What is a Sales Funnel and How to build a Sales Funnel?

Written by Ralph Chua
Last Updated On

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The basic idea of a sales funnel is to capture the attention of potential customers and convert them into paying customers through various marketing channels.

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A successful sales funnel will have at least these 4 stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

I’m a simple man with a simple mission:

To help you get more of the things that matter to you.

To me, life is all about exploring and experiencing new things, which is why I’ve done so much research on the sales funnel.

I have come out with one conclusion: Simple ideas can work well if they’re backed by an effective sales funnel.

In this post I’ll be going over the 4 stages of the sales funnel and how to create a successful sales funnel as well as some tips on what content to produce for each stage in the process.

What Is A Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is a multi-step, buying journey automated process developed to engage your ideal customers while lead them through the buying cycle. A sales funnel typically includes three stages: Attract, Nurture and Converting leads into customers.

Understanding the 4 stages of sales funnel

The sales funnel is a sales process whereby sales prospects or customers are guide through 4 phases,  awareness, interest, decision and action.

It differentiates sales prospects into four categories knowers, learners, lookers and buyers.

One Purchase
Marketing Efforts
Marketing Concept
Industry Knowledge
Lead Magnet
Packaging Options
Target Audience
First Stage
Create Content
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Best Solution
Potential Customers
Prospects Drop
Facebook Ad
Sales Model
Generate Leads
Boost Retention
Content Marketing
Sales Funnels
Sales Reps
Capturing Leads
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Customer Loyalty
Push Prospects
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Interest Stage
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Target Customers
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Lead Management
Small Businesses
Create Awareness
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Decision Stage
Drive Traffic
Linkedin Ads
Social Proof
Path Prospects
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Unique Benefits
Customers Happy
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Final Stage
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Action Stage
Decision Phase
Certain Percentage
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One Prospect
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Follow Ups
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Marketing Funnel
Landing Page
Sales Pipeline
Sales Management
Competitive Research
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Final Purchase
Secured Purchases
Purchasing Journey
Existing Customers
Creating Awareness
Prospect Drops
Sales Cycle
Sales Process
Customer Journey
Sales Team
Website Visitors
Sales Pages
Marketing Strategy
Buyer Personas
Convert Prospects
Future Purchases
Interest Phase
Brand Advocates
Lead Magnets
Main Stages
Sales Teams
Prospective Customers
Customer Retention
Marketing Automation
Marketing Activities
Business Growth
Market Efficiently
Relevant Data
Buying Journey
Final Step
Different Content
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Case Studies
Email List
Specific Problem
Large Number
Ideal Place
Other Products
Best Way
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Little Things
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Sticky Notes
Most People
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Missed Appointments
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Conversion Rate
One Stage
Small Business
Other Content
Losing Prospects
Perfect Solution

The following are the 4 stages of the sales funnel:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

Here’s a look at each step in detail. It is also known as The AIDA Model.

Stage 1: Awareness

Effective Sales Funnel
Target Audience Hangs
Free Shipping Work
Try Something No
How Many People
Become Aware No
Free Shipping No
Contact Information No
Most Important Places
Sales Funnel Stages
Conduct Competitive Research
Sales Funnel Helps
Company'S Sales Model
Sales Funnel Begins
Awareness Interest No
Effective Sales No
Forgotten Follow Ups
Social Media No
Sales Funnel Important
Sales Funnel Example
Sales Funnel Narrows
Build Customer Loyalty
Customer Retention Rate
Different Buyer Personas
Other Marketing Efforts
Customer Relationship Management
Pay Careful Attention
Offer Something No
Create Nurture Campaigns
Successful Sales Funnel
Email Drip Campaign
Sales Funnel Works
Right Marketing Activities
Free Trial No
Four Main Stages
Next Step No
Sales Funnel Explained
Sales And Marketing No
Makes A Purchase No
Various Sales Funnel Stages
Reach The Bottom No
Top Of Mind No
Number Of People No
Make A Purchase No
Does Free Shipping Work
Product Or Service No
Need To Create No
Ready To Buy No
Call To Action No
Word Of Mouth No
Products And Services No
Products Or Services No
Stage Of The Funnel No
Moving Through The Funnel No
Top Of The Funnel No
Bottom Of The Funnel No
Optimize Your Sales Funnel No
Stages Of A Sales No
Create A Sales Funnel No
Build A Sales Funnel No
Funnel For Your Business No
Stage Of The Sales No
Top Middle And Bottom No
Build A Landing Page No

