Sales Funnel Stages: Step by Step Guide to Building a Sales Conversion Machine

The article entails a step-by-step guide in creating marketing strategies for every sales funnel stage. Learn more about the various sales funnel stages in the process of building profitable relationships with their target market because it’s the key to attracting endless traffic, leads and sales.

Let’s take a close look at sales funnel stages and how to properly structure each phase to maximize the bottom line of your business.

Sales funnels have become a very hot topic in the world of Internet marketing.

With the advancement and continual evolution of marketing online there are many marketing experts, software, and tools that help entrepreneurs build sales funnels online.

Savvy entrepreneurs are tuning in to learn more about the various sales funnel stages in the process of building profitable relationships with their target market because it’s the key to attracting endless traffic, leads and sales.

Fill in the blank PDF from our free Template Pack that you can use to map out your business funnel throughout this article.
Fill in the blank PDF from our free Template Pack that you can use to map out your business funnel throughout this article.

However, though I see a lot of conversation on the topic of sales funnels, not many are correctly applying what they’ve learned.

Thus, when I look at many landing pages, websites and marketing systems, I invariably come across far too many that have sizable gaps, blockages and leaks in their sales and marketing funnels.

That’s why this article takes a deep dive into the sales funnel stages you should be implementing in your business.

You’ll learn what you need to do in each of these stages to attract more traffic, more leads, more sales AND referrals for your business.

Sales Funnel Definition

Building a business in the new economy, primarily online, is tougher than it was back in the day of small town brick and mortar businesses.

You see, relational trust is harder to establish with the barrier of the Internet than it was when business owners were selling, face-to-face, to customers.

When passersby walked down the sidewalk and smell the irresistible draw of meat smoking on the pit, when those cute outfits grabbed your eye and you walked in to browse the racks for the perfect summer dress, and when prospects could look the shopkeeper in the eyes and get answers to all their questions, it’s easy to see how those businesses earned the trust of the market and grew.

This in-person environment accelerated the progression of the necessary relationship stages yielding trust, intimacy and repeat business.

As you should know, when you make a sale, the customer is ultimately buying YOU!

Getting to the point of sale is difficult online due to the above reasons but also due to the fact that people have an inherent distrust, skepticism, and apathy regarding your product or service when they first find you.

So how do you build a warm and friendly connection with your target audience that leads to continually growing traffic and sales through a flat screen… and do it while you’re sleeping, out of the office or out of the country for that matter?

The answer – you must understand and install a winning sales funnel into your online business!

With a good understanding of each stage of the sales funnel you will guide massive numbers of people from being ice cold prospects to being blazing hot customers and brand evangelists of your business.

Referring to this sales and marketing process as stages of a pipeline breaks the myth that all it takes to stuff your pockets with money is a single linear structure made of popsicle sticks sitting on top of each other.

Operating without a methodical marketing process is doing business like a hunter-gatherer
Operating without a methodical marketing process is doing business like a hunter-gatherer

And the business owners who do focus on developing a systematic marketing process still, usually, have huge gaps, blockages and leaks that go unnoticed because they’re not keen on the inner workings of each of the sales funnel stages that impact their bottom-line.

Throwing money at it won’t plug the holes. Instead, it tends to weaken the foundation of the core profit generating business activities just as increasing the water pressure on a broken pipe won’t make it stronger.

Throwing money at it won’t fix your funnel just like increasing the water pressure of damaged pipelines
Throwing money at it won’t fix your funnel just like increasing the water pressure of damaged pipelines

The result of this is a very noticeable lack of growth or a plateau they can’t seem to break out of no matter what they try.

Relational Trust is Harder to Establish Online

Setup a Facebook Campaign

Facebook advertising uses what I call the hunter model, while organic search engine traffic is the gardener approach to sales. Hunting benefits your business by bringing relevant traffic and leads on demand, while gardening creates a foundation that keeps paying dividends day after day after day. Using this method will be an indirect way of figuring out how to drive traffic to your website.

For your Facebook campaigns to be successful, you need to have the right objective. Your ungated content pages can have an objective that leads to an increase in Landing Page Views.

Your gated content, such as a squeeze page to register for a checklist download, could also begin with an objective that optimizes Landing Page Views. After that, you can just add in a conversion campaign objective with Lead Conversion Events. You could either do that after the traffic campaign or do it simultaneously.

Using this mixed campaign objective strategy, you should regularly review your budget to pivot from your Landing Page Views to your Lead Conversion Events objective. I recommend your budget be sufficient enough to trigger a minimum of 100 events per week (landing page views, lead conversion events, etc.) to get optimal results.

