What is a Sales Funnel?

Written by Ralph Chua
Last Updated On

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A sales funnel is a visual representation of the customer journey, outlining the steps a customer takes from initial awareness through purchase and post-purchase follow-up.

It provides insight into what marketing tactics are most effective in driving customers through each step of the sales process to make a purchase.

By tracking metrics such as conversion rates and time spent on each page, businesses can optimize their sales funnels for increased effectiveness.

What does that mean?

In another word, it means that a sales funnel helps you to figure out what kind of messages and content works best for your customers.

It can also help you see what steps people take before they actually make a purchase!

In this guide, we will discuss the Traditional Sales Funnel Concept and the Sales Funnel Concept by Russell Brunson.

Sales Funnel Definition

A Sales Funnel is defined as the process of taking a potential customer from awareness to purchase.

It’s often visualized as an inverted triangle, with the wide end at the top representing initial contact and the point at the bottom representing conversion or purchase.

Between these two points, there are a number of stages that a customer will go through before they make a purchase.

These are the sales funnel stages and they include:

  • Awareness Stage
  • Interest Stage
  • Desire Stage
  • Action Stage

It is also known as the AIDA model.

The AIDA model is not new but it is still widely used and is the foundation for many sales funnels today.

Many professional marketers and salespeople follow the AIDA strategy simply because it has been proven to be effective.

The sales Funnel Stages

Awareness Stage

The Awareness stage of a sales funnel is the first step in the journey toward purchase.

This is where potential customers become aware of your product or service and begin to consider what it has to offer.

Awareness is generally achieved through various marketing tactics such as:

  • Advertising
  • Word-of-mouth
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Press Release
  • Etc…

For example, a business might create an ad campaign to increase awareness of their product or service, which may result in more people learning about what they offer and considering making a purchase.

Interest Stage

The Interest stage is the second step of the sales funnel.

At this stage, potential customers have learned about what a business offers and are interested in what it has to offer.

The goal of the Interest stage is to move potential customers further down the funnel toward purchase.

This can be accomplished through content marketing and lead nurturing activities such as email campaigns or blog posts that provide more information about what the business has to offer.

For example, a business might put together an email campaign that provides more detailed information about their products or services, which may lead to more people making purchases.

Desire Stage

The Desire stage is the third step in the sales funnel.

At this point, potential customers have become aware of what the business has to offer and are interested in what it has to offer.

The goal of the Desire stage is to convince potential customers that what the business has to offer is worth purchasing.

This can be done through effective content marketing and social media activities such as case studies, reviews, or testimonials.

For example, a business might create a case study that highlights the success of their product or service and how it has helped their customers.

This could help to build trust and convince potential customers to make a purchase.

Action Stage

The Action stage is the final step in the sales funnel.

At this point, potential customers are convinced that what a business has to offer is worth purchasing and are ready to take action.

The goal of the Action stage is to encourage potential customers to make a purchase.

This can be done through effective marketing tactics such as discounts, incentives or free trial offers.

For example, a business might offer a discount on their product or service in order to encourage potential customers to make a purchase.

They could also offer a free trial period so that potential customers can test the product and get comfortable with what it has to offer before they make a purchase.

The sales funnel is a powerful tool that can help businesses to increase sales and grow their customer base.

By understanding what each stage of the funnel entails, businesses can create effective campaigns and strategies that will lead to more sales.

Russell Brunson’s Sales Funnel Model

The marketer and entrepreneur Russell Brunson has developed a more detailed sales funnel model that is used by many businesses.

In fact, Brunson’s model is now considered the industry standard.

Chances are, you are here because you have heard of him talking about what a sales funnel is.

Because it is his mission to educate people on what a sales funnel is and how it works.

He even manages to get his company ClickFunnels to be the world’s leading sales funnel software.

Within three years, ClickFunnels hit the $100 million mark.

That’s a testament to what he has taught businesses and what they have achieved as a result of his teachings.

So, what is Russell Brunson’s sales funnel model?

