Sales funnels are one of the essential tools a business can use to increase sales and revenue. However, many people don’t know how to create a sales funnel template that actually works.
In this article, we will go through the significance of an effective sales funnel and how you can build your own sales funnel template in 9 simple steps!
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a process that takes potential customers and turns them into paying customers. The typical sales funnel template has several steps, which we will discuss below. But first, the sales funnel is designed to convert as many people as possible into paying customers.
It is a tool that allows businesses to see how effective each step of the sales process is, allowing them to make adjustments as needed. This helps guarantee that time and sales resources are appropriately utilized in all stages of the customer’s sale journey.
Pushing consumers through the sales funnel also provides a business with helpful information that can be used for marketing.
The AIDA Model
AIDA is a sales process acronym for the four stages of a sales funnel: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action.
By understanding this framework, you, as the one who wants to do business with a prospect, should realize what hooks your customer’s mind, how you can facilitate the customer-brand interaction, and what will make them continue to want more.
As the one engineering the sales process, it’s crucial that you approach each stage in a manner that doesn’t turn off a prospect who is yet to feel 100% about your product or service.
This framework will help you woo your prospect by taking well-thought actions that will guide them to gain more awareness, cultivate more interest and growing desire, and inspire action towards your brand or offer.
The Different Stages of a Sales Funnel – A Closer Look
If you search for graphics or images of a free sales funnel template, you’ll see a design that resembles a ‘cone.’ Typically, this visual is divided into different sales funnel stages. The sales funnel template is usually divided into four sections that signal movement from top to bottom.
At the very top is awareness, and at the very bottom is action. You can find the interest and decision/desire stages between these.
How many sections a sales funnel template has will depend on what business is making it. For example, some businesses gear towards having more detail in their sales process. Thus, they break down their sales funnel process into more than four sections.
No matter the goal, a typical sales funnel template always sports the four standard divisions that start with ‘awareness’ and end with ‘action.’
When you look at a free sales funnel template, the first division will be either labeled ‘leads’ or ‘awareness.’ Usually, taking the top division, it is also the biggest section of the cone.
The awareness stage aims to raise brand visibility through effective lead generation. Because it is the starting phase of your sales pipeline, this is also where sales reps spend most time and resources making sure the system works. A system that works rewards high-quality leads.
You want to be sure that your sales reps are targeting the right potential customers from the very beginning. But since there are many possibilities during this stage, allowing a bigger audience won’t hurt either; again, this stage takes up the most space in sales funnel templates.
Because you’re increasing the awareness of your brand during this stage, you don’t have to worry about making or closing any sales right away. Save that for later. Right now, the goal is to put your name out there as much as possible.
- Guest posting or guest podcasting
The interest stage is the second division in sales funnel templates. In this stage, you are trying to cultivate ‘prospects’ by getting potential customers to subscribe to your email list. Once a prospect or a lead has already gained awareness of what you have to offer, the opportunity for their interest to grow opens.
Here, you’ve captured a lead’s attention; as a result, they now want to know more about what they can get from your product or service or what you offer as a business.
Take note, at this stage; your prospect is not yet ready to purchase anything from you, so you must not rush them through your sales pipeline.
The focus now for your marketing and sales teams is on building a rapport with your new lead. By building rapport, you will learn more about them, and they will also learn more about you as a brand.
This stage should be appropriately cultivated as this is where you’ll learn a lot about your prospect’s objectives that you can use to help your brand make a better and more natural connection.
If you want to build interest, focusing on your language is essential. By ensuring your brand voice and message are relatable to your prospects, you help your prospects connect with you more easily.
- Email campaigns
- Lead magnets
- Strong social media presence
- Provide your prospects with free services/products
Decision or Desire Stage
The decision stage is the third division in sales funnel templates. You are trying to get potential customers to buy your product at this sales pipeline stage. You can do this by using a sales page designed to persuade people to buy your product or service. During this stage, sales reps should waste no chance.
The decision/desire stage is the phase where your sales team can thoroughly consider your lead a “prospect” because, during this stage, they are ready to judge your product/service. The only thing you’re waiting for is for them to decide.
Remember, they’re still making a decision and are not yet 100% into the idea of buying.
Because they’re still in a state of 50-50, your prospects are not decided if your solution is right for them. They still want to know what makes you different and what kind of impact you will make. This stage is the best time for your sales reps to persuade your prospect with all you offer.
