospect with you at all stages and with your product in the sales funnel. While AIDA has a company that helps transform a prospect, from stranger to customer, the stages of a sales funnel show that there is no need for too much personalization.

Stage 1. Traffic

Not all traffic is the same: focus on what people are entering into sales funnels. This first phase is an attempt to control the person you bring to your funnel, helping you reduce the number of recruits you recruit. This phase of the process, therefore, involves optimizing the ads, content, and affiliates you use to drive traffic to your funnel.

Stage 2. Bait

Lead magnets can also be purchased for free or at very competitive prices for potential customers.  Lead magnets can range from an ebook, webinar, or video series to a free trial of your product. Choose the lead magnet that best suits the needs of your target audience and create an attractive offer to make them want to provide their contact details in exchange for access.

Stage 3. Front End Offer

A low-cost, low-risk offer that provides value to customers and solutions to surface problems in less time. Once your prospects have picked you up on your bait offer, you need to send them directly to a landing page or squeeze page that your – or should be – simultaneously following up with email offers.

These people see the offer and use their information to create an account. This is when your customer starts making a commitment, typically by entering their credit card details or opting in for a trial period.

Stage 4. Middle Offer

An advanced, valuable, intensive solution aimed at solving customer problems and preparing you for your offerings with the highest level of quality. This stage is often marked by the customer’s hesitance to buy, so it’s important to create offers that create value and trust.

Stage 5. Backend Offer

It is a product that can provide your customers with a constant solution to their everyday problems. You have now decided that you have the most basic intention in mind, to create a sales funnel, and this is the stage you will create it in. This offer should be tailored to meet the exact needs of your customers at their current stage of the buyer’s journey.

Why do businesses need them to build a sales funnel?

These are some benefits you’ll experience when you have sales funnels for your business:

Customer retention is an important part of the sales funnel

Once your customers are on board, you need to do everything for them. It is important to maintain customer satisfaction to make them loyal customers and brand advocates. People say the word of mouth can help a person achieve their goals.

To make the customer happy, you have to need to help them with the different aspects or problems they have. Then, it is necessary for them to be dedicated to your products and services.

Increased conversion rates

The sales funnel allows you to track and measure your conversions, so you can see how effective your sales process is. This data can help you to identify any areas where you may need to make improvements.

Improved customer relationships

By nurturing your leads through the sales funnel, you can build better relationships with them. This can lead to improved customer retention and increased customer lifetime value.

Greater efficiency

A sales will help you to create a more efficient sales process, by identifying any bottlenecks or areas of improvement. This can save you time and money in the long run.

Increased revenue

By increasing your conversion rates and making your sales process more efficient, you can boost your revenue and grow your business.

Focus on marketing and sales strategy

Sales funnels can help you to focus on your marketing and sales strategy, and ensure that you are targeting the right leads at the right time. This is best done by breaking down the funnel into different stages and analyzing your success at each stage.

The right message at the right time

A sales funnel allows companies to map their customer journey, so they know what content is appropriate for each stage.

If someone is just learning about your company and its offerings, you should provide information that helps them understand how using your products can benefit them.

Improved customer lifetime value

Sales funnel can also help you improve your customer lifetime value, by focusing on the leads that are most likely to convert into customers, and then providing them with an excellent customer experience.

Lifetime value (LTV) is the total revenue generated by a customer over their lifetime and is one of the key metrics that companies track. A good sales funnel will create more value for your customers, which in turn results in improved LTV.

Improved forecast accuracy

Sales funnels forecast future revenue that a business will generate. With metrics like conversion rates from awareness stages to action stages you can estimate how many leads you want to convert to revenue, this gives you a revenue forecast.

This formula of revenue projections also depends on the number of potential customers in that awareness stage, the estimate of transaction value, and the probability of purchase of the prospects.

A focused sales and marketing strategy

Your customers can turn to you at any time during their customer journey, from the initial inquiry to the late decision-making stage. So it’s important that marketing and sales results are aligned. The best sales funnel enables your customers to offer an attractive proposition beyond the sales process to their prospects.

Sales Funnel vs. Flywheel

While a sales funnel is linear, only transforming leads into customers once, a flywheel helps you create repeat customers through its continuous cycle.

Sales funnels help you to sell a product or service by understanding the various stages that lead go through before they purchase. A flywheel, however, is more concerned with building customer loyalty and retention so they continue doing business with you.

Sales funnel can help you understand the customer journey, but a flywheel is what will create repeat customers and grow your business. A key difference between the two is that a flywheel is continuous while sales funnel has defined stages.

