Sales marketing funnels are used by just about everyone online who has products and services to sell.

This is regardless of whether people are selling products they have created, or are operating as an affiliate and selling other people’s products and earning a commission on sales.

To the uninitiated, sales marketing funnels can seem quite complex.

And, all the different parts that make up a sales funnel can often make you feel overwhelmed so that you could be tempted to abandon the whole process.

So, if you’re new to this, let’s explore exactly what a sales funnel is, and how to build one.

What Are Sales Marketing Funnels?

Watch this short video presentation for an introduction to this topic.

As you can see from the video a sales funnel can be described as a marketing pathway or journey that a customer will take with your business when making any kind of purchase from you.

Stages of A Sales Funnel

A typical sales marketing funnel is a strategy related to engaging online with customers where the various stages of the customer journey is likely to be as follows:

The Awareness Stage (cold prospect)

When a customer responds to your lead generation activities they move from not knowing who you are and what you have to offer to actually becoming aware of your business.

Or…..they have a problem or need and through doing online research for solutions find you and your products through their search.

This can happen in a couple of ways. The customer can either become aware of your brand, product or service through the online presence you’ve created either through your blog, social media postings. Or….. as a result of your paid advertising.

The Consideration Stage (warm prospect)

Having found you online the customer is exposed to some initial information which they recognise has some value that ‘could be’ relevant and helpful to them.

As a result they might take the first step to engaging with you by accepting whatever value you are offering – typically something they can get for free in exchange for giving you their email.

You as the business owner would then use that email contact to begin to build a relationship with the prospect.

This could involve a series of emails, or videos, links to blog articles etc which tell the customer a little more about you.

The content you put in front of your potential customer in the Consideration Stage of the sales marketing funnel would also clearly demonstrate that you understand what their need or problem might be. And…. that you might have part, or all of the solution they are looking for.

You are seeking to establish your credibility and authority to be able to help them, with the aim of developing a level of trust by the prospect in you and your business.

The Conversion Stage (warm prospect)

As a result of the potential customer getting to know more about you, and because of the level of trust you have created they now progress to become a paying customer.

Typically that first sale will involve you providing a low cost, but real value solution to the customer’s need or problem. This will be a partial solution though – think of it as a good bandaid.

This critical first step of the initial purchase fundamentally changes the relationship.

Because the customer has purchased from you, due to them recognising the value you’ve provided with your solution, they will be much more likely now to make additional purchases from you.

The next purchase the customer could be enticed to make will often be an upsell related to their need/problem …..a solution which clearly has more features/benefits and costs just a little more.

There may be several upsells you can offer to the customer as part of this initial transaction from them.

Again, by providing exceptional value in the products or services being offered there are likely now to be strong levels of trust in you by the customer.

As such, your customer is more likely to be open to, and more likely to buy other products and services that you recommend to them in the future.

Sales Marketing Funnels – Summary

See now how a well constructed sales funnel aims to move a customer from being:

  • a completely cold prospect who is someone unlikely to buy from you
  • to someone who begins to know you a little better
  • to someone who ultimately trusts you enough to pay you for your products and services

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