Understanding sales funnels is key to improving your marketing or sales campaign.
By mapping out your customer's buying journey, you can more clearly see what's working and what's not - and make changes accordingly.
Luckily, creating a sales funnel template is relatively easy to do. In this article, we'll show discuss what a sales funnel is and how to create your own sales funnel template step-by-step. We will also show you sales funnel examples that can work as a free template. Wahoo!
The goal is to provide you with a basic understanding of sales funnel optimization so that you can improve your business's bottom line.
What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is the process that companies use to identify, qualify, and convert leads into customers. It typically involves creating awareness of your product or service, followed by generating interest and ultimately converting that interest into a sale.
The general idea is that the more steps there are in your sales funnel, the fewer leads will make it to the bottom and convert into customers.
The goal of any company should be creating a sales funnel that's as efficient as possible - meaning that they're able to identify and qualify leads quickly and convert them into customers with little friction.
Awareness: The first stage of the sales funnel is brand awareness. Here, your goal is to generate interest in your product or service by creating content that educates potential customers about your solution.
Interest: Once you've created awareness, you need to generate interest in your solution. This can be done by providing more information about your product or service, such as case studies or blog posts highlighting its features and benefits.
Desire: The next stage is desire, where you influence a customer’s purchase decisions by creating a want or need for your product or service. You can demonstrate how your solution can solve a specific problem that potential customers face.
Action: Finally, you need to convert this interest into action by asking the customer to buy your product or sign up for your service. This typically manifests as a call-to-action (CTA) on your website or in your marketing materials.
By following these steps, you can create an effective sales funnel that will help you increase leads and conversions while reducing costs.
What is the difference between a sales funnel and a marketing funnel?
Before creating your own sales funnel template, it pays to understand the difference between a sales funnel and a marketing funnel. The two are often conflated, but they are actually quite different.
A marketing funnel is a process that companies use to attract and engage potential customers. A sales funnel, on the other hand, is the process that companies use to identify, qualify, and convert leads into customers.
In other words, a marketing funnel is about getting people interested in your product or service. A sales funnel takes those interested people and turns them into paying customers.
However, it’s important to note that a successful sales funnel depends on a good marketing strategy. While the two funnels are different in their approach, they should work in synergy with each other and go hand-in-hand.
Doug Kessler, the co-founder of Velocity Partners, put it this way: “The sales team owns the sales funnel. But as a B2B marketer, you feed the top of that funnel.”
What is a sales funnel manager?
A sales funnel manager is someone who is responsible for the creation and optimization of sales funnels. They work to ensure sales teams have the right information and resources at each stage of the funnel in order to close more deals.
They are also responsible for making improvements to the funnel itself, such as testing different offers or messages to see what works best for the sales teams and what coincides well with a customer’s journey.
The role is important because it helps businesses increase their revenue by better understanding how to target and appeal to their audience by focusing on strategies in each sales funnel stage.
Advantages of following a sales funnel
Why is there a need to create a sales funnel anyway? Why can't you just start selling?
The answer is that not every lead is created equal. To maximize conversion rates and ROI, you need to focus your efforts on those leads that are most likely to convert.
A sales funnel allows you to do this by identifying and qualifying leads to focus your energy on the ones most likely to buy from you. Additionally, a sales funnel gives you a framework for tracking conversions to measure your sales campaigns' performance.
Here are the advantages of following an effective sales funnel:
Increased conversion rates: By identifying and qualifying leads upfront, you're more likely to convert them into customers.
Improved ROI: A sales funnel allows you to track conversions to see which marketing and sales activities generate the most return on investment.
Greater clarity: It can provide a clear framework for your marketing and sales efforts, making it easier to see what's working and what's not.
More effective use of resources: You can get the most out of your team's time and energy by targeting your marketing and sales efforts.
Better customer experience: Providing a personalized experience that caters to each stage of the buyer's journey can create a more satisfied customer base.
What are the common challenges with sales funnels?
Sales funnels are not without their challenges. The main pitfall is that they can be complex and time-consuming to create. Additionally, they can result in lost leads and customers if not executed correctly.
The most common issue is known as "funnel drop-off." This occurs when customers move through the early stages of the funnel (awareness and interest) but then fail to convert into paying customers.
There are several reasons why this might happen, including:
Your product or service isn't relevant to the customer's needs
Your pricing is too high for the perceived value of your offering
The customer has a poor experience with your brand
The customer is not ready to buy
Even if you have a great product or service, funnel drop-off can still happen. That's why it's important to continuously test and improve your sales funnel template so that you can minimize losses and maximize conversions.
Steps to create your own sales funnel template
Now that you know the benefits and challenges of a sales funnel, it's time to create your own sales funnel template. We'll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to do this.
Step 1: Start with your goal in mind
As with any campaign, the first step is to have a goal in mind when building a sales funnel template. What are you trying to achieve? More sales? More leads? A higher conversion rate? Once you know your goal, you can start planning the steps necessary to get there.
To help you grasp the idea of a clear goal, here’s one simple example:
“Goal: To increase sales by 10% this Q2”
This is a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goal. Having a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) goal like this will help you stay focused when creating your sales funnel template.
Step 2: Figure out who your target market is
Next is to identify who your target market is. This will help you understand your customer’s journey and determine what messaging will be most effective in getting them to take the desired action.
Are you selling to businesses or consumers? What's their age range? What are their interests? And more importantly, what are their pain points? The more specific you can be, the better.
Not all customers are created equal. You need to segment your audience so that you can create targeted content for each group. The more specific you can be, the better. This will make it more likely that they'll take the desired action.
Here's an example of a clear target market:
“Our company sells natural dog food. The target market is dog owners who are concerned about what goes into their pet's food and want to feed them the best possible diet.
