Sales Funnel 101: What It Is and Why You Need It

Sales Team Discussing Sales FunnelAlthough most of us wish the sales process was as simple as “a prospect has a need” followed by “the prospect buys from us” – we all know that’s not the case.  The truth is that the sales process is complicated and challenging, and we’re all constantly looking for ways to close more deals and drive more sales.  This is where your understanding of the sales funnel comes into play.

What is a Sales Funnel?

From identifying that they have a need to making a purchase, prospects experience a journey (aka buying cycle) that leads them towards becoming one of your customers.  Understanding that journey allows you to create a sales strategy that speaks to their needs in each stage.  The goal is to continually progress the prospect from one stage to the next – and not overwhelming them with a hard, pushy sale.

To get us started, here are the five basic stages of a sales funnel:

  1. Awareness – The prospect is recognizing a need and is starting to realize there are solutions on the market that would fill their need. They may be seeing Google Ads, social media posts, or online reviews.
  2. Interest – The prospect starts seeking out solutions that are best-suited for their situation. They’ll conduct searches, ask for advice from their network, consume your messaging, and reach out for more information.
  3. Decision – The prospect is weighing your solutions with those of your competition. They’re weighing the differentiators: price, service or quality.  This is where it’s essential that you’ve defined your competitive advantage and crafted a unique selling proposition.
  4. Action – The prospect recognizes that your offering is the best fit for their needs, and they decide to buy. There should be minimal barriers between their decision to act and finalizing their purchase – because the sale can still be lost at this stage.
  5. Retention – Your customer could be a one-time purchaser, or you can turn them into a repeat buyer and brand ambassador. That depends on how committed you are to keeping them happy and continuing to engage them.

Sales Funnel

How Do I Implement a Sales Funnel?

In the digital age, consumers are becoming more and more savvy.  They know they have options and, even more importantly, they know they can access those options.  No longer are they confined to the businesses that are nearby.  So, a sales funnel helps you to tailor your messaging to speak to their needs of the moment.

The way you design and implement your sales funnel will depend on your industry, target audience and sales model.  If you’re selling online, the sales funnel will be digitally driven – involving search and social ads, lead generation, content marketing, etc.  If your strategy is more focused on face-to-face (or phone, etc.) techniques, then your sales funnel will involve mapping out the specific actions you’re requesting prospects to take – leading them towards the sale.

Take a Deep Dive into Custom-Tailored Sales Strategies with FocalPoint Canada

At FocalPoint Canada, we guide our clients in overcoming challenges and leveraging opportunities with proven processes and methodologies that have been used by thousands of successful businesses over the past two decades.  Our FocalPoint business coaches use their expertise to teach our time-tested methods through individual coaching, group sessions, or trainings and workshops.

It all starts with a conversation.  Call us at 866-761-1616 or email

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