Awareness is the first stage of the sales funnel.

Its goal is to get the person’s attention, to capture their interest and develop an awareness about the product.

This enables them to have a chance for sales conversion later on when they are in stage 2 of the sales funnel.

The sales message should be catchy, eye catching and easy to read.

The sales message should offer great sales benefits for the customer to grab their attention and make them want to learn more about it.

The sales message also has to  answer any concerns that may be hindering sales conversion later on when they are in stage 2 of the sales funnel.

It must explain  what are its merits, how it solves the customer’s problem and what sales benefits they will get when they buy the product.

This sales message is not a sales pitch yet, but a sales promotion.

It has to build sales awareness by explaining sales benefits that the customer can get from purchasing the product in order for them to stay on it and learn more about it.

Stage 2: Interest

Effective Sales Funnel
Target Audience Hangs
Free Shipping Work
Try Something No
How Many People
Become Aware No
Free Shipping No
Contact Information No
Most Important Places
Sales Funnel Stages
Conduct Competitive Research
Sales Funnel Helps
Company'S Sales Model
Sales Funnel Begins
Awareness Interest No
Effective Sales No
Forgotten Follow Ups
Social Media No
Sales Funnel Important
Sales Funnel Example
Sales Funnel Narrows
Build Customer Loyalty
Customer Retention Rate
Different Buyer Personas
Other Marketing Efforts
Customer Relationship Management
Pay Careful Attention
Offer Something No
Create Nurture Campaigns
Successful Sales Funnel
Email Drip Campaign
Sales Funnel Works
Right Marketing Activities
Free Trial No
Four Main Stages
Next Step No
Sales Funnel Explained
Sales And Marketing No
Makes A Purchase No
Various Sales Funnel Stages
Reach The Bottom No
Top Of Mind No
Number Of People No
Make A Purchase No
Does Free Shipping Work
Product Or Service No
Need To Create No
Ready To Buy No
Call To Action No
Word Of Mouth No
Products And Services No
Products Or Services No
Stage Of The Funnel No
Moving Through The Funnel No
Top Of The Funnel No
Bottom Of The Funnel No
Optimize Your Sales Funnel No
Stages Of A Sales No
Create A Sales Funnel No
Build A Sales Funnel No
Funnel For Your Business No
Stage Of The Sales No
Top Middle And Bottom No
Build A Landing Page No

Stage 2 of the sales funnel is the interest stage.

It’s important that at this stage, the sales message should be able to attract their interest and develop their interest to learn more about it.

The sales message for this stage should provide reasons why they want the product.

They should appeal to their emotions to make them think about how it would help them.

They should also give all the details about the product for this sales conversion.

This sales message is different from sales promotion because now, it has to answer any concern that could hinder sales conversion later on when they are in stage 3 of the sales funnel.

For example, if the customer has concerns about shipping or returns, then address them to have sales conversion when they are in sales funnel stage 3.

The sales message should be concise, convincing and to the point.

It has to build sales interest by giving reasons why they want to buy the product and making them excited about it.

