Sales – What Is A Sales Funnel?

Sales – What Is A Sales Funnel?


For salespersons in traditional sales, it is sometimes hard to get buy-in for them to consider using sales funnels to bring online visitors closer to becoming new clients. This compilation of articles is to help demonstrate this very idea of the sales funnel.

The Sales Funnel:

[1]The sales funnel each step that someone has to take to become your customer.

Let’s look at a brick-and-mortar sales funnel.

The people at the top of the sales funnel walk by your store. A certain percentage of them decide to walk in. That’s the next of the funnel.

A customer sees a rack of T-shirts on clearance. He or she thumbs through the rack, and now they’re at the next step of the funnel. Then the customer selects four t-shirts and walks to the check-out. They’re at the last step. If all goes well, they finish the purchase and reach the bottom of the funnel.

This same process plays out for every business in one way or the other. Your sales could exist as:

  • Retail store
  • Sales team
  • Website
  • Email
  • Personal consultation

Any marketing channel can be part of your sales funnel. And your funnel might be spread across several channels.[2]A sales funnel directly connected to the customer journey phases can be sorted into three parts: top, middle, and bottom.

This can translate into the sales funnel structure on your part as prospects going through Untouched > Contact made (Leads) > Qualified > Proposal presented > Negotiation > Won.

Top-performing sales reps know the steps of their sales funnel inside out. There are two key reasons for this:

They can address the customer’s key needs and deliver the right message at the right time, and

They can scale their sales process, forecast their sales and revenue, and hit their goals.

In other words, a well-defined sales funnel improves a customer’s journey as well as the company’s health.

The Sales Funnel Explained: How it Works.

While there are lots of words used to describe different sales funnel stages, we’re going to go with the four most common terms to explain how each stage works as a consumer goes from a visitor to a prospect to a lead to a buyer.

A visitor lands on your website through a Google search or social link. He or she is now a prospect. The visitor might check out a few of your blog posts or browse your product listings. At some point, you offer him or her a chance to sign up for your email list.

If the visitor fills out your form, he or she becomes a lead. You can now market to the customer outside of your websites, such as via email, phone, or text — or all three.

Leads tend to come back to your website when you contact them with special offers, information about new blog posts, or other intriguing messages. Maybe you offer a coupon code.

The sales funnel narrows as visitors move through it. This is partly because you’ll have more prospects at the top of the funnel than buyers at the bottom, but also because your messaging needs to become increasingly targeted.

[3]Understanding Sales Funnels

To better understand the concept of a sales funnel and just how you can implement it in your own business, let’s look at the following image from Shutterstock. On the left side of the image, you see a magnet. That magnet is attracting customers, which happens in several ways. From blogging to social media to paid ads and everything in between, how the visitors arrive at your website has some impact on your funnel’s success.

[4]Stage 1: Awareness

The first of the sales funnel stages is called the “awareness” level because people first become aware of your product or service. They may hear about you from your advertising, social media, even word of mouth.

How and why those people move down the sales funnel depends on your own sales and marketing ability, of course. The leads in the middle and lower sales funnel stages are those you want to pay the most attention to because they’ve moved beyond awareness to interest.

An example of the awareness stage would be the prospect of learning about your company for the first time. Perhaps they clicked on one of your ads, read your blog, found your website via a Google search, or heard a colleague talking about your product or service.

Stage 2: Interest

Once prospects have learned about your brand, they’ll evaluate it based on their interest level. They’ll think about the problem they’re trying to solve and conduct competitive research to ensure your offering is the best solution.

Stage 3: Decision

Armed with information about your company, prospects will dig deeper into your pricing and packaging options. Sales pages, webinars, and calls are helpful in this stage to help sway prospects to make a purchase.

Stage 4: Action

All your work comes down to this stage: whether the prospect makes a purchase or not. If they didn’t, the deal isn’t lost forever. You can create nurture campaigns to make sure you stay top of mind.


Should you have any questions about any of the articles in this compilation, please do not hesitate to call today. has compiled this article, and all of the reference links are listed below.