You may have heard a lot about sales funnels, and often wondered if you actually needed one for your business.
Below are some questions that you may have had about these mysterious funnels, and answers that will help start you off in the right direction.
Linked within the answers are other articles we have written that will help you take a deeper dive on those particular aspects of sales funnels.
Also, keep an eye out for a link to our favorite sales funnel mapping took that is completely free to use for funnel mapping.
What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is a mapped out visual of your sales process that steps you through how you plan to help people learn about their problem, how to solve their problem, and ultimately lead them to making a purchase of your solution, whether that be a product or a service.
What does a sales funnel look like?
A sales funnel obviously looks like a funnel, but it is important to know the different sections of the funnel and what you need to do during each stage to pull people farther down your funnel and towards a purchase.
We have created an infographic of a sales funnel that should give you a pretty good idea of what a sales funnel looks like.
What is the difference between a sales funnel and a marketing funnel?
A sales funnel and a marketing funnel are inherently two parts of the same whole funnel.
The marketing funnel is the top portion of the funnel that draws visitors to your site and prompts them to give up their contact information for some valuable data you provide.
The sales funnel then takes over and takes these leads, qualifies them for the sale, and ultimately pitches and tries to close the sale to those who are ready to make a purchase.
What is sales funnel analysis?
Sales funnel analysis is the act of sifting through data you have collected to see if your tactics are working to pull people through your funnel towards conversion.
You can analyze data on conversion rates, click-through-rates, return on investment, costs, and much more.
You can also see where your funnel is leaking, and formulate and test ways to stop the leakage.
My favorite tool to analyze my funnels is Funnelytics Pro.
What is sales funnel reporting?
Going along with sales funnel analysis is sales funnel reporting.
These are the hard numbers and facts that you get from your sales funnel analytics.
You use reports containing data to help perform your analysis and planning for further testing.
What is sales funnel optimization?
When you find leakage and issues within your sales funnel, you will want to take steps to improve it, keep people in the funnel, and figure out ways to get more people to take actions within your funnel.
Sales funnel optimization is finding ways to improve your funnel based on data you have collected, and analysis of that data to find the best path forward.
What is a digital marketing sales funnel?
A digital marketing sales funnel is a funnel that serves the purpose of digital marketing efforts.
This means that this funnel is centered around your website and the efforts that you go to in order to drive people to your website.
This differs from say a foot traffic sales funnel where you try to drive people to visit your store location.
What is sales funnel leakage?
Sales Funnel Leakage occurs when you have people who have entered your funnel as visitors, but then exit your funnel in one of the sales funnel stages.
Early on this may be that visitors to your site don’t opt-in to your offer, so you never get their email to pull them further into the funnel.
Towards the middle leakage may be caused by people unsubscribing to your emails, or ceasing to open them after awhile.
At the bottom this may mean that qualified leads have ultimately decided on another final solution, and therefore leave your funnel for a solution that better fits their needs.
As stated above, optimization of your funnel can help plug some of these holes.
Just remember that ALL funnels will leak.
What is sales funnel automation?
Sales funnel automation is the lifeblood of a sales funnel.
If you are not adding automation to your sales funnel, you are missing a major component and purpose of a good sales funnel.
Sales funnels are meant to be build once, maintained over time, and drive you visitors, leads, and customers 24/7.
Since you aren’t awake 24/7, automation helps fill the gaps.
You won’t personally send someone an ebook when they signup for your offer. You will have a system that delivers it to them automatically.
The more you automate, the more you free up your time for funnel maintenance, optimization, and the creation of bigger and better offers for your audience.
What is sales funnel pricing?
Sales funnel pricing is the cost to your business to have someone else plan, build, and manage your sales funnel.
If you aren’t savvy with computers, or don’t have the time to build out all of the steps, you will be paying someone else a premium to build and maintain your funnel for you.
I have seen pricing anywhere from $2,000/mo to build and maintain, up to large corporations who pay upwards of $1 million to have experts build them a large funnel that converts well. This is, of course, accompanied by ROI that is many times the investment that the company made in the sales funnel, so you must always keep this in mind.
Even if it’s a million dollars, if you make $10 million from it, it’s a pretty good investment.
How do you make a sale funnel?
Map it out.
