sales funnel pipeline

What is a Sales Funnel, and How Do I Create a Perfect 1?

If you’re not using a sales funnel, your marketing is costing more money than it’s generating.

Most businesses skip sales funnel design and are spending their marketing budget on ads that don’t convert. A proven sales funnel can reduce costs and increase conversions for any business. 

With the right tools, anyone can build an effective sales funnel in just a few hours! The hard part is your content. 

This article teaches you how to create a simple, high-converting sales and marketing funnel with minimal technical skills or experience needed! You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t, so you don’t waste time building ineffective funnels.

What is a sales funnel?

Sales Pipeline Metrics

A “sales funnel” is a process that includes some sort of promotion method for finding potential customers. A sales and marketing funnel will start with an offer to attract potential customers and then collect their contact information for follow-ups. And it ends with a revenue stream (either through the initial offer or additional products).

Sales funnels can come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have five essential components:

  1. A “promotion” stage of the funnel; 
  2. Gathered contact information; 
  3. Designed follow-up incentives and offers; 4) Deliverable (product or service), and 
  4. Ongoing customer satisfaction.

It’s important to create a sales and marketing funnel for your company because it will help you gain customers. The sales funnel is the core of any business, not just the customer service. 

The sales funnel is an essential part of any business, like how “product” is essential. A sales and marketing funnel will help you find potential customers and help you keep them happy by giving them what they want.

Sales funnels are important because they provide the foundation for all other company parts to be profitable. Sales funnels can be used as a tool for marketing products and services. 

Still, it’s also possible to use marketing tools within a sales and marketing funnel to lead prospects through a process of educating them on products or services before they make a purchase. You know inbound marketing.

What are the sales funnel stages?

  1. Finding potential customers
  2. Gaining their trust
  3. Developing a relationship with them
  4. Establishing rapport
  5. Closing the sale
  6. Maintaining the relationship post-sale

You need to align your sales funnel (pipeline process) with your customer’s journey.

Steps to creating a sales funnel

creating Sales Funnel

1) Finding the customers:

This first step is to research your target market and find out what they want so that you can give them something valuable. 

For example, if you sell dog food to people who have dogs, it’s important to know what dog breeds there are to better cater to their needs. You should also find out how much they are willing to spend on certain types of dog food. The same goes for any product.

There are many ways to find potential customers, including Google search, Facebook ads, SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing.

2) Gaining their trust:

Once potential customers come across your offer (for example, through one of the methods mentioned above), they will likely be interested in what you have to offer. Your job is to convince them that they should trust you and your business with their money, so they need to believe that you are a legitimate company and not trying to scam them. 

You can do this by showcasing reviews of other customers who had success with your product or service and making sure the design of your website looks professional rather than shady. 

3) Developing a relationship:

Next, it’s time to develop a real relationship with potential customers who feel like part of the company and know that someone will be there if something goes wrong.

You can do this by offering online/mobile tracking systems where clients can track their orders in real-time after purchase through email updates, etc.

What is the sales funnel process?

sales funnel process

The sales funnel process begins by identifying your target market. Once you identify your target market, begin researching, learn about their wants and needs (which will determine whether or not they need what you’re offering), and search for ways to provide value based on this information. 

After creating a list of potential customers that are likely to buy what you have to offer, it’s important to find out how they prefer to be contacted so that you can build relationships with them. 

Then, it’s time to begin creating rapport with your potential customers. This is where they start to trust that you know what they need and that you will provide a solution for them if they continue going through the sales funnel process. 

The closing stage of sales funnels is when a customer decides whether or not these wants and needs are fulfilled by purchasing from you. 

And finally, maintaining a relationship post-sale allows you to solidify your bond with that customer so that hopefully, they become an advocate for your business.

Let’s look at each sales funnel stage in a little more detail.

Step 1: Finding Potential Customers

To create a successful sales funnel, it’s important to find potential customers who have the means to buy what you have to offer. There are many different ways to find potential customers, including online advertising, trade shows, content marketing, referrals, and other sources that may vary depending on what kind of business you have.

Step 2: Gaining Their Trust

Once you’ve found your target market, it’s important to gain their trust, so they feel comfortable buying from you vs. a competitor brand. This will allow them to take the next step in your sales funnel process, which is developing a relationship with them so you can establish rapport. The more rapport established here, the greater the chances are for closing the sale down the road.

Step 3: Developing A Relationship With Potential Customers

After gaining their trust by providing value based on specific information about their wants and needs, you can develop a relationship with them—the more personalized the information provided to potential customers about how they can be helped, the better.

Step 4: Establishing Rapport With Potential Customers

Establishing rapport is critical because it allows for your relationship to grow so you can continue moving down the sales funnel process towards closing a sale. Here are some tips on establishing rapport: – Take an interest in their lives – Speak to them as if they were already paying clients – Show empathy through verbal communication.

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Step 5: Closing The Sale

To close the sales successfully, you must provide value based on your product or service by providing what potential customers need at this point. This will be the final step in the sales funnel process.

Step 6: Maintaining A Relationship Post-Sale

The last step is to maintain a relationship after your potential customers have purchased from you. This can be done by sending them reminders about available free offers, information about different products or services that they may find helpful, and other various types of value-based content.

How to create a sales funnel for your business.

A sales funnel was created with the help of six steps. The six steps are:

  1. Finding potential customers,
  2. Gaining their trust,
  3. Developing a relationship with them,
  4. Establishing rapport,
  5. Closing the sale and
  6. Maintaining the relationship post-sale.

The term “sales funnel” describes the free flow of people into an organization through its different stages. The steps are designed to help you engage with potential customers at each stage of the buying process.

