What Is a Sales Funnel? and How You Should Start Your Own

Published On: June 1, 2020By 21.3 min read

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What Is a Sales Funnel

Have you ever heard about the sales funnel? What is a sales funnel? How does it look like? At first, it may sound a little weird but this single concept can convert your business from scratch to a money-making machine.

Consider it as a real-life funnel. Where you pour something on top of the funnel and it goes down through a narrow path towards a definite destination. Sales Funnel is also like that but it’s a vast process that you need to know properly before implementing it in your business. It may be a crude analogy but it can boost your business to a whole new level.

If you are still in confusion about Sales Funnel, don’t worry. We will take you along through the ups and downs, curves and corners of the path where you will properly understand what is a sales funnel.

You will get to know all the information, tools, and strategies related to Sales Funnel. Let’s get started.

What Is a Sales Funnel? 

If you have a business, probably you run a website where visitors come and go every moment. But does every visitor or potential customer turn into a customer who orders from your website? Or registers on your website?

In a straight forward way, you can say the sales funnel is the journey of the customers as visitors which turns into conversion. It can be an email, phone number, registering for a webinar, etc.

Most probably you have seen those tempting offers in a burger shop or any other web store which says “Buy one, get one free”. Even you, after seeing such offers will tend to buy that combo package when you don’t need two burgers or commodities.

That is a sales funnel that thrives you to go through the path that is created by the marketers to earn money cleverly. And you can also implement the process in your business after understanding what is a sales funnel.

3 Types of Funnel

A funnel can be made in various ways based on your business, needs, audiences. But We are keeping it basic and short so that you can understand it and apply it in your way.

Funnel is mainly of 3 types:

  1. Lead Funnel: Here you focus on giving leads to potential customers by creating value for them which can be offered like free courses, video tutorials or guides, information materials, etc.
  2. Conversion Funnel: This is the most important type where you convert your visitors or potential customers into customers that includes activities like sales products, upsell, combos, etc.
  3. Webinar Funnel: You will often see many brands arrange webinar sessions and invite their customers. These also create a good funnel especially in the case of high-end products like iPhone or Tesla cars.

How To Create a Sales Funnel?

Now, at this stage, We hope you got the definition of what is a sales funnel. We are going to clarify the stages of creating a sales funnel.

You have to go through some definite steps to build a sales funnel. It can be divided into four core stages to understand easily.

Step 1: Identifying Your Prospects

Identifying your prospects means knowing what your customer needs. For example, let you run a mobile accessories shop. Who would be your ideal customer?

You can make a questionnaire for yourself to figure out what your ideal customer needs or what problem they have. These can be like:

  1. What type of accessories do they use most?
  2. Do they know any person who is a gadget freak?
  3. What accessories do they gift to their closed ones on occasions?

This is just an instance. You can make more questionnaires like this and it will help you to identify what your customer needs.

Step 2: Qualifying Your Prospects

Keep in mind that every potential customer you counted on the previous step will not be your ideal customer. Here comes the term ‘qualifying your prospects.

It’s not that difficult. You can take surveys and create polls. You can create a social media hype where people will start talking about your product. There will be arguments on both sides.

If you carefully observe all these you will get to know who are going to be your ideal customers and what they need or desire. In these ways, you qualify the prospects and get a clear indication of your direction.

Step 3: Drive Customers to Sales Funnel

The question here is how will you attract potential customers to get into your funnel? In many ways, you can achieve that. Simply you can consider any blog or any Youtube channel where you make awesome posts or videos regularly and you have a good amount of people watching or following you.

You can use these resources to gather information. For example, if you share your blog posts or videos on social media platforms with an exciting offer, it will tempt a lot of people to dig into that and they will leave some contact information like email, phone numbers which you can use later to reach them with other offers.

You can also make a start by selling a product or offering a service at a low cost which is easily affordable to a wide range of people. This will create a good customer base with lots of information. Afterward, you can offer them something a bit higher priced and observe how they react to it.

Step 4: Establishing Your Sales Funnel

Establishing Your Sales Funnel

What it needs for a customer to decide to buy something from you? In most cases, it can be trust or reliability. If you come up with a product that costs $500, why would someone buy that? What services they are going to get? What is your brand value? So, you always have to plan it backward.