Stage 3: Decision

Effective Sales Funnel
Target Audience Hangs
Free Shipping Work
Try Something No
How Many People
Become Aware No
Free Shipping No
Contact Information No
Most Important Places
Sales Funnel Stages
Conduct Competitive Research
Sales Funnel Helps
Company'S Sales Model
Sales Funnel Begins
Awareness Interest No
Effective Sales No
Forgotten Follow Ups
Social Media No
Sales Funnel Important
Sales Funnel Example
Sales Funnel Narrows
Build Customer Loyalty
Customer Retention Rate
Different Buyer Personas
Other Marketing Efforts
Customer Relationship Management
Pay Careful Attention
Offer Something No
Create Nurture Campaigns
Successful Sales Funnel
Email Drip Campaign
Sales Funnel Works
Right Marketing Activities
Free Trial No
Four Main Stages
Next Step No
Sales Funnel Explained
Sales And Marketing No
Makes A Purchase No
Various Sales Funnel Stages
Reach The Bottom No
Top Of Mind No
Number Of People No
Make A Purchase No
Does Free Shipping Work
Product Or Service No
Need To Create No
Ready To Buy No
Call To Action No
Word Of Mouth No
Products And Services No
Products Or Services No
Stage Of The Funnel No
Moving Through The Funnel No
Top Of The Funnel No
Bottom Of The Funnel No
Optimize Your Sales Funnel No
Stages Of A Sales No
Create A Sales Funnel No
Build A Sales Funnel No
Funnel For Your Business No
Stage Of The Sales No
Top Middle And Bottom No
Build A Landing Page No
Making A Decision

Stage 3 of the sales funnel is the decision stage.

At this stage, the sales message should make them make a decision to buy the product by presenting it as a good offer and as something that they will need.

The sales message at this stage has to present all the benefits and features of the product and prove that the customer will get their money’s worth for purchasing it.

It has to show any proof that can be use as an evidence for why they should buy the product and increase their trust in it.

The ultimate sales message should address any concerns that may be preventing people from converting into customers later on in the sales funnel.

For example, if the consumer does not trust the firm or feels that they will lose their money if they buy it, this sales pitch must persuade them by demonstrating evidence and clearing up any doubt so that it may convert sales when they are in the stages of a sales funnel.

The sales message should be interesting, concise and to the point. It has to build trust by presenting all the benefits that they will get from purchasing it.

Stage 4: Action

What is a sales funnel
Don’t Just Take, GIVE.

Stage 4 sales funnel is the action stage.

It’s also called the sales conversion stage.

At this stage, it is important to provide a sales message that will make them pay for the product.

Here, the sales message should start with a call-to-action and make them do something to buy the product such as by clicking on a “Checkout” button or pressing “Buy Now”.

This sales message should also show that the customer has no risk in this buy by using phrases such as “No Obligation”, “Money Back Guarantee” and etc.

The marketing message should be compelling and provide advantages of purchasing today.

To convert sales when they are in the sales funnel, the sale message should be convincing and concise.

The sales message should not have any interruption from the website page that it is being displayed on because a customer can leave a webpage and would not come back if there is a problem with the site.

If this is the case, it may be an sign that you need to change your sales message.

If your message does not fit into one of these elements, try moving or deleting text to make room for other content.

The messaging should be clear and to the point. It must persuade them that purchasing today is secure.

If you’re still interested, let’s learn how to create a sales funnel.

How to build a sales funnel?

How to build a sales funnel

This is where the fun begins. 

5 Steps to Creating a Sales Funnel for Your Business

  • Step 1: Start with End in Mind
  • Step 2: Capture Your Audience’s Attention
  • Step 3: Build a Landing Page
  • Step 4: Create an Email Drip Campaign
  • Step 5: Building Relationship with your Dream Customer

Step 1: Start with End in Mind

Start with end in mind

What is your end goal?

What do you want your dream customer to do after they land on your landing page?

It’s important that you have a clear goal before creating your funnel.

If you set business goals and funnel goals, you can measure what works and what doesn’t.

Making changes to your sales funnel only takes a couple hours, not weeks or months like it would take for an entire campaign.

For example, you can use a persona to help create your dream customer avatar.