In doing Facebook campaigns, you must make sure that the Facebook Pixel is properly installed for page view on all pages. You’re probably wondering what the purpose of a Facebook Pixel is. Facebook Pixel is a code placed on your website. It gathers data that help you keep track of conversions derived from Facebook ads. It also helps you optimize ads, build a target audience for future ad campaigns, and recapture people who already purchased from your website.

Don’t go all out on your budget on the first day of your campaign. There’s an optimization period wherein Facebook shows where your campaigns have stopped learning. From there, you can add more to your budget in increments. Don’t be too quick to increase the budget as it might mess up the entire campaign. If you have less than a hundred conversions in a week then expect sub-optimal results in the conversion campaign.

Where do you start to optimize your ads?

Work from a “good enough” ad copy rather than doing multiple ad copy tests to get the perfect words. It will yield better results if you start testing multiple creatives such as different images and videos. Let your creative juices set in and experiment with the images. Be as visual as you can get so people are attracted to your copy.

Slice and Dice Your Content in Multiple Formats

Repurpose your content in various formats. You can create an article from a video you made. You could also make a mini-series of the video you just created. Not only that, you can attract potential customers by creating an infographic based on your video. You could also come up with a webinar that persuades people to get your product or services.

Plan your communication and follow-up strategy

You got the leads and their contact information. Now, what’s next?

You need to keep your communication lines open with the users. You can have an automated email follow-up campaign to give them more value.

You could also use a “Thank You” page, which promotes the next step of your marketing campaign. You can suggest that they call you or schedule a consultation, create calendar notices that remind them to attend the event they registered for, or even promote an enticing paid product or service.

There are resources accompanied in this article and I encourage you to use them. Or better yet, schedule a consultation with me and I’ll help you map out the right campaigns to get relevant traffic for your business.

The answer – you must understand and install a winning sales funnel into your online business!

With a good understanding of each stage of the sales funnel you will guide massive numbers of people from being ice cold prospects to being blazing hot customers and brand evangelists of your business.

Referring to this sales and marketing process as stages of a pipeline breaks the myth that all it takes to stuff your pockets with money is a single linear structure made of popsicle sticks sitting on top of each other.

This funnel hardly makes a strong business foundation
This funnel hardly makes a strong business foundation” title=”This funnel hardly makes a strong business foundation

In other words, you will build authentic connection and relationship with your target audience and overcome the inherent distrust, skepticism, and apathy they have when they stumble across your landing page, blog post, social media page, ad, video, press release, you name it.

Sales Pipeline Stages

Let’s identify the various stages of your sales pipeline or sales funnel and discuss how you should be engaging with you target audience at each stage.

As a framework we will be using some tools I use to help clients, including the customer value journey developed by our partners Digital Marketer and my customer optimization process maps, which will give you a better understanding of how you can install a winning sales funnel with all stages represented, in your business.

Diagram of Sales Funnel Stages from The Digital Navigator showing the importance of consumption and the myth of one-size fits all traffic campaigns
Diagram of Sales Funnel Stages from The Digital Navigator showing the importance of consumption and the myth of one-size fits all traffic campaigns

Awareness Stage

For the sake of putting this discussion on the stages of a sales funnel into terms that everyone can relate to, I will try to relate it to the development of a romantic relationship.

The first stage of any relationship is awareness. Think about it, the love of your life didn’t always know that you even existed!

How he or she ever got along without you is anybody’s guess, but that’s another topic.

Do you remember the first time you met that special someone? Was it in a bookstore, an ice cream shop or at a summer picnic?

With your online business you want to maximize the opportunities that people have of becoming aware of your existence. In other words, you want to maximize your Internet footprint.

Whether people are searching Google, browsing content on Facebook, or are looking for a good video on YouTube, you want people to stumble upon your helpful, valuable and entertaining content.

This is why content marketing is so powerful. Content marketing is the practice of publishing and syndicating information online.

Sales funnels move in stages. If you imagine funneling oil through a siphon down into a small tube into your engine, the top of the siphon is where you pour the oil.

So, we may think in terms of top, middle and bottom of the sales and marketing funnel.

At the top, we attract cold traffic to you by sharing free content.

TOFU
TOFU

In the awareness stage the content that you should be producing, publishing and sharing include:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Forum comments
  • Social media posts
  • Gifs
  • Memes
  • Product reviews
  • Q & A
  • Press Releases
  • Quizzes
  • Maps
  • Stories
  • Case Studies
  • Curated Content
  • Lists

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Your awareness content must be laser focused!

This is where businesses often get bad advice from experts they trust. The emphasis on quantity overrides the quality
and precision of the awareness generating content. You should be suspicious when you are pressed to publish content
like rain drops falling during a storm.

Being visible isn’t sufficient.