Understanding where your target audience is in the sales funnel will help you identify how best to reach them and at what time.

You can also see how much customer interest there is, implement real-time changes for maximum effectiveness, and monitor which channels produce results.

A well-maintained sales will keep all the right prospects moving toward a final sale while filtering out those who aren’t interested or available at that particular time; this helps ensure that your investment isn’t wasted on unqualified leads.

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Find the leaks in your sales funnel stages.

This is where you identify what’s going wrong in your sales funnel. For example, you might have found that the top of the funnel has too many activities, or your order forms are not working properly.

Here are some things you could do to fix the leak:

  • Add a special offer on your landing page
  • Create a better freebie
  • Remove the form step
  • Update information about your product
  • Discontinue doing things that are not effective

Stop activities and campaigns that are not working. This means looking at your reports and seeing what’s bringing in the most revenue as well as what’s making you lose money.

Do more of what is effective.

If certain activities or campaigns are performing well, do more of those activities/campaigns to grow YOUR sales funnel!

This is a great way to build up your business with minimal costs and time used. Hopefully, with this simple guide, you can create an effective sales funnel without too much head-scratching.

Sales funnel management is a process.

Sales funnel management is a process that has been developed for this very reason. Business owners use it to identify any leaks in their sales funnel. In many ways, the job of a salesman or salesperson is easy.

They can make a sale almost automatically as long as they have an ad with pictures and prices of the product they are selling. What happens after the sale?

This is where Sales Funnel Management comes into play.

“A poor sales funnel can cause your company to lose money and prevent future sales,” said George Schildge, a top Denver SEO Specialist. According to him, making sure that your sales funnel is in good shape should be one of the first things you do when starting an online business or even offline.

Deliver the right message at the right stage of the sales funnel

What is the right message to send?

It all depends on the stage of the sales funnel. If you are at the top of the sales funnel, you want to send out advertisements for your product or service. 

Or employ a content marketing strategy paired with search engine optimization services. Remember if the prospect doesn’t get past the headline the rest of the stuff is a waste of time.

If you are in the middle, you might inform customers of good deals and discounts. And if you are at the bottom of the sales funnel, it is important to focus on customer loyalty and retention.

How to use HubSpot to master the sales funnel process

HubSpot is a CRM and marketing automation platform that provides systems for managing your sales funnel.

With SharpSpring, you can take control of your customer’s lifetime value, so you know when the time is right to reach out to them or send them offers. 

Sharpspring automatically takes the data and puts it in a visual presentation or it shows the amount and the conversion rates by pipeline stage. 

This is extremely useful to find your leaks in your pipeline as well as to guide you on where you need to spend your time as a marketer and boost your marketing ROI.

You can also use it to measure everything in your sales funnel, so you know when the leaks are happening and how to maximize your ROI at each stage in the process.

HubSpot’s top features include:

  • Support for automated email campaigns
  • Customizable drip campaigns
  • Lead scoring system
  • Personalized email templates
  • Advanced analytics
  • Automated lead nurturing campaigns
  • Integrations with CRM and survey tools
  • Customer service

By using HubSpot, you can improve your sales funnel’s efficiency and maximize the ROI of every campaign.


Building a seamless, frictionless unit between sales and marketing requires that both sides listen to the other. 

Salespeople want qualified leads, good data to tell them who they’re contacting, and details on what the potential customer is evaluating. It will help them deliver an RFP, demonstration, presentation, etc.

The marketing team, in turn, needs feedback on the data they deliver. They need to know if a sale has been completed or why it failed. Remember also that a sale should never be the end of a customer relationship. 

Follow-up sales, maintenance, upgrades, etc., should continue, back to marketing. The loop should never end, and the funnel should continue to regenerate.

The marketing-to-sales funnel should be a continuous flow between marketing, sales, and the customer.

Even though there are many marketing channels in today’s market, returning to retail roots may help shape your thinking. Go back to the old village, envision yourself as a simple vendor, and use common sense.

A sales funnel is a process that includes some type of promotion method for finding potential customers. 

Recall the six steps:

  1. Finding potential customers
  2. Gaining their trust
  3. Developing a relationship with them
  4. Establishing rapport
  5. Closing the sale
  6. Maintaining the relationship post-sale

A sales funnel can be seen as a process that helps business owners identify any leaks in their sales funnel, so they know when to reach out to or send offers to their customers at each stage in the process. 

HubSpot’s top features include support for automated email campaigns; customizable drip campaigns; lead scoring system; personalized email templates; advanced analytics; automated lead nurturing campaigns, and integrations with CRM and survey tools.

By using HubSpot CRM, you can improve your sales funnel’s efficiency and maximize the ROI of every campaign.

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General FAQs

What are the sales funnel stages?

The sales funnel is a metaphor for the sales process from initial contact to final sale. The funnel has five stages: lead (MCL), prospect (MQL), qualified prospect (SAL), committed (SQL), and transacted. Toward the bottom of the funnel, the time to closing decreases, and the probability of the sale occurring increases.

What is the sales funnel?

The sales funnel (also known as a revenue funnel or sales process) refers to the buying process that companies lead customers through when purchasing products.

How do I create a Sales Funnel?

Sales funnels are very easy to create using SharpSpring’s intuitive editor tool that guides you step by step through the process.

Who uses HubSpot for Sales Funnels?  

Sales funnels in HubSpot are primarily used by Sales and Marketing Teams to generate leads and convert potential customers to buyers. Sales funnels can be customized to suit the objective – such as gaining trust, defining rapport, establishing a relationship, closing sales, etc. Sales funnel admins can set up multiple triggers depending on the objectives of the funnel they are setting up such as gaining trust, defining rapport, establishing a relationship post-sale, etc.

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