A sales funnel is similar to cloning your best salesperson and having them guide your prospect through the entire sales process until they reach your desired destination.

DotCom Secrets Pg.16

Russell Brunson focuses on the buying process of a customer online.

He stressed that the buying process online with a traditional website is confusing with too many steps, thereby confusing a customer on what to do next.

Which results in cart abandonment and the eventual loss of a customer.

He proposed that instead of having a website with lots of pages, what you need is what he calls ‘Funnels’.

You should simplify the buying process for customers by creating what he calls “Opt-in Funnels”, “Sales Funnels” and “Webinar Funnels”.

These funnels provide what he calls the “Value ladder”.

You start with a low-priced offer, then gradually increase the price with each step up in value.

This eases customers into what you are offering and increases their trust in your product or service.

Which results in more sales and an increase in revenue.

Why is a sales funnel important?

If sales are important to your business, then understanding what a sales funnel is and how it works is critical.

Imagine this, all your marketing efforts channeling to your sales teams, and your sales team couldn’t convert them, what kind of waste is that?

To prevent such a thing from happening, creating an effective sales funnel is important.

It helps you to convert leads into customers and ensures that your marketing efforts are not wasted.

A sales funnel also allows you to track where potential customers are in the buying process so that you can target them with the appropriate messages.

This helps to make sure that potential customers are getting what they need from you and feeling valued as a customer.

Sales funnel represents your best sales reps that helps you to convert leads into customers.

It also ensures that your marketing efforts are not wasted, as it tracks potential customers and targets them with the appropriate messages.

It is what marketers use to guide prospects through their sales journey and ensure they are getting what they want from the business.

If you want to fill your sales pipeline, it is important that you understand what a sales funnel is and how to create an effective one.

Sales Funnel Examples

Sales funnel begins with you understanding what your target audience wants.

Just like the crowd of vegetarians and the steak dinner, what you are offering must match what they are looking for.

The best practice for understanding what your target audience wants is to create buyer personas.

Which is to create a mock-up of what your ideal customer looks like.

Here are a list of questions you can ask to help you create what a buyer persona looks like:

  1. What age group do they fall into?
  2. Where are they located?
  3. What kind of problems are they facing or what is their goal?
  4. What can I use to attract them to my product or service?
  5. What type of content can I create to build trust and familiarity?

Once you have answered these questions, you can create content or campaigns tailored to what your target audience wants.

From there you can create a specific sales pitch, landing pages, and calls to action that will be more effective in guiding your prospects through the sales funnel.

For example, if you are selling a cookbook for busy moms, you can create content around what kind of recipes they can make with what’s already in their pantry.

You can also create email campaigns that offer special discounts or showcase what others have said about your product.

These strategies will help you build trust and familiarity with your target audience, which in turn can lead to conversions.

Your First Funnel Offer By ClickFunnels

Your First Funnel

Let’s take a look at Russell Brunson’s “Your First Funnel” offer as an example.

On the sales pages, he calls out the customer that he is targeting and what problem he is solving for them.

Your First Funnel Target Audience

In this case, the target audience appears to be someone who knows little to no about sales funnel and what it can do for their business.

The problem he is solving would be helping them to build their first sales funnel so that they can start seeing results right away.

He then offers what he calls “MIFGE” the most incredible free gift ever to his target customer.

Russell Brunson MIFGE Offer (Most Incredible Free Gift Ever)

This gift appears to be a bonus stack of resources and videos that will teach them what they need to know about creating an effective sales funnel.

He also mentions his 30-day money-back guarantee, which helps build trust with the customer.

Your First Funnel Guarantee

At the end of the page, he has a call to action asking if they are ready to get started on building their first sales funnel.

Your First Funnel Call To Action

This type of funnel is called the 2-Step Tripwire Funnel where you offer a low-priced product or service with the main goal of getting them to purchase something else.

Creating what is known as a sales funnel can help you maximize your profits, get more customers and build trust with those who already know what you are offering.

Next, let’s look at how to build a sales funnel.

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