Your top of funnel content needs to demonstrate your expertise and transmit actual value for your prospects to move
at the next stage of the relationship. A person can get 1,000 bad dates without exhibiting depth of character but
its unlikely they will move any of those relationships to marriage.

Refine your customer avatar and truly understand their desired end goal. Then map out themes that will define your
sandbox for content creation.

Compile the search terms and keywords that are most popular within these topics to generate awareness content that
delivers the most value for your time and effort.

So, what happens when you start generating a lot of traffic?

Most business owners do nothing but hope that these cold web page visitors purchase your products and services.

And in a relationship this is having the expectation of meeting someone for the first time ever and then running off
to get married the same day.

Sure, it happens, but rarely, unless you are in Las Vegas ? … The same is true with your business online – you may
sell to a small percentage of cold traffic that same day, but rarely.

You need a mechanism to convert cold traffic into warm prospects.

That’s why you need an entry-point offer.

Entry-Point Offer [Part 1]

For a relationship between a couple to go from just meeting one another to dating there is usually a slighter deeper
engagement experience. Maybe you spent hours together with a group of friends at the picnic and realized there was
chemistry.

When you realize there is chemistry and value in this person, what’s the next step? Ask their phone number, right?
You want to capture their information so you can build a friendship together, right?

To develop a friendship you eventually need to get their phone number or contact information and the same is true for nurturing a relationship with your prospects.
SEO plays an integral part in your business sales funnel stages.To develop a
friendship you eventually need to get their phone number or contact information and the same is true for
nurturing a relationship with your prospects.

With internet business marketing, most people who do a great job of traffic generation totally miss capturing a
higher percentage of that traffic with entry point offers.

They get cold feet and failed to ask for the phone number, even when all these visitors to their site have apparently
shown interest…

… or they lose all their manners by obnoxiously hounding their visitors for their contact information with quadruple
pop-ups, auto-play videos and dropping a mountain of cookies on them like they were starving. The part about cookies
was a joke, but I’m sure you get the picture!

The only way to capture a person’s contact information, namely their e-mail address and maybe their first name, is by
giving more value for something that you know they want.

Since this person came into your website on a certain blog page, looking to learn more about a certain topic, then
you should be sure to offer them a higher-level of related value in exchange for their contact information.

The way to do this is through an entry-point offer.

Here’s an example:

This entry-point offer from Etps://gcp-lysiaHartzell.com is in alignment as her content helps spiritual practitioners deepen their gifts, reach self-acceptance and be confidant in their art.
This entry-point offer from Etps://gcp-lysiaHartzell.com is in alignment as her
content helps spiritual practitioners deepen their gifts, reach self-acceptance and be confidant in their art.

When doing a Google Search for Theta Healing, Sacred Soul AlignmentTM and developing skills as a spiritual
practitioner I clicked on the results and landed on a website by ElysiaHartzell.com.

As I read through her website resources I came across this entry-point offer in line with the body of the content
promoted on the page.

Elysia routinely broadcasts Facebook Live videos with wellbeing and professional development techniques for
practitioners from which you can click through her page to a landing page with this same entry-point offer.

This image is an opt in widget created with a favorite lead capture tool of mine, OptinMonster, used to take the
relationship to the next level. The visitor came to the site just to learn different ways to sharpen their
professional practice and as they read down the page they’re offered the opportunity to get more of related value.

This type of offer takes the relationship to the next level. This 1-2 combination takes the relationship from being
cold and cordial to warmer because the free audios provided are highly consumable and deliver a jaw dropping
transformation which leaves people wanting more.

Once you get the person’s contact information you can move the relationship forward towards one that puts money in
your pockets.

Here are some various types of content that are often used to make good opt in offers used as entry-point offers:

  • Checklists
  • Case Studies
  • Roadmaps
  • Recipes
  • Whitepapers
  • Mini-Course
  • Reports
  • Free + Shipping Offers
  • Cheat-Sheets
  • Guides
  • E-mail Newsletter
Effective lead magnets need to be naturally appealing to your ideal customer, they are ultra-specific and easily consumable.
Effective lead magnets need to be naturally appealing to your ideal customer,
they are ultra-specific and easily consumable.

Entry-Point Offer [Part 2]

There are a certain percentage of your target audience that will prove to become ideal customers.

These people will not just consume your content on your website, read your e-mails, like your posts on Facebook but
still never purchase.

Instead, they will move from blog reader or Facebook follower to e-mail subscriber and ultimately repeat customer who
refers lots of business to you.

So, once you have gained a new e-mail subscriber your job is to continue to pursue, in terms of a relationship,
“marriage.”

Gaining an e-mail subscriber is good but still not ideal, because this new subscriber still has not bought your
product or service. After all this is a sales funnel and we need to close some deals to justify creating the
necessary assets.

