What is a Sales Funnel? And How You’re Getting Them All Wrong

April 14, 2017 by Andrew Woods

So where are you going to put the funnel? Where does it go?

This is a real question we’ve been asked on more than one occasion, and the lack of understanding here is not misleading – many business owners have come to believe that a sales or marketing funnel is a physical tool or just a plugin you can add to a website and magically get results.

One moment please, while I head to the back of the shop to see if we have one of those in stock.

But, before we move any further, let’s first address the question at hand…

What is a Sales Funnel?

What is a Sales Funnel?

Most people view a sales funnel as a static addition to their online marketing strategy. In reality, a sales funnel should be thought of as an ever-changing process, something that is fluid, dynamic, and evolves over time. There are a variety of reasons as to why this approach is more effective, but the most glaring one is: ideally, you have more than one type of customer.

Different customers need different messaging and have different paths to becoming a lead or a sale. A static approach simply will not do.

So, how does a “dynamic” sales funnel really work?

The first place to start is to define 2 to 3 (or even more if the budget allows) customer or buyer profiles and imagine how they might interact with your website and your products. Take yourself on a customer journey. Envision what a typical website visit might be for this customer and determine how many visits it might take to turn them into a lead or sale.

The key part in the previous paragraph is, “how many visits it might take.” This is where a dynamic strategy comes into play. Sure, some visitors will convert on the first go round, but many will need up to as many as 7 touchpoints or more.

Enough of all this theory talk though, let’s jump to an example.

Customer A:

Completes an organic search on Google and finds your website in the top 5 results. Since your website appears to address their current need, they click on the link and land on a product page. The product is exactly what they are looking for, but it’s a little bit out of their price range. They decide to read a little more on your site, visiting the home page and some product feature pages, and discover a newsletter signup form. They decide to sign up.

Over the next couple of weeks, they receive several emails from your company that communicate what your brand is about and why your product stands out. When their next paycheck comes in, money is looking a little better. Since you’ve stayed on top of their mind with a successful email marketing approach, they return to your website and decide to purchase a product.

Customer B:

Customer B heard about your brand through a friend and is already very excited to buy one of your products. It just so happens, a few days later, one of your Facebook Ads crosses their path on their news feed. Since your brand is familiar through word-of-mouth, they decide to click your ad and they land on your homepage. The website messaging hits the selling points they were excited about. They click your “Buy Now” call to action, advance to the checkout and complete their purchase.

Now, those are two vastly different customer journeys, and not one “funnel” served as a solution. Fortunately for this website, they had several methods of attracting interest and the right site content to help move customers further along in the buying process.

But What About Customer Journeys That Don’t Go So Smoothly?

Being “dynamic” with your sales funnel is integral. A huge part of marketing is learning about the data you receive from your current website visitors, considering both successful and failed customer acquisition processes. By analyzing what works and what doesn’t, you can refine your funnel(s) over time, and find new avenues to delivering a customer experience that best serves your ideal visitors.

So, where are we going to put the sales funnel?


Need a dynamic sales funnel?Work with a dynamic team and maximize the value of your website.

Need a dynamic sales funnel?Work with a dynamic team and maximize the value of your website.