- Statistics and data
- Client reviews
- Your pricing breakdown
- Discount codes
- Case studies
The action stage is the last and final stage in all sales funnel templates. The ‘sales’ can be generated in this stage in your sales pipeline. If successful, this is where your efforts in cultivating a lead will fall — the part where they make the purchase.
If you’re an online shopper, the check-out cart is one example of a sales funnel’s ‘action’ stage.
Did you experience coming across a random ad before or a sponsored post of someone sharing a testimonial of a product that has been valuable to them, and it made you check out more about the offer?
If you found yourself trying the product and actually making the purchase, take that as an example of a successful ‘action’ stage. Going back, now that you have almost convinced your prospect to buy your product or service, it is crucial to help them succeed.
Yes — it doesn’t end with the sale. One way to do this is to provide additional materials to help them apply the product or service they just bought.
- Demo videos
- Insider tips and tricks
- Free guides
- Effective email campaigns
The 9 Secrets to Building a Sales Funnel Template
Now, we all have familiarized ourselves with the different stages that break down the average sales pipeline. But it doesn’t end there.
To truly be able to make your own sales funnel template, whether you have a personal brand or a small business, we need to find out what the average template includes.
The following are the steps to follow for you to make your own sales funnel template.
- Determine the product-market fit
- Choose a traffic source
- Create a lead magnet
- Offer an entry point offer
- Offer a core product
- Offer a profit maximizer
- Build your landing page
- Solidify your landing page’s copy
- Create a return path
1. Determine the product-market fit
If you don’t know who your customer is, then it becomes very counterproductive even to begin thinking about selling anything to anyone. Without a solid idea of your market, marketing can become almost impossible to do.
For you to better understand how your product/service fits in the market and where it works in the market, you can begin by asking these questions:
- What is the age range of my target customer?
- Where are they located?
- How much do they earn?
- What problems are they dealing with?
- What do they want to achieve?
- How will my offer solve their problems?
2. Choose a traffic source
After you figure out who your target audience is, you next need to find where they are on the internet and how you can get a hold of them. By identifying a good place to start, you are identifying the primary traffic source for the early stage of your lead generation.
This stage can be fun and challenging as it will require you to know where your target market hangs online.
The internet is a vast place. And we have plenty of social media platforms today that millions of people are using. So having a clear view of your target audience, you should already have a safe hint of where they are on social media.
People on the internet like to play favorites, and by taking the time to find out your target market’s favorite online place to be, you’re a step closer to doing business with them.
Once you do find out, master this traffic source first. Juggling multiple traffic sources at once can work against you if you’re not well-rounded and don’t have a dedicated sales team.
3. Create a lead magnet
Lead magnets are one of the most effective ways to generate leads. They are incentives sales reps use to catch people’s attention and get them to sign up for an email list. Common lead magnets include eBooks, white papers, templates, cheat sheets, and more.
When creating a lead magnet, always remember that you should provide your prospect a ‘quick win’ and that it helps solve a specific issue for them. The more detailed it is, the more your prospect will likely show interest in how your offer fits them.
- Training videos
- Email Course
- Product Samples or Trials
4. Offer an entry point offer
Simply put, entry point offers are super-low ticket offers that are irresistible for most prospects. This will serve as a hook that will catch your lead’s attention. During this part, profit-making certainly shouldn’t be the goal yet.
The point of offering entry point offers is to surprise your lead with a generous and super-accessible offer that will lead to your following proposal, be that a product or a service. Greeting your lead with generosity helps set the relationship on the right foot.
5. Offer a core product
After a valuable lead magnet and a generous entry point offer, your lead or prospect will be more open to your next offer. Of course, that next offer is going to be your core product.
If there’s one thing you definitely shouldn’t miss when crafting your core offer, it should be more valuable than your initial offers. Your core product’s impact on your customer should be far better than what they got from your lead magnet and EPO.
If your core product fails to continue the excitement for your lead, or your prospect, they may end their journey in your sales funnel process immediately. If your core product disappoints, it sends the message that there’s nothing more to look forward to in your offer or brand.
6. Offer a profit maximizer
Did you know that the majority of the actual profit businesses and brands make from well-designed sales funnel templates comes from this stage?
A profit maximizer is an offer designed to increase the value your prospect gets from your core product. It’s something that they can purchase to enhance their experience and get more out of what you’re selling.
In a sense, it’s an upsell offer that complements your core product in a way that makes it even more valuable to them. A profit maximizer can boost sales and help increase your bottom line when done correctly.