If they signed up to receive a two-page weight loss guide but instead they received a video asking them to buy into
your weight loss coaching program this would be called good old-fashioned bait and switch.

It would kill the relationship instantly.

So, you must deliver what you promise to deliver with your entry-point offer opt-in widget. However, this does not
mean you can’t make another offer in addition to delivering what you promise.

Since they have already shown interest by reading content and then signing up for another piece of gated content, you
would be wise to make a low-priced offer to win them as a new customer, which can be a few dollars to thousands of
dollars based on your industry.

That’s what we do with the entry point offer part two.
If you have higher-priced products or services such as coaching programs, consulting services, certification
courses, video courses, or other higher-priced products, programs, and/or services two-part entry point offers are a
great solution for you.

At this stage you move the relationship from a top of the funnel relationship to a middle of the funnel relationship.

For most online businesses selling content, coaching, and consulting services the following list are common types of
assets used to convert warm leads into customers:

  • Webinar
  • Masterclass
  • Demo
  • Facebook Live Event
  • Trial
  • Free Membership
  • One-on-One Consultation
  • Diagnostic
  • Free + two Shipping (i.e. book)
  • Low-Priced Offers (Under $100)
  • Free Event
Webinar.
Webinar.

As with every stage of your sales funnel it’s important that you seek to create high-value content that is highly
engaging and easily consumable. The more your traffic interacts with and consumes your content the more likely they
are to become customers.

It’s also important to remember at this stage that you are looking to convert the lead into a customer so while it’s
important to deliver valuable content you should equally try to sell. This means you should include information to
handle common objections.

It’s a bit of an art and science to do this effectively, which is why copywriters usually help with creating sales
conversion tools such as webinar scripts, stage presentation scripts and long-form sales letters.

The better you are at creating a winning presentation with your entry-point offer part two, the higher your sales
conversions should be.

Learn more about entry point offers with this
blog post

Splinter Offer – Purchase Funnel

When you break off a piece of a bigger offer that you sell, you are making a splinter offer.

At this point you enter the stage of your funnel where you ask for the sale.

This is really useful in cases where you have a larger program that you want people to buy but you know there will be
price resistance. So, you can splinter the offer and instead, sell a section or units at a time.

Let’s say you have a certification course that you charge $2,000 for. It takes a lot more credibility, and market
positioning to sell at this price. It’s much easier to fragment your program into four smaller courses that are sold
for $495 each.

Even if you’re selling a master course for $1,000 you can pull out one of the most popular modules and turn it into a
splinter offer, or standalone class that you sell for $95.

That’s an easier sell than the full $1,0000 course AND much easier to sell them into the full course once they’ve
consumed $95 mini-course.

$7 offers, $11 offers, $37 offers, $97 offers, $297 offers are all price points used in making high converting
splinter offers. These price points usually represent 10 to 15% of the price of the core product offer they are
splintered from.

Ordering a piece of pie doesn’t take much forethought… and the next thing you know you’re bringing back the whole pie for the next family diner or celebration!
Ordering a piece of pie doesn’t take much forethought… and the next thing you
know you’re bringing back the whole pie for the next family diner or celebration!

Excitement

It’s important that your splinter offers make a big positive impression on your new customers. In my business, when I
get a new client I send them a personalized letter and any other appropriate materials in the mail.

I don’t tell them I’m sending it in and they are not expecting it, so it makes a big impression on my new clients and
creates that “WOW” factor.

So, think of anything you can do when you deliver your first paid product or service that could create that wow
reaction.

The goal is to stand out, to show you truly care and go above and beyond what your competition is doing. Just like in
the dating world you want the other person to keep thinking about you after a date, how they had an incredible time
with you and how special you made them feel.

Profit Maximizer

You have now wooed your new prospect to the bottom stage of your sales funnel.

Let’s face it, up till now you have eased your way into a romance with your new lover.

In other words, you have converted your business prospects into customers with high value awareness content,
entry-point offers and/or splinter offers which bring in some money but probably just enough to cover your business
expenses.

The profit maximizer stage is the bottom extremity your sales funnel. This is where you drop to one knee, pull out
the ring, show the sincerity in those bright dreamy eyes of yours, and ask for your customer’s hand in marriage.

Like the old nursery rhythm taught, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby
carriage.”

Every expecting couple wants their baby wants it to be the most beautiful in the world; a million-dollar baby.
Every expecting couple wants their baby wants it to be the most beautiful in the
world; a million-dollar baby.

At the profit maximizer stage, the baby you’re looking for is profit…a million-dollar baby!

Before you go any further, don’t lose sight of your values, continued excitement and making this win-win otherwise
your business relationship will end in divorce.