Qualifying Leads in Your Sales Funnel: MQLs and SQLs

You are now outlining an excellent marketing plan. To get a successful marketing funnel in place, you need to determine how lead generation is qualified. It helps you get salespeople into the sales pipeline only if they are qualified prospects.

Unfortunately, not all who make it into the funnel’s first steps are qualified. Typically, an applicant can complete steps 1-3 and not be prepared with the money needed to close the deal.

Qualified leads are divided into two categories: marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs). An MQL is a lead that has shown interest in your products or services and has provided contact information. On the other hand, an SQL is a leader who has been properly vetted by your sales team and is ready to make a purchase.

Which metrics should you track to determine the success of your sales funnels?

Sales funnels are typically measured by conversion rate (the number of people who take the desired action divided by the total number of people who enter the funnel) and time to conversion (the amount of time it takes for someone to take the desired action). However, there are a number of other factors you may want to track, depending on your specific goals for the funnel. These could include:


The only reason your sales funnel exists is to bring in leads, so by checking how many leads are coming in, you can adjust your marketing and sales strategies accordingly. In addition, by looking at the cycle time—or the amount of time it takes for a lead to progress to the next stage—you can identify any bottlenecks in your funnel.

Acquisition costs

In order to create a profitable sales funnel, you need to make sure that the leads you’re acquiring are actually worth your time and money. To do this, track your customer acquisition costs (CAC). This is the amount of money you spend on marketing and sales activities in order to acquire a single customer.

Customer lifetime value

In order to create a truly profitable sales funnel, you need to make sure that the leads you’re acquiring are likely to become long-term customers.

To do this, track your customer lifetime value (CLV). This is the total amount of money that a customer spends with your company over the course of their relationship with you.

Total Sales Revenue

Finally, track your total sales revenue. This is the total amount of money that your company has generated from sales, regardless of whether those sales came through your sales funnel or not. This is an important metric to track because it will give you an idea of the overall health of your business.

How are the sales funnel differently from a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel is a journey that a lead takes from awareness to interest to decision. A sales funnel is a subset of the marketing funnel, focusing specifically on the journey that a lead takes from being interested in your company to becoming a paying customer.

The main difference between sales funnel and a marketing funnel is that the former is more focused on generating revenue, while the marketing funnel is more focused on generating leads.

Both sales and marketing funnels are important for your business, but it’s important to understand the difference so you can create content and strategies that are appropriate for each stage of the funnel.

What is the difference between a sales pipeline and sales funnel?

A sales pipeline is a visual representation of the various stages that a lead goes through on their way to becoming a paying customer.

Sale funnel, on the other hand, is a more specific term that refers to the journey that a lead takes from being interested in your company to becoming a paying customer.

In other words, a sales pipeline is a general overview of the steps that a lead takes from start to finish, while sales funnels are the more specific term that describes the path that a lead takes from being interested in your company to becoming a paying customer.

How sales funnel management can help?

Leaks in sales funnels are usually caused by three main reasons. Firstly, not enough leads are being generated from your lead sources. Secondly, the sales team is unable to convert those leads into paying customers. And lastly, your customer service might be poor, leading to potential customers churning out before they make a purchase.

Sales funnel management can help you identify and fix these problems quickly. By tracking leads from their first interaction with your company, through to their purchase and beyond, you can identify where leaks in the funnel are occurring.

With this information, you can create a more effective sales process that drives better customer acquisition and retention over time.

Throwing away the “no’s” too quickly

If you’re selling something you don’t want, a yes usually equates to a no later. Some people argue about customer relationship management systems because they don’t have time to write content to make them useful. 

But without feedback from each customer, you won’t know if your offer is the best solution for them. Conversely, if your sales funnel focuses too much on saying yes quickly, it can create a false sense of enthusiasm and create customers who are more likely to drop out of the process later because they weren’t properly informed about the product or service they purchased.

That’s why it’s essential to create a funnel that offers the right information and allows customers to make an educated decision.

What Is a Marketing Funnel?

In general, the buying process is the process that leads potential customers to become paid customers through social media, paid ads, search engine optimization, or other marketing channels available on the web.

While the concept can be simple enough, the conversion funnel can be complicated for several reasons, such as the following. Even if you have never actually created the funnel, chances are you already have one.

A marketing funnel is important because it helps create the foundation for a successful sales process. A great sales funnel can lead to more leads, higher conversion rates, happier customers, and ultimately better bottom-line performance. It also has the potential to create multiple revenue streams and create customer loyalty.

What Is an Example of a Marketing Funnel?