- Immediate upsell
- Premium subscriptions
7. Build your landing page
A landing page is a critical part of your sales funnels. It’s the first thing your prospect sees when they visit your website, and it’s where you’ll capture their contact information to market to them later.
Very often, how a landing page is designed can predict sales success in a way that the other previously mentioned elements can’t. Therefore, this is how critical landing pages are.
- A headline that explains what the page is about
- A brief description of what your product or service is
- An image or video that explains what you’re offering
- Below the fold opt-in form where prospects can provide their contact information
What does below-the-fold mean?
“Below the fold” is a term used in marketing to describe anything located below the fold on a web page. This means that it’s hidden from view until the user scrolls down.
Since most users don’t bother to scroll down, anything below the fold is considered less important than what’s above the fold. This is why ensuring that your most important information (like your sales pitch) is located above the fold is essential.
How about upselling pages?
An upsell page is a sales page designed to sell a higher-priced product or service to your current customers. Upsell pages are often used after customers show interest in a lower-priced product.
An upsell page aims to convince the customer to buy the higher-priced product by highlighting the benefits and features that make it a better deal than the product they just purchased. As a result, Upsell pages can be very effective at increasing sales and profits.
- An engaging ‘thank you’ message
- An overview of their purchase
- An irresistible offer to upgrade a purchase
8. Solidify your landing page’s copy
A high-quality landing page copy is necessary because it can convince website visitors to provide their contact information to learn more about the product or service you’re offering. The copy must be well-written and persuasive to achieve this goal.
If the copy is poorly written or difficult to understand, the tendency is that your lead may lose interest in your offer and may get turned off. Therefore, in this stage of crafting your sales funnel, creating a well-structured copy is imperative. For some, hiring an expert copywriter does the job well, no matter the cost.
- Strong headlines
- The length of the copy
- Readability scores
- The balance of oversharing
- The tone of voice used
- Easy to remember calls-to-action
9. Create a return path
A return path is a sales funnel designed to recapture leads who have already shown interest in your product or service. It’s a way to get them back onto your sales funnel and convince them to buy your product or service.
The return path generally consists of emails or web pages sent to the lead to remind them of your product or service and persuade them to buy it. It’s an effective way to increase sales and profits by recapturing leads who have already shown interest in your product.
- Loyalty programs
- Exit offers
- Email marketing
- Ad retargeting
- Outbound sales calling
How Sales Funnels Give Businesses a Boost
Did you know that around 68% of businesses don’t have a defined sales funnel, and 79% of leads don’t make any sales?
These businesses don’t understand the relevance of having a defined sales funnel, how to structure an effective funnel, and how to measure its results if they ever have one.
A business needs a sales funnel to have the system to help generate vital information to inform an effective sales journey design for its prospects. However, not having an effective sales funnel won’t get the business closer to its target market either.
Here’s one way that you can benefit from a sales funnel.
According to ReferralRock, 65% of your sales will come from existing customers. They also add that ‘the probability of getting a prospective customer to make their first purchase is 5-20%,’ while ‘the probability of selling to an existing one is 60-70%.’
If a business needs a functional sales funnel template that can manage leads and sales, the opportunity of selling more to existing customers can also be used.
A defined sales funnel can help you reach out, communicate, read, interact, persuade, and accommodate your target market.
Who Needs to Use Sales Funnels?
“Whoever has a product or service online.” So that answers the question, “who needs to use sales funnels?”
If you do not have a plan for your sales funnel, you may not get to the customers you want your brand or business to reach.
Generally, many prospects don’t know they need your product or service until you show them why they need it. So, as somewhat of a guide for your leads, this is why sales funnels should be well-designed.
You want to ensure your potential customers understand the importance of buying your product or service by providing the correct information and call to action appropriate to the sales pipeline stage.
Also, having a set sales funnel (or multiple sales funnels) is always good, so you’re not always burdened about how your business can make the next ‘big deal’ happen from scratch.
Sales funnels are an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. By understanding the different steps in the funnel, how customers move through it, and the different sales funnel stages, you can create a plan that guides them from awareness to purchase.
A well-functioning sales funnel can create awareness for your brand, help ease customers to your offers, and help you measure the success of the different approaches you’re taking in your customer’s sale journey.
Brian Shelton is an entrepreneur, marketer, and life-long learner committed to helping businesses achieve impactful results. He founded Grow Predictably to provide tailored marketing strategies to generate predictable, profitable growth. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Brian has helped businesses, large and small. reach their goals and drive positive change in the world.