These days it seems the term sales funnel is EVERYWHERE but I know for a fact that many that enquire about sales funnels with us, don’t actually understand what a sales funnel really is – and how they work. I also know that many entrepreneurs have grown tired of these “marketing tactics” and would rather engage in “honest selling” – or maybe not sell anything at all and just hope people discovery them through coincidence.

So, I really want to explain the concept behind a sales funnel and explain how it can help your business in the long run by generating sales on autopilot – without using dodgy tactics and making empty promises.

This post is part of a series on sales funnels. You can read the next posts here:

  1. You are here.

Get notified of the upcoming posts via messenger.


Let’s get to the point.

What is a sales funnel – by definition.

In marketing automation, Ryan Deiss, co-founder of Digital Marketer, often describes the sales funnel as a multi-step, multi-modality process that moves prospective browsers into buyers. It’s multi-stepped because lots must occur between the time that a prospect is aware enough to enter your funnel, to the time when they take action and successfully complete a purchase.


The definition of 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. A sales funnel is divided into several steps, which differ depending on the particular sales model.


So if we look at these, we can see that a sales funnel is simply the process your leads go through on the journey of becoming your client.

But now you’ll say: Yes, but there is more to sales funnels right? There are landing pages, opt-ins, webinars, upsets, OTOs, Order Bumps etc. and my answer here is yes, all of these things CAN be involved in your sales funnel, but they don’t HAVE to be.

The simplest funnel could look like this:

Find Website > Book a Discovery Call > Become Client

Nothing icky about that right? Just business.

The stages in the sales process

Ok, so now that we know what a sales funnel is, let’s look at the different stages your potential clients are in, when they enter and progress through your funnel.

In this example I’d like to introduce you to Jo. Jo has a carpet in her house, but she is a little bit behind the times and she has never cleaned it. At this point Jo has no idea why it’s not good to have a dirty carpet – she doesn’t know any different. She is a cold prospect, she doesn’t really know about the problem and she doesn’t care about YOU, your product OR your business. [Sorry, but it’s true!]

One day she is on Facebook and she comes across one of your blog posts that tells her about all the different types of germs that are found in your carpet. And then, while she is on your site, she reads another post about allergies and how dust mites can trigger allergies.

She now realises she needs to clean her carpet, but she doesn’t give it any immediate thought. She is in the awareness stage of your funnel, she has become aware of her problem and she is now looking for a solution.

A few weeks later she remembers what she read, and she decides to trawl the internet and research ways of cleaning her carpet. She ends up on your website again and learns about vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, different cleaning products etc. She is in the Interest stage.

She researches more and more and decides she is going to start by purchasing a vacuum cleaner.

She now enters the decision-making stage where she has to choose an actual seller and product. This is the time where we need to be making an offer for her to be able to buy.

Jo has gone through the process of going from a cold lead to a hot lead that is ready to spend money – and that is what our sales funnel is all about. If you make the right offer at the right time, she will become a customer.

Now comes the part of selling that so many entrepreneurs hate with gusto – selling MORE.

Why you MUST make your clients more than one offer

We could go and sell Jo just the vacuum.

She would pay $97 and we will never see her again.

The vacuum MAY solve her problem or it may NOT. She may need more. Now that she has vacuumed she may realise that she has stains on the carpet. Or maybe she realises the carpet doesn’t come clean anymore and she needs to replace it completely. If we don’t make the right offer at the right time, Jo will go elsewhere as our product did NOT actually address her needs. She may even be upset with what she has been sold as the vacuum promised to clean her carpet – but it didn’t.

So, we can also offer Jo a steam cleaner for $147 with the vacuum, or we could offer her to clean her carpet for her for $497 OR we could even offer her to replace all of her carpets for $4997.00. At no point are we being pushy or slimy, we are simply offering our client what they NEED to solve their problem. {Guess what, if they are not interested they can say No.]

It sounds funny but when people LOVE what you offer, they WANT to buy more. They WANT to pay you money – and it’s hurting your business NOT to make them an offer. Period.

Your Value Ladder

This is where your value ladder comes in. Your value ladder is important because it outlines your business’ products and services in ascending order from free offers, through to your premium core offers and high end offers. Your value ladder determines WHAT you are offering for sale in your sales funnel. I have a post on value ladders coming up as well, again you can be notified via messenger here:

Automating your Sales

There are many different types of sales funnels and I will explain the use of the most common funnels in an upcoming post.

Different funnels are used for different products/services at different price points.

For example a high-end done-for-you service like graphic design would have a simple funnel alongside these lines: Website > Discovery Call > Strategy Session > Custom Proposal > Sale.

A product can be sold with an automated webinar: webinar opt-in > webinar broadcast > button to buy.

And a 1:1 coaching service could ALSO be sold with an automated webinar: Webinar opt-in > webinar broadcast > button to application > discovery call. As the cost of a 1:1 service is going to be more than $997 you USUALLY need to get on the phone to speak to your prospective client. This is often not necessary for a course that costs $397.00.

Different price points require different funnels.

Different price points require a different amount of human touch.

So the amount of automation that CAN be used varies according to the price of what you are selling.

I have noticed a lot of entrepreneurs that are against using automated sales funnels, are against the automation part. They feel as though they will lose the “human touch” if they implement an automated funnel. But do you really? Do you become inhuman if you automate a part of your business?

Now, let’s leave this thought for a second and let’s talk about ROI (our next favourite thing). There comes a time in your business where you need to ask yourself if you are using your time efficiently. Would you have the time to sell a $297 course with a 30 minute phone call? How many courses do you want to sell per month? 50? Would you like to spend 25 hours per month on the phone “just” to sell the $297 course? I guess not.

So THAT is when you need to consider automation as part of your sales strategy – and funnels allow you to do just that. You can still be in touch with your audience, you still speak to them about your products, but you are being VERY strategic about every action you take – and you let automation take care of the rest.

So, as you can see from the above, sales funnels can be simple or more intricate. They can involve email sequences, automated webinars and phone calls – or not. It’s important to be strategic with your sales processes and do what’s right for YOU, your AUDIENCE and your BOTTOM LINE.

How do cold leads find you?

How do you educate them?

Which offers are you making at which point?

How do you try and move them along your value ladder?

Become clear on the back end of your funnel first (after they have already gotten in touch) BEFORE you complete any tasks that bring new people into your funnel.

This stuff is my jam, so if you want to expand the services you offer in your business, if you want to develop a funnel for your business, then book a discovery call with me and let’s chat about what you need. [or if you are an action-taker and you want to just book the 2 hour session then you can do so here.]

This post is part of a series on sales funnels. You can read the next posts here:

  1. You are here.

Get notified of the upcoming posts via messenger.


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