For example, you can engage people in social media or blog posts. Their discussion will draw the attention of other potential prospects. You can release a sneak peek of your basic product with lots of features and a minimal price tag.

It will drive them through the funnel you created. But still, they are in the upper portion of your funnel. When they will realize the benefit of your product or you have become reliable with your products and services, it is time to leap onto the next level products which will be the center of attraction among new potential customers.

If you repeat these steps, you will end on selling a high-end product that is affordable by a smaller number of people but yet that product creates the most revenue for your company.

Now, as you know what is a sales funnel and how to create it, let’s divide our Sales Funnel into 4 portions.

  1. Awareness: This is the top portion of the funnel where you draw the attention of your customers. You let them know about your products or services in different ways. It might be a Facebook post, a Youtube video or something else. In this stage, sometimes customers instantly buy a product when they get to know that you are offering a product they need at a reasonable price.
  2. Interest: In this middle stage, the customer is now finding the pros and cons of your offers and products they intend to buy. They are doing a price comparison with other products present in the market. Its high time to serve them some additional information about your products or services so that it becomes easier to decide for them. Remember, never push them anything to buy in this stage. That could be a turn off for them. They may go and never come back. Just provide the information to manipulate them to think that they are making the decision.
  3. Decision: After reaching this stage, the customer is willing to buy your products or services. Maybe they can have one or two more choices. Now your job is to turn them towards you. This is the time when can make your best possible offer. You can give them for example, free shipping or a discount coupon. It will help them to finalize the decision of buying the product from you.
  4. Action: This is the bottom level of the funnel where customers buy your product. But this is not the end of the journey. If you want to make more profit, you have to look after the customer that means remembering them even after purchase, continuously providing new product information and after-sales support if necessary. These will make customer retention easier.

Why Sales Funnel is Important?

Perhaps you have understood what is a sales funnel by this time. If you are still in the middle of nowhere to know the proper application of the sales funnel and have challenges in finding customers for your business, just hold on.

We are going to give you some reasons which will give you an insight into how to apply this strategy properly in your business.

  • Picking a marketing strategy: Sales funnel is important so that you can decide which marketing tools or business model you need to succeed. Some of the marketers may emphasize the customers in the decision section of the funnel by giving exciting offers. Whereas, some others may have different ideas to engage them more often. So, it is up to you where you should focus on.
  • Knowing how to relate to your customers: Sometimes, only the products and offers are not just enough for your customers. The way you talk to them or the way you represent the product is also important. By simply editing the ad script or product description, you can engage more potential customers who would relate this product to their needs.
  • Generating greater sales: By knowing and applying sales funnel properly, you can pull more potential customers to the action section of the funnel where it generates more money.
  • The advantage in the competitions: Business is always a matter of competition where you have to fight with the marketing strategies or business model of other entrepreneurs. You will always be some steps ahead of your competitors who don’t use this strategy.
  • Growing your business: The more you generate leads for your customers, the more your business grows. As simple as that. For the potential customers in the decision section or the customers in the action section, you can always leave some leads. This will turn the potential customers into buying your product and those who are already your customer will rebuy one after another resulting in your business growth.

Sales Funnel Copywriting

So far you have possibly acquired most of the bits of knowledge about what is a sales funnel and how it is created. But business is not only the theory or idea, right? Now you have to turn your greatest business ideas into reality. You need ads, articles and blog posts, videos to spread among the community. But here most of the people fail.

Everyone is not great at copywriting. They face problems when creating compelling ads, appealing headlines, and many more. They get confused about what to say in a video or what to write in a blog post.

A good piece of product description or ad script can have much more effect on the mind of potential customers. But as you know, good things cost much.

You can hire a copywriter to get your work done, but that is going to cost a pretty good amount of money. Excellent copywriters can charge around $5 per word. That’s a big amount, right.

What Can You Do to Minimize that Cost?

You can simply learn the sales copywriting ideas and techniques by yourself so that you can customize the writing as per your needs. That will save you from expending your hard-earned money. You can get books online regarding how to make good content in the sales funnel or you can order them from Amazon.

We can share with you a small but effective tip to remember when you write your content. Describe your product using “Who-What-Why-How”. Now, what do these terms mean?

  • Who: Who are you? Your Company or brand name etc.
  • What: What is your product? What are you offering?
  • Why: Why do people need it? Why is it better than others?
  • How: How people can get your products or offers?