If you have sold a splinter offer that was one fourth of your core offer, here you offer the remaining three modules
of your course for the same dollar amount your complete course sells for.

To put that another way, if your course sells for $1,000 and your splinter offer sold for $249, you need to sell your
profit maximizer offer for $749.

To sell this, you can invite splinter offer buyers to another free class where you sell them into the $749 program or
some other engaging sales mechanism.

At The Digital Navigator we found that for online courses you can get better results by monitoring the progress of
your customers.

If your system detects they aren’t moving forward you send them encouragement emails and other means of communication
to help them graduate.

As they complete milestones you adapt the messaging of your communication to inform congratulate them and recommend
their next best step. This can be the complete program, a complimentary course, personal coaching, an in-depth
service or a membership continuity program.

Want to Profit Even Faster?

If you want to boost your profit even more (and who doesn’t?), there’s an extra step you can take at this stage.

It’s sort of like a Profit Maximizer PLUS.

You and I both know it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.

When someone decides to buy from you, they trust you. In fact, they trust you in that moment possibly more than they
ever will.

This is the perfect time to introduce a post purchase One Click Upsell.

Here’s how it works.

When your customer makes a purchase, instead of seeing the thank you page, you’re going to show them a one time offer
they can’t get anywhere else.

In our example, you might offer a discount on another course. Or you might offer group coaching.

Not everyone will take you up on this offer but what you’ll find is that your average order value (AOV) will
increase. That means you’re making more on every purchase.

And that’s a no brainer.

We use and recommend One Click Upsells for WooCommerce.

Advocate

All the work you have done this far should be done with absolute excellence.

Aim to deliver above expected value every step of the way, from the top to the bottom stages of your sales funnel.

When you finally turn a profit on this new customer, you reach the last critical stage of a solid online business
building sales and marketing funnel.

The advocacy stage. This is where you seek to transform your new customers into brand evangelist by leaving positive
reviews, giving raving testimonials, case studies and referring friends.

This is the power of tried and true word-of-mouth marketing working at its best.

Creating rabid fans through outstanding service will multiply the impact of your marketing efforts many times over.
Creating rabid fans through outstanding service will multiply the impact of your
marketing efforts many times over.

However, instead of hoping that out of the kindness of their hearts or the excitement in their souls that they refer
you and leave reviews online smart business owners systematically seek out referrals, testimonials and reviews.

To systematize this process you might send out an e-mail once your new client has likely consumed your product or
service. If you use a progress tracking system like we previously discussed then you can get perfect timing almost
every time.

I have a client, HospitalityFan, who does reputation management services
for companies. So, businesses that want Google, Facebook and Yelp reviews from customers use his service. Customers
are funneled into one system where they can leave reviews using his system.

He has systematize the process of creating advocates out of customers, often within hours of a customer’s visit to a
restaurant or business. The new customer should produce another customer.

This ensures that your business continues to grow even without increasing your advertisement dollars.

Traffic and Retargeting

Throughout every sales funnel stage you should be monitoring the traffic you generate with you tracking software and
analyzing the engagement of your traffic in each phase.

You should set up automation software and triggers that seek to engage traffic that does not convert after a
reasonable amount of time.

If you make a special offer that expires 48 hours then you should have an automation set up to re-target these
non-responders with a lower-priced offer that re-engages them.

Retargeting
Retargeting

While paid retargeting strategies can be extremely complex and granular you can get good results by simply adapting
your communication to cold, warm and hot leads.

You can also segment your email list to send content adapted to each stage of the marketing and sales cycle. This
should be mirrored throughout the business assets you create.

If a person is a regular reader of your blog and they’ve downloaded you checklist make a pivot in your message by
inviting them to your next masterclass or webinar. Once they’ve purchased validate their decision to get them
excited.

If you have a Facebook Group from which you routinely host live videos don’t be afraid to promote your paid program
and drive traffic directly to your sales page.

Avoid this deadly traffic mistake

I’ve seen this all too often when businesses pay a substantial chunk of change to a promoter which organizes a paid
advertising campaign, usually on Facebook, that leads ice cold traffic to a high cost offer without any warming up
process.

Picture this.

You’re walking down the grocery isle when you see a nicely dressed professional at a kiosk. You decide to engage in
conversation with them and the next thing you know they are attempting to sell you a $75,000 car.

In other circumstances you might have actually bought that car, but given that you ran into this person while doing
your errands and know very little about them you can’t help but wonder if it’s a scam. The fact that you were
actually looking for a car wouldn’t alter your perception because of the context.

Car companies know better than this which is why they create brand awareness and they take you for a test drive
before going for the sale.

When they are running advertising on TV their expectation isn’t that you will immediately drop what you are doing to
call and place an order. They are warming you up to the brand, to their security features, to the status it conveys
and other benefits of owning the car.

