How Sales Funnels Work and Why You Need Them To Grow Your Business

Reading Time: 7 min

Sales can come and go. But maintaining a consistent sales rate isn’t an easy task. That’s why businesses utilize sales funnels! 

Sales funnels help you nurture customer relationships and prioritize consistent sales. Creating a sales funnel can have incredible results…but how do you do it (and why do they matter)? 

What Are Sales Funnels? 

When you think of sales funnels, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? 

Sales funnels work the same way their namesake does! By using a step-by-step marketing process, this tactic quite literally funnels potential customers toward your offer. These funnels include a variety of strategies, like email marketing, advertisements like commercials or billboards, and even published articles. 

Picture your sales funnels as your (digital) salespeople. They work ALL of the time and only focus on marketing your offer straight to potential customers. Plus, they don’t complain or bug you for money. 

You may not realize it, but sales funnels are all around you. Think of how many ads you interact with on a daily basis. Whether it’s billboards, commercials, or ads on social media, you are constantly seeing products and services. 

These methods are all used in funnels. Most people purchase products and services because of how sales funnels advertise them. 

traffic-insights-dashboard

4 Phases You’ll Find In Sales Funnels

Your sales funnels will look like inverted pyramids. Every business process will look a little different. But there are four main phases that you need to understand in order to start generating one. Each part of the inverted pyramid represents a different stage in a sales funnel. 

Awareness Stage

First, you have the awareness stage. This is the widest part of the funnel and it sits right at the top. 

In this stage, your main goal is to promote your business and your brand. Who are you as a company? And what do you want people to see?  

You want to attract as much attention as possible to your business. It is the only way you’re going to grow your customer base. 

There are many ways to grab potential customers attention: 

  • SEO
  • Social media 
  • Videos 
  • Paid ads 
  • Word of mouth 
  • Referrals 

Related: 4 Easy and Free Strategies To Boost Your Organic Traffic

Relationship Stage

Once you have a solid foundation of audience awareness, you want to maintain a consistent relationship with them. That’s why we’re calling this stage the relationship stage

This stage is all about trust and authority. How are you going to keep your customers comfortable with your business? Through communication!

Communicating with customers comes in many different forms. Because of its low costs, email marketing is one of the most reliable forms of communication. Customers can join your email list, and you can keep sending them regular messages.

You can also re-target ads to customers who have looked at your website. This allows you to continue to create a long-term connection with customers. 

Another important step in the relationship stage is committing to a buying belief. Customers buy products based on their own beliefs. You need to establish a belief regarding your product in order for customers to feel comfortable purchasing it. 

Sales Stage

After you’ve established those long-term connections with customers, it is time to seal the deal. The sales stage starts when you start making your sales. 

With solid customer relationships, selling your product should come naturally. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t give your sales pitch an extra push. 

You can use the urgency method to generate revenue from your products. This method pitches your product as something that your customers urgently need. If your relationships with your customers are solid, you may not need to fall on this sales method. 

Be careful of faking urgency. You want your customers to trust you. If you lie about the importance of your product, you could lose their respect. 

Related: How To Track Your Typical Consumer Journey Using The Perfect KPIs

Upsell Stage

Lastly, you have the upsell stage

This is the stage where the sales funnel really starts to generate itself. In this stage of the process, you are no longer just selling your one product. You are able to sell more, related products to your trusted customers!

Upselling can help increase customer experience while also helping you make money. For example, a customer might buy a ticket for your webinar. But they might also pay more money to speak with you one-on-one. 

You control the upselling. What other products do you think your customers will want? Think about how these products can help them and how you can keep their interest tied to your business. 

Why Are Sales Funnels Important? 

While it’s possible to have a quick purchase from a customer, most of your sales will happen because of the sales funnels you create. If there isn’t a process for your potential customers to follow, they might search for it in other businesses. 

That’s why it is so important for you to create sales funnels. You don’t want to lose your sales to other businesses. If you can support your customers through your sales funnels, you will generate the sales and protection your business needs. 

Here are the three main reasons why sales funnels are important to your business. 

traffic-insights-dashboard

Purchase Cycles Ebb and Flow

Your purchase cycles involve your customers. You may have some who are spontaneous buyers. Others may need to invest time in research. Most of your customers will fall in the middle of these situations. This is where they can get stuck. 

With a sales funnel in place, you push along those stuck customers. You can introduce information about your industry and what categories your product falls into. 

Then, you can introduce research and product comparisons. This helps customers focus on their choices. Storytelling can also help your customers form attachments to your products. 

It’s your customers’ turn to act! Once you’ve given them the information about how your product can solve their problem, they can make a decision. Ultimately, they’re making a decision on whether or not to trust your business. 

Sales Funnels Help You Build Credibility and Educate Customers

Your sales funnels generate lots and lots of research and information. By providing your customers with this research and information, you establish yourself as a credible seller. 

Many of your customers will have access to the internet. It is easy for them to find gaps or errors in the information you provide. That’s why generating a tight sales funnel is really important. The more you can give your customers, the more they will buy in return. 

Don’t think of selling when you think of your sales funnels. If customers think you’re trying to sell them something outright, they’ll be less likely to purchase it from you. Take a deep breath and let your funnel do the work for you (once you’ve set them up, of course!). 

You Can Build Trust With Your Audience

Sales funnels guarantee a strong presence with your customers. That means they’re seeing your business and your products on a daily basis. 

Many people fear purchasing from unfamiliar websites because of unverified payments and theft. The more familiar customers are with your business, the more they will trust your transaction process. 

Metrics Tracking Gives You Valuable Information About Your Customers and Sales Funnels

Metrics can help you regulate how successful your sales funnels actually are.

By monitoring volume funnel metrics, you can keep track of how many leads are going through the individual stages of your funnel. With velocity funnel metrics, you can measure time. You can observe how many days each customer spends in the stages of the funnel. Lastly, conversion rates can determine the percentage of lead movement from each stage. 

How can knowing all of these numbers help you? 

Control! If you keep a close eye on your sales funnel’s work, you can be there to make any changes. Consistently monitoring your system can help ensure a more successful sales funnel. 

Inside our signature Measure and Maximize program, you’ll learn exactly how to track the stages of your funnel with custom dashboards. 


Generating consistent revenue doesn’t have to be an issue anymore. With the creation of regulated sales funnels, you can acquire loyal customers and persistent sales. 

Want to fully understand where your traffic is coming from so that you can highly tailor your sales funnels? Make sure you grab our Traffic Insights Dashboard!

For more tips on using metrics to optimize your website and funnels check out these posts:

How To Create A High Converting Landing Page That Works Every Time

How Split Testing Can Turn Your Good Landing Page Into A Great One

The 5 Most Important Metrics to Measure Your Website’s Success

Clickfunnels vs ThriveCart – who wins?

How Sales Funnels Work and Why You Need Them To Grow Your Business | The Nimble Co.