Simple as that.
You need to map out every step of the process from beginning to end so you know what’s going on in your funnel, and what you have to build out to complete your funnel.
Think about how people will be entering your funnel. What they will do once there. How they will complete the funnel’s main goal.
Map out all of these steps and the corresponding thank you pages, email chains, etc.
If you want to map out your funnel in the best and easiest way possible, I always recommend using Funnelytics.
I am an affiliate of Funnelytics, and any purchase you make through this link will result in a commission for me, but you can map your funnels out for free, and even the free version is totally worth using.
You get to lay out your entire funnel, and if you need to make a change or add a step, it’s a few clicks away, and you are left with an updated and clean funnel.
No erasing whiteboards, and no redrawing your entire funnel on a new piece of paper.
Like I said it’s free to use the mapping tool. I recommend giving it a try.
What is sales funnel management?
If you are lost in the world of sales funnels, you may want to hire someone for sales funnel management.
This person or company will likely help you establish your goals for the funnel, plan the funnel, build out the various pieces, and automate the different steps of the funnel.
The sales funnel manager will also monitor the funnel on an ongoing basis to track analytics and identify leaks in your funnel, and provide remedies to fix such leaks.
What is sales funnel copy writing?
When you have your sales funnel mapped out and ready to go, you have to start building out your funnel, including writing copy for all of the pages, forms, opt-ins, ebooks, whitepapers, video scripts etc.
If you are working on a large team you may have one specific person or team in charge of writing copy for all of these different element within the sales funnel.
If you are a one-person shop, Sales Funnel Copywriter may be one of the many hats you have to wear to get the job done.
How do you sell sales funnels?
If you are looking to sell sales funnels to businesses, you either need to be a Jack of all trades, or you need to have a team.
Planning, building, and implementing sales funnels requires a lot of different skill sets.
These include but are not limited to: Project Management, Planning, Web Design, Graphic Design, Coding, Copy writing, and data analysis.
When selling funnels to businesses, be sure that you are communicating the value that you are providing them. Something along the lines that you are creating them a sales machine that will build trust with their audience, and generate sales (largely on autopilot if you implement it correctly).
Again, I would recommend you get Funnelytics or the Pro version.
This will allow you to show a professionally mapped out funnel that can be easily changed at their suggestion.
If you have Funnelytics Pro, you can link their live website URLs to the funnel and show them how people are moving through their funnel, where people are falling off, conversion rates, and it will also calculate ROI, which the customer will love to see.
You can read my full review of Funnelytics and the Pro version here.
How can you use sales funnels?
Sales funnels are used to plan and automate your sales process.
Once they are built they act as a way to educate your audience, identify good leads, and ultimately make a sale to those who deem your solution as the best option to fix their problem.
Why do you need a sales funnel?
If you don’t have a sales funnel, you don’t have a good plan.
If you advertise on the radio to get foot traffic to your mattress store, where customers are greeted by a salesperson who educated them on the various types of mattresses and helps they make a purchase decision, you already have a sales funnel in place. You just don’t have it formally written out yet.
By making the written plan and mapping out your sales funnel, you are making a solidified plan on how you plan to sell. You are also able to see the big picture of your sales process, and collect data and optimize along the way.
Having no plan is a plan to fail. Sales funnels are the plan you need to succeed.
Are sales funnels dead?
I would say that the answer is a resounding no.
There are a lot of marketing companies out there pushing the own model of what the sales process looks like, and frankly it just seems to complicate things more than it needs to.
Sales funnels will grow and adapt alongside the habits of consumers looking to make a purchase, but they won’t die off.
Your funnel is a living, breathing entity, and as such it must grow, change and adapt, but it’s basic form will never die.
Why are sales funnels important?
We have talked a lot about how funnels help you to plan and automate your sales process, the reason being that these are two major and powerful aspects to your business.
If you plan out a sales funnel and build out all the pieces, you have essentially created a very knowledgeable salesperson.
If you automate the steps within your funnel, your salesperson now works 24/7, helping to pull people in, educate them on their problem, and guide them through their buyers journey towards making a purchase with you.
Is your question not on the list?
Drop your sales-funnel related question in the comments below and we will be sure to answer it there.
The question may also get added and answered in the list above if it’s a good fit.