Don’t waste your dollars on campaigns that try to get a phone order for a car.

Consumption

It’s important to get consumption of your content at every stage of your sales funnel.

Starting from the top, you want visitors to consume your blog post, video, or podcast. You want new leads that signed
up on your mailing list to receive a checklist to consume that checklist.

When people attend your webinar training, how does it feel when you see massive drop-off less than halfway through?

You inherently know that if they dropped off they must not like the information or they are too busy to keep going
right now.

Either way you know they’re likely not going to buy your product or service – after all, they had not waited until
the end to even hear the pitch.

If a person has bought a ticket to your conference but never showed up then you should offer them a free ticket to
your next event to give them another opportunity to consume your information.

The reason you would still push them to consume the information even after they have bought is because without
consumption they will not progress to the next sales funnel stage.

So, a customer who buys your product or service but does not consume it will likely not become an advocate for your
business, nor will they become a repeat customer.

At The Digital Navigator we like to say that consumption, retention and upsells come as a package deal.

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How to Make a Funnel

You should take what you have learned here and get out a hand pen and piece of paper and start brainstorming what
value you can offer that exceeds expectation in each stage of your funnel.

When you have valuable content placed in each stage of your sales funnel then you need to produce the content needed.

Once your content is produced then you need to publish that content.

Next, you should integrate this content so that from the top to the bottom of the funnel customers can flow and
consume your information without a hitch… but make room for flexibility knowing that people are humans. You will
likely need a few assets for each stage of the funnel.

This creates a robust sales and marketing system with a solid foundation instead of the 1:1:1 funnels that put your
business at risk if any of the pieces were ever to break or an inaccurate assumption were made.

Time to map out some serious business funnels and sale systems.
Time to map out some serious business funnels and sale systems.

Consulting and Coaching Sales Funnel Stages

Awareness Content: Highly targeted SEO and niche expertise blog articles and podcasts.You might produce blog
posts and podcast episodes once or twice a week. These blog posts and podcast episodes should share valuable content
that your target audience wants to hear. The more actionable the better!

The goal that you have in your content is to become known, liked, and trusted by your target audience.

If these blog posts are SEO optimized and found then you will begin to build traffic. It’s important that you make an
entry-point offer in every piece of content you produce.

Entry-Point Offer 1: White papers, case studies, checklists, list of resources.In order to get people to opt
in from your blog posts or podcasts so you can secure their contact information, you might offer a short checklist
they can use to achieve a specific goal.

White papers and case studies are optimal for consults and businesses in the B2B space.

Entry-Point Offer 2: Masterclass / webinar, mini-training series.Now that you have their contact information
you must certainly deliver the piece of content promised to deliver that prompted them to opt in, but you don’t stop
there.

Instead, you invite them to ascend to a higher form of content that is more involved – your webinar training, video
training series, Facebook live event or another conversion tool.

Splinter Offer: Initial consultation on a specific topic, productized programs.At your masterclass or webinar you need to make an offer. Some coaches, content producers and consultants have productized programs that sell for price points that are easily affordable.
Splinter Offer: Initial consultation on a specific topic, productized
programs.At your masterclass or webinar you need to make an offer. Some coaches, content producers and
consultants have productized programs that sell for price points that are easily affordable.

If you have a productized program that is priced under $200 then you can sell people into this program fairly easily.
If your program is priced at $2,000 or more you should consider splintering your offer so it may fall into the
easily affordable price and under that $200, threshold for your sales to be optimal. Remember that the exact price
points vary by industry.

Another option is to invite your leads to qualify for an initial consultation call promised a specific result. Don’t
make this vague and avoid general strategy calls. What unique result or insight can you provide in a short amount of
time?

During my immigration process I remember my wife calling a lawyer that freely gave away advice on the exact process
we needed to follow. By the end of the call she was pitched a $3,500 done-for-you service. Luckily I have a good
grasps of legal documents and legislation with my CPA background and was able to complete the paperwork myself but
for most people this offer makes total sense.

Other examples include:

  • Tax filing or strategy for CPAs
  • Legal opinion for lawyers
  • Result specific strategy session for coaches
  • Manufacturing diagnostic or feasibility study for consultants
  • Paid workshop or course
  • Do-it-yourself kit (i.e. immigration kit, incorporation legal kit, legal document kit)
The concept of online sales funnel plays an important role for CPA’s.
The concept of online sales funnel plays an important role for CPA’s.

Profit Maximiser: Project engagement (legal case, membership for industry updates, group coaching, personal
coaching, certification program, sales system build-out, retreat…)For coaches and consultants, once you perform the
initial strategy, diagnostic or tactical plan you can present a couple of options for working which includes
different levels of effort.

