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

sales funnel pipeline

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

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

Anyone can build an effective sales pipeline with the right tools in just a few hours! The hard part is your content. You will learn what a sales funnel means, how to build a sales funnel, the stages of the sales funnel and how to ecommerce sales funnel.

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 doesn’t, so you don’t waste time building ineffective funnels.

What is a sales funnel, and how does it work?

Sales Pipeline Metrics

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.

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

Sales pipelines are important because they provide the foundation for all other company parts to be profitable. A sales pipeline can be used to market products and services

What are the sales pipeline 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 must align your sales pipeline (pipeline process) with your customer’s journey.

Steps to creating a sales pipeline

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 with dogs, it’s important to know their dog breeds 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. Your job is to convince them they should trust you and your business with their money, so they need to believe that you are a legitimate company and not try 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 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 process and sales pipeline metrics begin 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 if they continue going through the sales pipeline process. 

The closing stage of the sales pipeline 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.

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

Step 1: Finding Potential Customers

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

Step 2: Gaining Their Trust

Once you’ve found your target market, gaining their trust is important so they feel comfortable buying from you vs. a competitor brand. This will allow them to take the next step in your 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. Establishing trust and rapport with your target market is an ongoing process that requires dedication and consistency. So, make sure you have a plan to keep that relationship strong.

Communication, authenticity, education, and value are all key elements for developing trust with your target market. Start by connecting on social media, as it’s cost-effective and personal enough for people to get to know your brand. You can also use email newsletters and website content to stay in touch with them, providing helpful resources to help them solve their problems. Keep it interesting by creating a mix of educational, entertaining, and promotional content. Showing up consistently and delivering on the promises made will go a long way in establishing trust with your target market. Finally, always be transparent and honest in your interactions for the strongest relationships possible.

Developing trust with your target market can create lasting relationships that turn prospects into advocates. Listening is key to deepening those relationships, so ask questions and understand any needs or pain points customers may have.

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 your relationship to grow so you can continue moving down the sales toward 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.

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. This will be the final step in the funnel process.

Step 6: Maintaining A Relationship Post-Sale

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

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How to create a funnel for your business.

A 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 pipeline will help you identify how best to reach them and at what time.

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

A well-maintained sale 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.

Find the leaks in the stages of your sales.

This is where you identify what’s going wrong in your sales channel. 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 and 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 pipeline!

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

Sales funnel management is a process.

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

They can make a sale almost automatically if they have an ad with pictures and prices of their product. 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 funnel

What is the right message to send?

It all depends on the stage of the funnel. If you are at the top of the funnel, you want to advertise your product or service. 

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

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

How to use HubSpot to master the sales process

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

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

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

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

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

HubSpot’s top features include the following:

  • 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

Using HubSpot, you can improve your 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 the potential customer’s evaluation. 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 end 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 ratio should continuously 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 marketing funnel is a process that includes some promotion methods 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

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

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

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

General FAQs

What are the sales funnel stages?

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The 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 pipeline?

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

How do I create a Sales pipeline?

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Sales pipelines are easy to create using HubSpot’s intuitive editor tool that guides you through the process.

Who uses HubSpot for the Sales pipeline?  

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Sales and Marketing Teams primarily use funnels in HubSpot to generate leads and convert potential customers to buyers. The sales pipeline 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 funnel’s objectives, such as gaining trust, defining rapport, establishing a relationship post-sale, etc.

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