Why You Need a Sales Funnel and How to Build One in 5 Simple Steps

Purple graphic with title 'Why You Need a Sales Funnel'

A good sales funnel is about getting the right information to your target audience at the right time. This might sound complicated to achieve but having a good understanding of what your audience wants and needs will help you deliver content that is of value to prospective customers and influence their buying decision. 

Did you know, for example, that simply embedding a video on a landing page can boost conversions by 80%? Or, as Supply Gem also reports, 92.4% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase a product or service if they’ve read a trusted review. Being strategic and proactive in your marketing methods means you can anticipate customers' needs so that you’re addressing them before they even arise. 

For a sales funnel to work, developing a content strategy is key. Serving potential customers with the information they need when they are searching for it will not only position your business as an authority in the marketplace but also make you more ready to capitalise on new opportunities as and when they emerge. 

So what is a sales funnel? 

A sales funnel is simply the journey a customer goes through, from prospecting to purchase. There are several steps to the sales process and six stages in the sales funnel. 

  • Awareness. This is top of the funnel marketing activity. Prospects are not ready to buy, they are just in their initial stages where they become aware of your company and are looking further into what you do. 

  • Interest. We’re already in the middle of the funnel where interested leads are wanting to know more about your product or service. They are on your website and actively reading reviews, blogs, etc to enhance their knowledge of your business and how your product or service could be of value to them. 

  • Evaluation. Things are getting serious now. Prospective customers are reaching out to your team asking specific questions to find out more about your product or service and are making comparisons to what your competitors are offering. 

  • Negotiation and decision. We’re ALMOST over the line and here the prospect’s intent to buy is strong. A good negotiation might help seal the deal. 👊

  • Sale. We’re at the bottom of the funnel. By now you have cultivated trust, built a strong relationship and negotiated the terms required to close the sale. 🙌

  • Renewal or repurchase. In business, a sale often means the start of a relationship whereby fresh negotiations will be needed again when a contract is up for renewal. 

A sales funnel with the various stages from awareness to renewal or repurchase

At this point in our blog, we’ve explored what a sales funnel is and why you need one. Now let’s focus on how to build one. 😉

Step 1.  Know your target audience 

Marketing blindly won’t deliver the same results as marketing with intention. Understanding your customers’ problems and how your product or service will be of value to them will help you create a dynamic sales funnel that will generate better-quality leads. 

But how do you understand who your customers are?

Do your research. The more you know about your audience the more familiar you will become with the type of people who might be interested in what you have to sell. 

When creating a sales funnel, you need to focus on the type of people who you feel will be a good fit for your product or service. Then you can utilise content in a specific and targeted way to connect with and reach these people at every stage of the funnel. 

Creating buyer personas will help you visualise who your audience is and make it easier for you to tailor content that will resonate with them. For a great example of what a buyer persona is and how you can create them check out our blog 5 Easy Ways to Optimise your B2B content to get more followers Engagement and Sales

Step 2. Capture attention 

Unless people are actively engaging with your sales funnel, then the funnel will cease to support your sales goals. Therefore regularly connecting with your audience is vital if you want your sales funnel to be successful. 

Creating ‘awareness stage’ content will be helpful to make people more aware of your brand when they are searching for a solution to their problem. Maximise your content efforts by showing prospective customers how what you offer will be of value to them. And it helps to make sure your content is SEO-optimised to increase visibility so that your content is seen by more people. 

Developing an SEO strategy will attract traffic to your website. For top tips and advice on how to develop an SEO strategy and why SEO is important for your business see our blog How to Create an SEO Strategy to Help You Rank Higher in 2023

Step 3. Build a Landing Page 

Landing pages are a great lead-generation tool. The reason they work so well at converting traffic is that they have a specific focus and use clear CTAs to let the user know what steps you want them to take. 

This could be to fill out a form and share their personal information with you so that you can nurture these leads turning some into customers over time. 

How do you nurture leads? 

Stay active on social media and email marketing. Keeping in regular contact with your leads with relevant updates and information on your business will keep that door open and remind them you are ready to engage. 

Interestingly, Blogging Wizard reports that the average landing page conversion rate is 4.02%. This might seem low but that figure is an average across all industries and if you look more deeply industry by industry you’ll see that certain industries like travel, business consulting, credit and lending and vocational studies and job training have higher conversion rates of between 5% and 6%. 

Step 4. Offer something of value 

Creating a landing page will help generate leads. However, people generally don’t share their information without getting something of value back. And this could be in the form of a free download, an eBook, or a ‘How-To guide. By providing a prospect with information that will be of some value to them you will generate more leads quicker. 

Offering prospects a unique offering will help set you apart from your competitors and demonstrate that your business is a thought leader and authority in the industry. 

Step 5. Track, analyse and measure the results. 

You’ve put the work in. The audience research is done, you’ve generated quality leads and utilised a range of content creation tools from blogs to social media, used email effectively, and implemented keyword and SEO strategies to yield the best results. 

Now it’s time to monitor your content performance. A proper sales funnel analysis will determine if your funnel strategy is working, help you get a real insight into your prospective customers’ behaviour and gain a better understanding of the key areas your funnel users are engaging with. 

Sales funnel explained! 

You need a sales funnel to get a better understanding of what potential customers are thinking and how they are reacting at every stage of the funnel. It’s a way of establishing some element of control over your marketing efforts providing you with relevant insight on which marketing activities to invest in to help push prospects through your sales funnel faster. But in order to create a successful sales funnel remember the following steps.  

  • Know your target audience

  • Capture their attention

  • Build a landing page to generate quality leads

  • Offer something of value to gain their trust 

  • Analyse and measure the results of your campaign to get an insight into the tactics that will motivate your prospects to take action. 

For your sales funnel to work, you must be actively creating content that will resonate with your target audience. It seems like a difficult and complex process but creating a sales funnel strategy will allow you to anticipate and react to your prospects appropriately and make the most out of opportunities when they arise. 😉