Personally I do detailed plans that my clients can deploy themselves with their teams while having a discussion of
how we can help them get results faster and easier.

When using this approach be careful to deliver an incomplete solution as your splinter offer since it should deliver
value that exceeds their expectations to generate that excitement. After all, a half-bake product or service never
leaves a good taste.

For lawyers, CPAs and other service professional this is the time to win the engagement. The goodwill and trust
earned so far will help you seal the deal.

Some of our clients offer in person retreats. Reaching out to current and past clients is a sure win approach to
getting reservations while ensuring you will have a killer event. Don’t be afraid to send out invitation letters and
giving them a call.

Advocate: Reviews, affiliate referral programs, testimonials and case studies.Asking for video and written
testimonials should come naturally after one of your clients shares a big victory with you. It’s better not to wait
as they will be able to provide more details about their experience and the measurable results they achieved in
working with you.

When selling online, most platforms allow you to create an affiliate program which will automatically track
referrals. Providing a financial incentive as either a percentage or a fixed amount gives that extra motivation for
your business to stay top of mind. The affiliate commission cuts down on your marketing expenses which should
preserve your profit margins.

You can setup your own sales funnel using affiliate products.
You can setup your own sales funnel using affiliate products.

Small Funnel for new businesses and revenue streams

if you don’t have many offers in your business or you’re just getting started in a market segment you may not have
well-developed marketing and sales assets. You may also not have the time to create all the different layers of
this, sales system.<.p>In that case just build a small funnel. This could simply consist of blogging or
posting on Facebook at the awareness stage of the funnel. Podcasting is also another viable option.

Sales funnel is important for your business, you must also know how to apply it to your podcast.
Sales funnel is important for your business, you must also know how to apply it
to your podcast.

Since you are establish a new area of business development you will want to increase the frequency of your publishing
calendar while focusing on one or two channels. Better to dominate in one medium than to dilute your efforts across
a myriad of platforms.Then you can go straight for the sale with an entry point offer such as a masterclass where
you sell people into your coaching program or course.

If you have a knack for sales you can invite people to a strategy session or a discovery call. If you choose the free
route for these than you will want to have a strong qualification process such as an application form to avoid
wasting your time. The other path is to charge a nominal fee for these sessions which tend to increase the close
rate.

Many coaches, consultants and content creators start off just like this with a small funnel while others use it to
expand in a new vertical market while limiting their capital risk. This can add a new revenue stream to a high five
figure business.

Example of a small funnel for a new revenue stream

Awareness: High quality long form article or regular blogging with targeted SEO.Determine the niche market for
your new revenue stream, carve out the avatar profile and document their desired transformation from the before to
the after state.

Regardless of the size of your business this is an exercise that reaps many benefits which is why we always do this
during our marketing makeover work session. Once you have a crystal clear image of the
biggest challenges and the desired end goals of your ideal customer you can begin the research process.

Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer and make a long list of all the search queries they might use. Then
according to your budget use a tool such as the Google Keyword Planner (free), ahrefs or SEMrush, or hire a consultant to provide you with an in depth report of the most
profitable keywords.

The goal is not to go for the keywords with the highest search volume. Instead you want to assess the volume, click
through rate and difficulty of beating your competitors for a coveted spot at the top of the search ranking ladder.
The Digital Navigator can help you sift through this data by placing our combined analytical CPA expertise and
marketing know-how at your disposal, reach out to us at help@thedigitalnavigator.com.

Your next step is to produce long form articles and blog posts. We recommend creating a few pillar posts with 4,500+
words which will serve as authoritative resources. These establish your expertise, are highly shareable and build a
home base for your organic search ranking. Start with one our two building your way up to six pillar posts.

Surround these longer content pieces by smaller 1,500+ words articles. These will link back to your goliath work of
penmanship while making it easier to publish on a frequent basis. To find relevant topics refer to your keyword
research and expand on areas of your pillar posts.

SEO plays an integral part in your business sales funnel stages.
SEO plays an integral part in your business sales funnel stages.

Entry-Point Offer 1: Checklist, cheat sheet, case study, white paper, guided audio or swipe file.Each of your
pillar post and longest form asset should guide the creation of these assets. To kick things off you design one or
two of these downloadable resources behind a widget which collects the email information of your leads.

To respect a lower budget use the native tools of email autoresponder software such as ActiveCampaign, Aweber,
MailChimp or Drip. If you have a few extra dollars to spare combine this with a professional list building software
like ThriveLeads or OptinMonster.

Don’t overthink this. This gated resource should be useful, easily consumable, demonstrate your expertise and be a
natural extension of your content. Make your checklist, cheat sheet, case study, white paper, guided audio or swipe
file available throughout each of your articles and blog entries.

