What is a sales funnel?

Today, we’re going back to basics. I’ll define what a sales funnel is, what a funnel can do for your business, and why I LOVE them!

What is a sales funnel?

Before I tell you what a sales funnel is, I want to set the scene…

You get an inquiry into your business from your dream client…

Someone that you’d absolutely LOVE to work with. 

Picture what you’d do if they got in touch. 

If they filled out a form, signed up for a lead magnet, or dropped you a message. 

Chances are you would respond by starting a conversation, asking questions, working out if they’re a good fit and whether you’d really be able to help. 

And as part of building that rapport, you might provide examples and results of past client work, they might ask about working with you and at this point (because you’ve done your fact-finding) you’d introduce them to the right offer. And because of the great experience you’ve created, you sign a new client. 🎉

Women Celebrating

But what about the days when you are knee-deep in client work? 

Or perhaps you’re out of the office, delivering an in-person day, snuggled under the duvet or on holiday living your best life…

Anything that means you can’t handle that enquiry as quickly as you’d like or in the way that you’d like to.

What experience might your dream client get in any of these examples? And how does that compare to our ideal scenario?

This is a perfect example of where funnels come in.

A funnel allows you to automate the experience that you and your team deliver on your very best day, AND do that every single time someone inquires.

We aren’t just automating this for one client, but we’re automating this to deliver consistently and reliably, time after time, after time. 

My definition of a sales funnel

I like to think of sales funnels as a pathway of stepping stones, perfectly positioning the ‘next step’.

These stepping stones could take the form of messages and calls to action in your social media posts, on emails, on landing pages, and sales pages. Placed at the right place at the right time, those little actions, guide your audience towards purchasing your products and services. 

The real beauty of a funnel is that it allows you to tailor your messaging to where each human in your audience is on their journey. 

So unlike social media, where we’re blanketing the same messages out to everybody regardless of whether they’ve been in our world a week or three years, whether they’re at the beginning of their journey or further along, a sales funnel allows you to segment your audience. This reduces confusion and creates a better buying experience for our clients and potential clients. And this leads to increased conversions. 

And funnels aren’t just for attracting new customers! They’re a great way to introduce your existing clients to new offers and services. 

What’s the advantage of using funnels (for you and your clients)? 

Firstly, think about this from your client’s perspective. A funnel takes them on a journey which means you provide the right solution at the right time. It also helps to give them a good sense of whether you’re the person they want to work with, so it really rallies or repels your audience. 

Ideally, we want to attract the people who are going to want to work with us, who are going to be on our wavelength, who are going to be aligned with us and we want to repel those that aren’t. 

This delivers a better customer experience. As it’s preventing confusion for your client it’s going to result increased conversions. And a better experience equals more repeat business and more referrals.

A sales funnel also helps your track actions and drop-off points in your funnel giving you a better picture of the overall customer journey. 

Where are people typically coming into your world? How are they finding you? How are they signing up? How are they getting onto your email list? How long are they spending in your world before they purchase and what is it that triggers them to buy?

All of this information can show you where you need to invest more of your time and energy, and if there’s anywhere you’re losing sales.

And finally, this all frees up time for you and your team!

Who can use a sales funnel? 

Really, anybody! It’s likely you’ll already have some kind of sales funnel in place (even if you don’t think you do!).

Whether you are a coach, consultant, course creator, or service provider, a funnel will work for you. 

The question is when should you invest in a funnel?

It’s really never too early to start using a simple funnel to grow your list.

If you’re at the point in your business where you’ve already got paying clients and really know your dream clients inside out, then you’re ready to delve into funnels.

By really know, I mean know what the goals and dreams are and what’s important to them, what their challenges are, what’s keeping them up at night, and, most importantly, how they put all of these things into words. Those little voices they hear in their head when they’re thinking about all of those things?  

Click here to download my free toolkit to help you get inside the mind of your perfect fit client

If you’re a bit further on in your journey, then you can start to think about other funnel types and introduce those. But if you’re doing this, be really, really clear on the purpose. We don’t want to create a funnel for funnels sake!

We need to think about where we’re sending your clients and why and what the offer is at the end of that funnel so that we make sure anyone we’re bringing in is really right for the offer.

Which funnel?

The funnel you choose really does depend on where you are at the moment and what your objectives are.

Start by thinking deciding the objectives for your funnel. Is it to grow your list in advance of a launch or to make more sales?

If the goal is to make more sales, we need to think about the nature of the offer. If it’s a higher ticket offer such as a mastermind or working with you 1-2-1, you will need a different funnel than if it’s low-cost offer or membership.

If you’re at the stage of scaling and you’ve already got your established course or programme, it might be that you’re ready to evergreen the sales process so you’re getting more clients in on a regular basis and automate some or all of the delivery. 

An excellent example of this is a hypnobirthing client we’re working with at the moment. Her funnel is completely evergreen, she literally does not need to do anything on the client delivery side, it’s all set up. And she makes on average about £30,000 per month from her evergreen funnel. The clients come in either through a lead magnet, through a nurture sequence, and we then offer the course, retargeting those that don’t buy straight away, later in the month. 

A good sales funnel will essentially allow you to sell yourself 24/7 and will help you to educate your clients and potential clients. 

Want to see if you’re ready to evergreen? Download my free checklist here.

But I have a website, do I really need a funnel?

Quite often I am asked, “I’ve got a website, do I really need a funnel as well?”. And the answer is yes. Although your website can help as part of your funnel, there are some key differences. 

For a start your website has too many options! When somebody comes to your website and lands on a page, they’ll have different options that they can go off and explore. They can look at your services, they can look at your testimonials, they can look at your about page. 

The beauty of a funnel is it only allows somebody to take one action -to go to the next page for the next step in the funnel. This minimises distractions and increases the likelihood that they’ll convert. 

On most funnel pages – particulary sales and landing pages you don’t have a menu and there’s no navigation bar, which prevents your viewers going off here and off. Instead, it just takes them down one path so they can opt-in or not. It’s important to make your funnel really, really good because if your client doesn’t opt-in, you’ll lose them. 

And If you’re driving traffic in the form of paid ads to your funnel, and you haven’t got a funnel that’s converting well, your wasting money.

So, instead of driving traffic to your website, I’d recommend driving that traffic to a funnel. That’s the best way to take a cold audience from stranger to superfan and best of all happy, paying clients. 

So, what next? What if you’re at the stage of thinking about introducing a funnel?

I know it can feel a bit overwhelming. Whether you’re just getting started with funnels, or an established business with lots of ideas but no clue how to fit them together, there are numerous ways that I can support you. Click here to explore how we can work together.

Useful Resources

  1. Free toolkit – Get Inside the Mind of Your Perfect Fit Client

2. Ready to evergreen? Download my free checklist here

3. Want my support with your funnels? Click here to find out more about options to work with me.

About Becky

Becky Wise is a digital marketing strategist who specialises in helping purpose-led coaches and course creators create automated sales systems to attract their dream clients and sustainably grow their revenue.