Start by asking yourself:

“Who is the kind of person that I want to buy from me?”

You should answer these questions:

Who is my target market?

What are their demographics?

Where do they live?

What is their job title?

What social media channels do they use?

What time of day do they spend on social media?

2. Capture Your Audience’s Attention

Capture Your Audience's Attention
This is it!

If your dream customer is not interested in what you are selling, they will never buy anything from you.

That’s why it’s important that when you are building your sales funnel that you focus on capturing their attention early on.

Capture your dream customer’s attention by designing a sales funnel that targets the needs of your customer.

Start with an end in mind and ask questions such as:

“What is the one thing you want from me?”

Make an offer so appealing that they will want to accept it, or even give it away to entice people to join up.

Once you’ve got their attention, it’s time for them to sign up for your email list.

Now you’re ready to start building sales funnels. .

3. Build a landing page

Build a landing page
Build a Landing Page

A landing is a page created for the sole purpose of directing traffic from various sources to a specific conversion goal with the intention of capturing the audience’s attention and converting them into customers or clients.

This can be through a variety of different offers such as free trial, product samples, discounted prices, lifetime deals, monthly subscription offers, etc.

Landing pages can also contain a promotional offer if a business is running an online campaign or sale for that particular period of time.

In most cases, landing pages have one placed call-to-action that encourages potential customers to convert into paying customers by making the offer clear and simple to complete.

This could include any number of offers such as a free trial of a course, e-book or live training, a discount on the full price, etc.

Recommended Resources: Sales Funnel Templates

4. Build an email drip campaign

Build an email drip campaign
Build an email drip campaign

An email drip campaign is a series of emails that are send out to customers over the course of time.

These emails should contain information about products or services that may be of interest to the customer, but not at this exact moment in time.

One way to look at it is like a drip coffee machine, where you put water in the back and the coffee grinds in the front.

The water drips through and out comes your cup of coffee.

You can’t take a sip right away because that isn’t how it works!

That would be a sales funnel.

The email drip campaign is the same thing, you need to “drip” information through over time rather than dropping a large sale on your customers at once.

This makes it easier for them to digest and much more likely that they will continue reading about what you are selling if they interested in it.

5. Building Relationship with your Dream Customer

Building Relationship with your Dream Customer
Building Relationship with your Dream Customer

The final step in the sales funnel is the highest one, aka the top of the funnel.

It’s all about creating a relationship between you and your dream customer.

Show them how you care about them by asking questions and providing helpful information to them so they can see that you want to help them like you helped everyone else who bought from you.

It’s also important to remember that while your sales funnel may be one way, not all sales funnels suits for every type of business—different businesses need different markets and strategies to create their sales funnels.

Research has shown that having a clear goal is a key element in building a successful sales funnel, without a goal it is impossible to see a return on your investments.

A perfect product/ sale funnel needs to fit the exact profile of your business, while sharing resources with other companies in the same niche that move in unison can be very powerful and increase revenue streams.

Hooray!

Sales funnels are build around relationships, so start building yours today.

The sales funnel is all about building relationships with your customers.

It can be a long process, but it’s worth the time and effort because you will have people who follow through to buy from you in the end.

Recommended Article: Types of Sales Funnel

Conclusion

You should take care of each step of the sales funnel so that at every stage there are opportunities for success.

By focusing on different aspects of relationship-building, whether it’s by providing excellent customer service or having an engaging social media presence, you’ll find both short term gains as well as lasting relationships.

Which steps have been most effective for increasing your product sales?

Continue reading for further information on how to create content for each stage of the sales funnel.

The best way to start is to GET IN THE GAME!

Related Article

Sales Funnel Design

Photo of author

Article By:

Ralph Chua

I'm a husband and a father. I'm also an entrepreneur who's on a mission to find sales funnel mastery. I love watching football, but not as much as my wife loves it. She is the best quarterback in our family!
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