What’s a Sales Funnel, and How Can I Make One Work for Me?

What's a Sales Funnel, and How Can I Make One Work for Me

You gather lots of information about your target audience, and you’ve organized it perfectly. But if you do not understand your sales funnel, then you will have a much harder time making that data work for you. Let’s take a quick look at what a sales funnel is and what it can do for you.

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is an organized layout of the steps that your prospects take into their conversion. It is called a funnel because it starts out wide at the top and becomes narrow at the bottom. You will access many prospects at the beginning of the funnel, and that number will naturally taper down the deeper that you go.

How do I know if my sales funnel is strong?

Your sales funnel is strong if the percentage of prospects that follow you down match or go above the average within your industry. For instance, the industry standard follow up rate for most email marketing blasts is around 2%. If your email blasts are getting better than this rate, then you know that your email marketing strategy is doing well.

How can I make my sales funnel work for me?

The sales funnel is a wonderful tool for analysis. It can also help you to identify shortcomings in your sales process. Where are you losing prospects that you feel should turn into customers? If you have your sales funnel organized, you will be able to pinpoint these areas much more closely. For example, look at this essential oil sales funnel — how does this marketer cater to her target audience?

Will I ever need to change my sales funnel?

You will probably need to change the look of your sales funnel quite often. The modern business landscape is not a static thing. Your prospects will do different things as the market changes; new competitors may force your process to change, or you might seek advice from a marketing consultant. There may be a new technology that gives the entire industry a lift or threatens to disrupt it. You should always analyze your sales funnel for results against the industry and against the results that you expect from your process.


Defining and organizing your sales funnel is essential to to the success of your business. Never let yourself become complacent, and stay on the lookout for ways that you can make that funnel more effective. Who knows — maybe you’ll stumble on a brilliant approach that revolutionizes the world’s understanding of sales strategy.