When a person buys your product online, they can create a sales funnel or marketing campaign. This is important: although marketing funnels can sometimes seem very clear in the document, they are not always very straight. During the funnel phase, people can experience regressions and jumps.

How Does a Marketing Funnel Work? (Stages of the Funnel)

A paper funnel can be used to put oil in a car’s oil tank without making a mess, and this understanding of the funnel can be applied to marketing. By breaking down the process into steps, you can more easily direct your customers through to conversion. This way will help reduce your guesswork and headaches. Let’s look at the marketing funnel steps that a customer experiences.

Stage 1 – Problem/Need Recognition (top of the sales funnel)

Recognizing your problem starts the buying process. Then it gets to awareness. The customer is aware that there is a problem and begins to gather information about potential solutions.

At this point, your role as a business is to create content (ads, blog posts, website copy) that help the customer recognize their need and create an awareness of the solution you offer.

Stage 2 – Information Search (middle of the sales funnel)

Identifying problems is the first step in a funnel. The strategy for collecting data may vary depending on the type of purchase. If you know you want food, you might search Yelp to get to the nearest restaurant.

Stage 3 – Evaluation of Alternatives (middle-of-funnel)

When a customer has a choice, they can compare their alternatives, which can be done through a website or an advertisement. Again, the reference period for this stage may differ depending on the type of investment being evaluated.

Stage 4 – Purchase Decision (bottom of the sales funnel)

There are three purchase stages. Having a website that troubles potential customers and prevents them from buying will decrease the chances that they’ll make it to the end of the sales process. You also have a risk-free trial program that makes a decision to buy based on a warranty or product.

Stage 5 – Post-Purchase Behavior

The final post-sale step will have the same effect. The customers who have benefited the most from the thoughtful onboarding process are likely to have confidence in the product and are more likely to share that with others, which will increase the likelihood of referrals.

How to Build a Marketing Funnel for Your Content

Let’s walk through the process of defining your marketing channel. As mentioned above, using marketing channels to promote your brand to your target market is a big decision. Ideally, you want to do the above marketing channels.

However, the reality is that few companies are able to use all of these channels, which means even though we offer e-books, whitepapers, and podcasting.

Building a successful marketing funnel for your content requires careful thought and planning. The first step is to create awareness of your product or service. This can be done through various strategies, including social media campaigns, PPC campaigns, email marketing, and more. You’ll want to target potential customers with messages that emphasize the unique benefits of what you offer.

Once people are aware of your product or service, you need to create interest in it and build desire for it among your target audience. You can do this by providing educational materials about the product or service, showcasing customer testimonials and case studies, offering free trials and discounts on products, and creating content that speaks directly to the needs and interests of your target audience.

The next step is taking action by getting customers to make a purchase. This is where sales funnels come into play – they provide customers with an easy-to-follow path from initial contact all the way through to purchase.

A good sales funnel should guide customers through each step of the process clearly and logically so they know exactly what they need to do at each stage in order to complete their purchase.

Finally, you need to constantly measure and tweak your sales funnel so that it is optimized for maximum conversions. Test different versions of emails or landing pages to see what works best with your audience.

Track metrics like time spent on a page, bounce rate, cost per acquisition (CPA), click-through rate (CTR), etc., in order to identify optimization opportunities for further improvement. By continually testing and tweaking your marketing funnel, you will ensure its success in driving conversions over time!

Frequently asked questions about the sales funnel

What are a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is the process of marketing to potential customers and getting them to buy your product or service.

How do you create a sales funnel?

Creating a successful sales funnel involves multiple steps including creating awareness of your product or service, building interest in it, creating a desire for it by offering special discounts or promotional offers, and finally taking action by getting customers to make a purchase through remarketing campaigns and personalized emails.

With the right combination of these strategies and tactics, you can optimize your sales funnel for maximum results.

How much does a sales funnel cost?

The cost of the sales funnel can vary widely and is dependent on a number of factors. These include the complexity and size of your website, the size of your target audience, and the sophistication of your marketing automation system. 

What do a sales funnel look like?

A sales funnel typically looks like an inverted pyramid, with the widest part at the top and the narrowest at the bottom. At the top of the funnel, potential customers are introduced to a brand or product through marketing strategies such as advertising and content marketing. As they move further down, they become more interested in what is being offered and may even reach out to learn more. The goal is to then convert that interest into a sale or purchase. 


A sales funnel is an important tool for any business and can be the difference between success and failure. By understanding the stages of the sales funnel and what metrics to track, you can ensure that your sales funnel is working effectively.

If you need help creating or optimizing your sales funnel, get in touch with us today. We’d be happy to chat about how we can help you reach your business goals.

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