Entry-Point Offer 2: Masterclass / Webinar. Your masterclass or webinar should sell people straight into your
core offer. This core offer should be profitable for you since it’s your bread-and-butter deliverable for this
business or revenue stream. In other words, this should be a profit maximizer.

It’s perfectly acceptable your presentation call-to-action to be to schedule a meeting with you from which you will
close the sale. This doesn’t give you permission to forego the principle of value first. Always reward a person’s
time investment.

The masterclass should be advertised directly throughout your blog entries. Don’t be afraid to present your
entry-point offer 1 and entry-point offer 2 within the same article, especially if it is the longer form.

I like using OptinMonster as it enables you to present a different opt-in once people complete a certain action. For
example if a person requests your checklist the next time they visit your site they will can be presented with an
invitation to a masterclass.

You can also send email invitations to join your masterclass or webinars. In theory people on your email list are
interested in what you offer and are at least receptive to what you have to share. This will translate in a higher
signup rate, attendance rate and closing rate.

Sales Funnel Software

There are hundreds of tool you can use for building your sales and marketing funnels. I compiled a short list of the
types of software you will need to cover the basics. I prefer integrating the best tools for each jobs rather than
using all-in-one systems like ClickFunnels.

  • Integration – Sometimes you need glue to connect different software. Zapier is a tool you can use for
    integrations that your other platforms don’t normally make by weaving together 1,000+ software. For
    ActiveCampaign users you may want to look into ActiveMember360 which is a membership plugin at its core but it
    does so much more! We use it to sync our WordPress, Checkout, training sites, membership sites and
    ActiveCampaign systems in real-time.
  • Lead Capture Tool – Many email autoresponders are limited in the opt in form options for you to collect
    information on your leads. Tools like Thrive Leads and OptinMonster enables you to create unique opt in forms.
    They also give you additional functions to capture more leads, such as a pop up that appears when a person
    leaves, mobile specific forms, forms with a yes/no option and evolving offers to returning visitors. I’m a huge
    fan of OptinMonster as it has all the cutting edge features.
  • Google Analytics – You need to set up Google Analytics on your website. This free tool enables you to
    collect data about how visitors interact with your website, who they are, where they are coming from and the
    actions they take. Even if you don’t interpret this information yourself you will want to start collecting it to
    build your dataset. You can’t optimize what you don’t know.
  • Facebook Pixel and Advertising Pixels – You need to set up these pixels on your website if you ever plan
    on running paid advertising campaigns. This allows you to collect metrics on your paid campaigns, optimize them
    to reduce advertising costs, retarget visitors to drive traffic at the various stages of your sales funnel and
    create customized audiences. Any worthwhile paid advertising platform will provide you a code to enable these
    functionalities.
Sales Funnel
Sales Funnel

Sales Funnel Template

If you want more help than you can use our sales funnel template to build out the stages of your sales funnel. This
downloadable template pack makes it quick and easy to map out the assets you will need. It also includes the
examples from this article.

DOWNLOAD SALES
FUNNEL TEMPLATE PACK

How to use the Sales Funnel Template Pack

  • Download the pack and work with the PDF that is most relevant to your business project.
  • If you have an existing Small Funnel or more complex sales system than start by filling in the template with
    your assets. Then identify the weakest link and document an asset to plug that hole.
  • If you don’t have an existing funnel, then start filling out the Sales Funnel Stages from the top down.

To increase your lifetime customer value with your existing clients, you can create a small funnel that will
further solve additional challenges they are facing or provider faster results. Review the stages of your sales
pipeline to narrow your focus on the customers to whom you can deliver the most value quickly.

I hope you find this article valuable and useful in helping you build a winning sales funnel at every stage.

2 Comments

  1. Marlon Cole

    Great article! I wish that someone can explain to do this with chatbots. I know that chatbots bs emails have their upside like privacy. I also like to know how I can do a great sales funnel with Facebook and Instagram and Twitter?

    Reply
    • Pol Cousineau

      Hi Marlon, the fundamentals are the same regardless of the medium used for the sales funnel, whether that is Facebook, YouTube, Email or ChatBots. Obviously there are some nuances and we’ve had great results using Facebook Ads that leverage Comment to Messenger ChatBots. We’ll be releasing an updated Infographic on Marketing Funnel Stages that shows you where you may want to use some of these tools in your marketing strategy. If you have an existing business with a product or service that has generated sales I recommend that you get in touch for a consultation. We’ll be able to go in more depth about your business and see if our strategies align to help you grow.

      I’ve also taken note of these topics and may release a follow-up article on sales funnels within the context of Facebook and ChatBots.

      Reply

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