How to Create a Sales Funnel

how to create a sales funnel

A sales funnel remains a critical aspect of the sales pipeline, moving a prospect from their initial contact with a company to their ultimate conversion to a paying customer.

Understanding what is a sales funnel and the various sales funnel stages is key to a sales team creating an effective conversion funnel, as described in this article. With that knowledge, small business owners are ready to design their own sales funnel that boosts sales and increases profits.

How to Build a Sales Funnel for Your Business

Will an effective sales funnel help your small business convert more customers and close more deals? Have you learned the four sales funnel stages and looked at various sales funnel examples, and now you’re ready to build a sales funnel for your business?

The following steps will help you create the right sales funnel to support your marketing strategy:

1. Gather Data on Your Target Market

Information is key to understanding your prospective customers, and the first step to building an effective marketing funnel is gathering data about your current customers and target audience. What interests your current paying customers, and what attracts them to your brand?

Conduct competitive research to gain a better understanding of why potential customers are choosing other brands. The more data you can gather about your potential market, the more effectively you can build your sales funnel.

2. Capture Attention with Value

Your sales funnel cannot be effective if you don’t attract a potential customer to it. To capture attention, offer something of value. For example, a restaurant might offer a coupon for a free dessert to customers who sign up for its email newsletter.

Other ways of capturing attention include SEO strategies, social media posts and customer referrals. A diversified sales funnel will employ multiple methods of attracting prospects.

3. Nurture Prospects with Content

It’s one thing to have the interest and desire to build a sales funnel for your small business, it’s entirely something else to design a conversion funnel that will attract potential customers and close deals. Once you’ve attracted customers with a valuable offer, where will they go?

One way of nurturing prospects with content is by building a landing page to which other marketing efforts can provide a link. There, customers can be offered an engaging and useful blog post, videos and ebooks to further educate them on a brand, its products and services. Another method of nurturing prospects with content is by establishing an email drip campaign, sending information to customers’ inboxes over time.

4. Encourage People to Take Action

Once you’ve added sales funnel stages to attract interest in your company, products or services, it’s time to encourage prospects to take action. Continue your marketing efforts along the sales pipeline, attracting website visitors with a landing page and engaging blog posts, gently nudging prospects from the interest stage to the finish line.

Don’t assume your prospects will automatically make a purchasing decision based on the content you provide them. Be sure your content includes a clear call to action, asking for a sale or requesting a follow-up appointment.

5. Finalize the Deal and Keep in Touch

Your sales funnel doesn’t end with a call to action. Whether the sale occurs online or in a brick-and-mortar store, the final stage of the sales funnel occurs with the monetary transaction. Only then is the customer fully converted to a sale.

Of course, a successful sales process doesn’t just accept a customer’s cash and forget about them. It’s important to promote repeat business and retain hard-won customers. Keep in touch with clients along their customer journey, providing more content to encourage additional sales.

6. Optimize Your Sales Funnel

Just because you’ve built your sales funnel, that doesn’t mean the process is complete. It’s vital to continuously monitor your results and look for weak areas of the funnel where more prospects drop. Properly managing your sales funnel means optimizing it for continued improvement.

Unsure how to optimize your sales funnel? The following tips should help you along the way:

  • Evaluate your content at each stage of the sales funnel. How is each piece performing, and how many prospects is the content capturing? If some content is performing worse than others, or if prospects are not clicking on the calls to action, it’s time to rework your marketing content.
  • Review your landing page. Does the content mirror the offer that brought the customer there in the first place? Is there a call to action, and does the page collect prospects’ contact information?
  • Compare the results of various offers to better understand what value is capturing customers’ attention and what isn’t attracting interest. How many purchases are resulting from various email and other marketing campaigns? If none of them are gaining momentum, it might be time to rework your sales funnel.
  • Monitor your customer retention rates. How many conversions result in upsales, cross-sales or even repeat sales? Are existing customers referring the small business to new customers? If not, then it’s time to focus on communication with current customers to boost the all-important retention.

Best Sales Funnel Software

Still unsure of building your own sales funnel? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Plenty of small business owners seek assistance in developing effective conversion funnels, and they employ sales funnel software tools to help them design, implement and optimize the best sales and marketing funnels and improve the buying process.

Looking for the best sales funnel builder? The following five software tools offer some of the best options when building effective sales funnels:


The all-in-one sales funnel software is popular because it offers a complete marketing solution, including assistance with everything from social media campaigns to landing pages to email automation. Users even can sell products through GetResponse or integrate the software with their existing e-commerce solution.

Pricing: $49 to $165 per month for 1,000 to 10,000 users 


Perfect for agencies, Kartra features an all-in-one solution to enhance your sales cycle. The comprehensive software helps to design a company’s sales model with a website and landing page building, a CRM lead database, email marketing automation options, opt-in forms, video hosting, live chat and even checkout forms.

Pricing: From $79 to $249 per year


Entrepreneurs can collect unlimited leads with the Leadpages sales funnel building software. The popular unlimited plans let users build their own mobile responsive websites, landing pages, sales pages and pop-ups using a simple drag-and-drop editor. While the software does not include email marketing tools, it’s also a less expensive option than many alternatives.

Pricing: From $37 to $321 per month

The software offers a free plan with plenty of features, making it a popular sales funnel builder. helps users manage and automate their email campaigns, sell products, offer online courses to attract attention and gain credibility and set up their own affiliate programs to boost their marketing efforts. The service even features a free sales funnel example template.

Pricing: Free for 2,000 contents, then $32 to $116 per month for more


Sale teams can manage their sales funnel process for unlimited contacts ClickFunnels software. The user-friendly tool is designed for small business owners with little-to-no coding knowledge, and if includes features like a landing page builder, a pop-up editor and plenty of helpful sales funnel examples.

Pricing: $97 for unlimited contacts to $297 per month for unlimited everything

How much does it cost to build a sales marketing funnel?

An effective sales funnel can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000, according to the experts at Stashlr. This cost can vary depending on the number of funnels, what they do and how many tools are incorporated in them. Sales funnel software, on the other hand, can be employed to build your own sales funnel for less than $100 a month.

How do you create sales funnel stages in Excel?

You can design your own sales funnel stages in Excel by using the popular software’s funnel chart. In fact, Excel users can create the built-in funnel chart in a few simple steps:

  1. Create a chart with a column for the funnel’s stages and a second column for the values.
  2. Highlight all the data.
  3. Open the “Insert” tab.
  4. Choose “Insert Waterfall, Funnel, Stock, Surface, or Radar Chart.”
  5. Select “Funnel.”

Image: Depositphotos

Samantha Lile Samantha Lile is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 3 years. She is also a freelance writer and journalist who contributes to a variety of web publications from her home office in the heart of the Ozarks.