These terms work as punch lines and people remember only these things. You should also be careful about explaining why you are giving such an offer so that they don’t doubt your intentions.

Sales Funnel Software

Everything is getting automated nowadays. Making sales funnel manually costs a lot of precious time and money. By using some software, you can easily create an attractive sales funnel and optimize its various sections. Even you don’t need any technical knowledge. You just need to know what is a sales funnel and nothing else.

What you have to do is just input the data needed in different sections and then the software does the rest.

We will share the 5 best sales funnel software lists so that you can make more money in less time and effort.

  1. ClickFunnels: The Legendary Software In Funnel Marketing
  2. Leadpages: Landing Page Designer
  3. Funnel Dash
  4. HotJar: Behavior Analytics Made Easy
  5. Active Campaign: The email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM tools

Let’s know some more about this software and its benefits.

1# Clickfunnels– The Legendary Software In Funnel Marketing

ClickFunnels Features

It is very useful software to create sales funnels. In it, you will get 7 different funnel options to set up. At the same time, it will give you some excellent ideas for marketing. You can get 40 templates using which you can create interesting funnels.

You can make different types of funnels with this software. Some of them are like:

  • Lead Funnel
  • Sales Funnel
  • Product Launch Funnel
  • Webinar Funnel
  • Membership site Funnel
  • Online course Funnel
  • Bridge Funnel
  • Fishbowl Funnel

You can manage auto email sending, ads, videos, campaigns using all types of funnels. This is the most common software in funnel sales. we have a more in-depth review of Clickfunnels here that you can check.

Join ClickFunnels today and get a 14 day FREE Trial.


2# Leadpages – Landing Page Designer


You maybe know nothing about web design or you are a newbie here. If you are finding software using which a non-web designer can make stunning Leadpages comfortably, then this software is the one to choose.

You just need to provide the necessary information in the different sections and the software will automatically create many types of pages including launch pages, up sales pages, thanks to the page, and many more.

Benefits of Leadpages

  1. You can get maximum efficiency in terms of the current email list, webinar platform, marketing, and sales generation.
  2. You can observe the whole campaign monitor at a glance. You can take the necessary steps.
  3. You will get the advantage of sending offline SMS.
GET LeadPages NOW!

3# Funnel Dash

Funnel Dash

If you are in a problem with funnel calculations, then probably this software is the best to help you out.

You can calculate all your sales funnels using this software. Moreover, it will track your marketing budget. It also gives good results in fixing the CPC, Facebook engages and targets the audience.

Try this software for 30 days for free, with ongoing plans starting at $99 per month.

GET Funnel Dash NOW!

4# HotJar: Behavior Analytics Made Easy


You may wonder who are the visitors to your site? From where they come and where they go? Why they are not converting from visitors to your customers? Where do they spend most of their time in sales and other pages?

Hotjar is the appropriate tool to know the answer to all the above questions. It monitors the movement of the mouse of the visitor to tell you where they most commonly see. Viewing detailed reports generated by this software, you will understand where to place the sales links.

Benefits of Hotjar

  1. Recording the movement and clicks of the mouse of the visitors.
  2. Analyzing the funnel conversion
  3. Feedback polls
GET hotjar NOW!

5# Active Campaign

Active Campaign

This is another commonly used tool in sales funnel. The performance of this software is extraordinary in sending emails, SMS and in newsletter marketing. It will send emails automatically from the server. This software can send several thousands of emails in a few minutes.

GET Active Campaign NOW!

Sales Funnel Template

Templates are some readymade designs that you can use in making your template. You can find templates of your choice on the internet.

Sales Funnel Tracking

If you know what is a sales funnel and have a sales funnel by this time, it is necessary to test all the information. If you are using Clickfunnels, you can see everything on the dashboard. But what if you are using other software?

You can use Google Sheets or Excel to analyze the data manually and check whether the funnel is working well or not.

Some of the basic parameters you need to know about the sales funnel are:

  • Traffic number
  • Opt-in
  • Conversion rate
  • Tracking sales

Funnel Hacking Blueprint

It is simply nothing but observing your competitors’ funnel by any means and using them in your business.

Why funnel hacking is important?

