What Is A Sales Funnel and Why Does It Matter

A sales funnel is a process that a business uses to transform leads into paying customers. It is called a “funnel” because the number of potential clients you have gets progressively smaller as they move from being just aware of your brand, considering a purchase, and then making a purchase.

This article will help you learn what a sales funnel is and why it matters to your marketing strategy.

What Is A Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is the path you take to convert your website visitors into buying customers. Your sales funnel can be big or small depending on how many products you offer and which one(s) your target market prefers to buy. For example, if you own an online shoe store, you might have these types of events in your sales funnel: 

  1. collect prospects’ contact information (lead generation), 
  2. provide educational content related to shoe wear (lead nurturing), 
  3. send an email about new styles that are available at low-cost prices (sales follow-up/conversion). 

Oftentimes, business owners do not get the big picture of how a sales funnel comes together and how it works. Some might see their sales as a linear progression of events that fell together during marketing. Knowing what a sales funnel is and how it works to drive sales and expand your customer base can benefit your business in various ways. Reading more than one review and guide about the sales funnel is an excellent step toward an in-depth understanding of how you drive sales. As you learn more about the sales funnel, you can simply put it as the concept that moves traffic into your business. It’s the process you take someone through that gets them to give you their email address or buy something from your store. It’s important to have one because it gives you a very clear path for growing an online business. That makes it easy for people who want to do marketing or PR – they can see where they can fit in and what tasks they need to do next.

How It Makes The Sales Process Easier

Let’s take for example a car dealership. If owners or managers of this business wanted to, they could create a sales funnel that would look something like this:

Lead > Contacted by a Salesperson > First Visit to the Dealer > Test Drive  > Signing Papers on the Car Loan > Driving Home with their New Car.

You can see how each step of this process makes the sale easier, more likely to succeed until finally, the customer is driving away in their new car. The same thing applies online. Each email list opt-in makes people more likely to buy something from you eventually. But if they never become an e-mail subscriber or buy anything, you don’t make any money.

Setting Up A Sales Funnel Is Easy

Gaining knowledge about the sales funnel process will make setting it up easy. So, how do you set up your funnels? It all starts with the offer. What are you selling online? How are people going to buy it from you? And then, build that into a funnel system. Every time somebody lands on one of your pages, they should know where to go next to get what they want. Here’s an example:

Sign Up > Get Instant Access > Download Our Ebook  > Receive Updates & Special Offers > Check Out the Sample Chapter  > Decide Whether or Not You Want to Buy the Complete Book

Putting all this together takes someone through your entire sales funnel and gives them no other options until the very end – when they have bought what you’re selling.

You Get A Visual Representation Of Your Sales Process

A sales funnel is a model used primarily by marketers and salespeople as a visual representation of their sales process for potential customers. In its simplest form, a sales funnel shows an overview of what typically occurs during each part of closing a deal. It can be used as both an educational tool for those who want to better understand how prospects move through the various stages towards becoming paying customers, and as a planning tool to structure one’s activities throughout the entire funnel. 

You Promote And Nurture Customer Loyalty

Sales funnels may be primarily designed to effectively lead customers to a sale, but having customers make return purchases and become advocates of your business products and services is another important purpose. So why exactly do we have sales funnels? To nurture and promote customer loyalty after each sale. If you want to gain more loyal customers, then you must work on promoting your brand and increasing your reach by completing the buying cycle with your target audience. Buyers will become loyal customers if they complete each stage of the buying cycle, so be sure to prepare accordingly!

That’s a sales funnel in action. It has every step laid out and makes it easy for customers to get from browsing your site to signing up, checking out with you, and becoming a customer. In the words of Seth Godin, “All humans have 100% attention when they are dreaming.”  When people visit your website, they aren’t expecting anything but what is in front of them. Make the next step obvious and that’s where their focus will go – right into making that sale!