These people are worried about their pet's health, so they're more likely to be interested in natural dog food. And since we know they're specifically interested in healthy pet food, we can create content that addresses their concerns and speaks directly to them.”
Step 3: Choose your channels
Once you know your target audience, it's time to decide which channels you'll use to reach them. This will largely depend on where your audience is spending their time. Will you rely on paid ads, organic traffic, or social media? Or a combination of all three?
In the digital space, some common channels include email marketing, social media (like Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin), content marketing (such as blog posts or ebooks), paid advertising (such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads), and referral programs.
Other channels could include more traditional methods such as print ads, TV commercials, direct mail, or even phone calls.
Step 4: Create attractive offers
If you want people to take action, you need to give them a reason to do so. This is where your offers come in. They should be relevant to your target audience and provide value that solves their pain points. That’s why it’s crucial to create offers that are clear, concise, and easy to understand.
Your offer could be a free trial, a discount, or something else entirely. It's up to you to decide what will work best for your business. Here are some examples:
If you’re selling a physical product, you could offer free shipping on orders over $50.
If you’re selling a digital product, you could offer a free trial or a discount for the first month.
If you’re selling a service, you could offer a free consultation call.
Step 5: Create a sales page
Now that you have nailed down an offer, it's time to create a landing page or a sales page. This is the page where people will go to learn more about your offer and take action on it. Your landing page should be designed with one goal in mind: conversion.
That means including elements like a headline, images, and a call-to-action (CTA) that are all geared towards getting the visitor to take your desired action.
It's also important to ensure that your landing page is mobile-friendly and loads quickly. If it's not, you risk losing potential customers.
Step 6: Create a thank you page or gift
Once someone takes action on your offer, it's important to thank them and direct them to the next step in your funnel. This is where a thank you page or gift comes in.
A thank you page is a simple page that thanks the customer for taking action. On the other hand, a gift is a physical product or digital download given to the customer as a way to say thanks.
Both options can be effective, so it's up to you to decide which makes the most sense for your business. The idea here is to strengthen the relationship with your customer so that they're more likely to do business with you in the future.
Step 7: Check in with your customers
It is important to have a follow-up strategy and check in with your customers after they've converted. This is a good time to see how they use your product or service and if they're happy with it. You can also ask for feedback so that you can improve your offering.
This is also a great opportunity for your sales rep to establish a relationship with your customers and build trust with them.
There are a few different ways to check in with your customers:
Send them a follow-up email a week after they've made a purchase, asking how everything is going.
Have your sales rep call a customer month after they've converted to see how they're finding your service.
Send out a survey six months after they've made a purchase to get feedback on their overall experience.
Step 7: Measure your results
Finally, you need to track your results to see how well the sales funnel template you created is performing.
There are various ways to track results. You could use Google Analytics to track website traffic and conversions. You could also use a tool like Hootsuite Insights to track social media engagement.
Whatever method you choose, make sure you're tracking the right metrics. This will vary depending on your business goals, but some common metrics to track include website traffic, conversion rate, and customer lifetime value.
Sales funnel examples
Each industry has its unique sales funnel, but all businesses have some commonalities. Let's take a closer look at these sales funnel examples for inspiration. Consider any of these a free sales funnel template you can use as well.
SaaS sales funnel
A typical SaaS sales process involves getting a website visitor to try the free trial and then converting them into paying customers. A SaaS sales funnel would look like this:
Drive traffic: First, you need to drive traffic to your website through SEO, content marketing, or paid advertising.
Convert visitors into leads: Once you have website visitors, you need to convert them into leads by getting them to sign up for your free trial.
Get leads to convert: After trying out the free trial, it’s time to turn these leads into subscribers or paying customers.
Retain customers: You need to retain customers by providing them value and excellent customer service.
Ecommerce sales funnel
For eCommerce, the goal is often to get potential customers to add items to their cart and then complete the purchase. Here are the common stages in an eCommerce sales funnel:
Lead generation: Ecommerce businesses would use awareness strategies like SEO or paid advertising to attract potential leads to their online store.
Get visitors to add items to their cart: Once lead generation is successful, the idea is to get leads to add items to their cart by using effective product pages and compelling calls to action.
Get customers to complete their purchases: Often, people do not complete their purchases, so in this stage, businesses would start using effective checkout processes and upselling techniques.
Improve brand loyalty: Finally, eCommerce teams will strive to retain these customers by providing them with value and excellent customer service.
Real estate sales funnel
The real estate sales funnel typically starts with online ads that generate leads. These leads are then contacted by a real estate agent to set up showing appointments.
Once a lead has been qualified as a potential buyer, they are taken on showings of properties that fit their budget and needs. If all goes well, the sale is then closed and the customer becomes a homeowner.
Here’s a quick look at a typical real estate sales funnel:
Lead capture: The first step in any real estate sales funnel is to generate leads. This can be done through online ads, cold calling, or by working with a lead generation agency.
Qualifying the lead: Once you have generated a lead, the next step is to qualify them. This involves ensuring that they are interested in buying a property and have the budget to do so.
Showing properties: If the lead is qualified, the next step is to show them properties that fit their budget and needs. This typically happens with the help of a real estate agent.
Closing the sale: The final step in the real estate sales funnel is to close the sale. This is when the lead officially becomes a customer and buys a property.
Making a sales funnel template is a great way to visualize your customer's buying journey and see where you can improve your sales campaign. By mapping out each funnel step, you can more easily identify problem areas and optimize your sales process accordingly.
Each business has its own unique sales funnel template. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, by following the steps in this article, you can create a sales funnel template that will work for your business.
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