In every sector, people follow success. So, if someone is running the same business as you and their sales funnel is working well, you can peep into that and extract the core of their success to use it accordingly in your business.

Funnel Hacking: How to do it?

At first, you have to know who are your competitors. They may not be your direct competitors but they may sell the same products or services as you. You should make a list of them. Then you can go through their web pages and gather information anonymously. Arrange all the information in a specific order so that you find them easily when needed.

You should look for things like ads and landing pages that competitors use on Google or Facebook to drive traffic to land pages. You can also check the sponsored links on different platforms and save the information for further use.

Sales Funnel Books

Reading is always considered to be the best way to acquire knowledge.

So, if you still think that you are not capable enough to understand what is a sales funnel and apply all the strategies mentioned above, you can simply pick a book on this topic. Sit back and relax. Forget about strategies for a moment and concentrate on the contents.

You might find some interesting knowledge which will work later.

We are giving a list of the best sales books in your favor. Please do read them.

  1. Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko
  2. The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
  3. Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden
  4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  5. The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge
  6. The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
  7. Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler
  8. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  9. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
  10. Agile Selling by Jill Konrath
  11. The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes
  12. The New Solution Selling by Keith M. Eades
  13. The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins
  14. Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone and Bruce Patton
  15. Smart Calling by Art Sobczak
  16. Money – Master the Game by Tony Robbins
  17. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  18. Jack: Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch and John A. Byrne
  19. The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy
  20. Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
  21. Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
    • Unbreakable Laws of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
  22. Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy
  23. SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham
  24. The Joshua Principle by Tony J. Hughes
  25. Hyper-Connected Selling by David J.P. Fisher
  26. Bonus: Combo Prospecting by Tony J. Hughes
  27. Bonus: Hacking Sales – The Playbook for Building a High-Velocity Sales Machine by Max Altschuler
  28. Bonus: The Sales Enablement Playbook by Cory Bray and Hilmon Sorey
  29. Bonus: The No 1. Best Seller by Lee Bartlett
  30. Bonus: Outbound Sales, No Fluff by Rex Biberston and Ryan Reisert
  31. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
  32. The Decision Book by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler
  33. Innovating for People by LUMA Institute
  34. The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde
  35. Illuminate by Nancy Duarte and Patti Sanchez
  36. Exactly What to Say by Phil M. Jones
  37. Blueprints by Fernando Pizarro and Jacco Van Der Kooij
  38. How to Get a Meeting with Anyone by Stu Heinecke
  39. Sales Engagement by Manny Medina, Max Altschuler & Mark Kosoglow
  40. How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling by Frank Bettger
  41. Discover Questions Get You Connected by Deb Calvert
  42. From Impossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross & Jason Lemkin
  43. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann
  44. Brilliant Selling by Tom Bird & Jeremy Cassell
  45. Mindset by Carol Dweck
  46. The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld
  47. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
  48. Sales Management. Simplified. by Mike Weinberg
  49. Winning With Data by Tomasz Tunguz & Frank Bien
  50. Insight Selling by Mike Schultz & John E. Doerr
  51. Coaching Sales People into Sales Champions by Keith Rosen
  52. Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success by Colleen Stanley
  53. Integrity Selling for the 21st Century by Ron Willingham
  54. More Sales, Less Time by Jill Konrath

Sales Funnel Training

If you want to get a coach to understand the terms of the sales funnel and proper applications, you can join any training program on the sales funnel.

Find an online or offline course in your favor and get enrolled to know the unknown and optimize success. Udemy is also a great place to learn.


Got bored after reading all these about the sales funnel? Believe me, there is many more on this topic to discuss. If you have read uninterruptedly till now, take a bow. Your patience and hard work may bring the success that you dreamt of.

We will suggest you come back here and take a look whenever you feel like it because We will update this article from time to time. You might know something else about what is a sales funnel when you visit us next time.

We wish you a very prosperous and successful life for you all.

Disclosure: We are an independent ClickFunnels Affiliate, not an employee. We receive referral payments from ClickFunnels. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of ClickFunnels or its parent company, Etison LLC.

About the Author: Ashraful Islam

Ashraful Islam is the founder of Pro Funnel Builder, a blog in which he shares his passion for sales funnel, lead generation, and digital marketing. He also documents what he learns to help others avoid making costly mistakes that he's made - saving money!