How to Design Better Sales Funnels

How to Design Better Sales Funnels

Buyers “purchase journeys” are rarely linear. In the current omnichannel landscape they connect with a brand through multiple touch points on their way to conversion – a purchase, an inquiry, a booking or another meaningful action.

What’s more important though is that 79% of marketing leads never convert to purchases. And 96% of website visitors are not ready to make a purchase right here and right now. Most of those prospects need a little more “encouragement”, or more precisely – nurturing. That’s where a sales funnel (sometimes called a sales pipeline) comes into play.

Exactly What is a Sales Funnel?

Put simply, a sales funnel is a process through which companies lead their targeted customers to a purchase.

The visual depiction of a funnel is the best way to describe this process – many potential customers enter at the top of the funnel, and that number decreases as they are moved through the sales process. In the end, only a percentage of those who entered the funnel will be actual customers who make a purchase. As a visual, a typical sales funnel will look something like this:

PPT templates for ecommerce funnels
Example Creative 4-Step Sales Funnel Design for Presentations. Source: SlideModel

At the top of the funnel is a relatively large opening because it represents all visitors/prospects who become aware of a business and decide to “take a look.” At the bottom of the conversion funnel, a much smaller space, are those prospects who have become paying customers.

At its basic level, there are several key sales funnel stages, varying depending on your business type and lead generation process:

Awareness, Consideration, Interest, Action

That’s how a customer funnel used by online or brick and mortar retailers will look. Shoppers first become aware of a product and decide to check it out – research the specs, browse on-site reviews etc.

If that customer likes what he sees, he will then consider it along with similar products offered by the competition. At this point, your sales team should help that customer decide and move him from consideration to interest in his specific product. For instance, pitch a helpful guide or another content marketing asset, re-target him with social media ads or send out an email reminder/coupon code/special deal, and so on. The ultimate goal is to design a streamlined process for moving the prospect toward engagement or buying the product.

Attract, Engage, Nurture, Sell

This might be a funnel template for a B2C retailer but also for a B2B company a well. Marketers take certain steps to attract prospects, engage them in conversation, keep nurturing a relationship until a sale is achieved. Again, it is important to identify specific actions for each stage that would be documented as your sales funnel strategy.

Prospects, Leads, Proposal, Sales

B2B marketing and sales teams will often identify their process in this manner. They begin with a campaign to locate prospects and the turn them into leads through a series of communication steps. The conversion goal is to get that lead to agree to accept a proposal. If that proposal meets the needs and solves a problem, a sale takes place.

Sometimes, these called conversion funnels, because there are conversions (e.g., signing up for emails, filling out a contact form, etc.) that companies want at each stage.

How to Create a Sales Funnel

Creating a sales funnel, which is ultimately a visual path to purchase for your customers, has to begin with a sales funnel design based on what you intend to do and what you want to happen at each stage of a buyer’s journey. This Omnichannel guide can be a good point to understand the different options to enhance the customer journey and optimize the buying process.

So, as you choose your template, and fill in the details of what your team will do at each stage, here are the key things to iron out.

Strategize Your Main Offer

Each sales campaign should come with an offer. But before you make any offer, even with your first campaign, you have some research to do.

First you will need to develop a buyer persona – a data-rich “portrait” of your ideal customer. It should include general demographics data, typical buying behaviors, problems, and pain points. Get this data from your CRM and through direct surveys, or conversations with your current clients.

NB: If you are new to persona development, here is a buyer persona PowerPoint template you can use to guide you and your team as you develop it.

PPT Templates buyer persona

From your research, you should be able to conclude the types of offers that will appeal to your target audience. Then, you can A/B test them out to see which ones generate the highest conversions.

Design a Landing Page

The point of the landing page is to promote your new offer and maximize your chances of capturing leads. Landing pages are usually standalone assets with little-to-no distractions:

  • They don’t include backwards navigation (or any navigation at all)
  • They are built to promote a single offer (or a group of similar products)
  • They strategically guide the visitor towards a single conversion – leaving an email address, making a purchase, downloading a free sample etc.

Offer an Additional Incentive/Up-Sell

Apart from pitching that main offer, strategize additional incentives that will strengthen your funnel design and prompt action. These could be:

  • Time-sensitivity/scarcity. Add a countdown or “limited time only” label to your offer for your leads to act now. For example, FreshBooks is offering a limited time deal for summers on their landing page. This helps the leads to take quick decisions.
  • Give away a “bonus” with your deal: a discount, extra “freebies” e.g. additional gated content or product samples etc.
  • You should also consider any type of bundle that you an offer with a great price break.

Follow-Up on All Leads

What specific activities will continue to nurture those leads? Obviously, you will stay in touch through email, if you are an e-commerce business. In each email, you want to engage that prospect in some way. You can send out regular digests featuring bestsellers or “in vogue” items from your company. You may notify them when a product they’ve saved or placed in the cart goes on sale. The goal is to maintain their interest in you. While they may not be ready to buy right now, you want to keep your name in front of them so you are the one they think of when they are ready.

If you are a B2B business that is looking to schedule a sales meeting and a demo, you may follow-up with a phone call or a personalized outreach letter prompting to keep the conversation going.

Split-Test Your Designs/Offers

Schedule a series of tests to determine which activities at each stage of your funnel are getting better results. A/B testing is the best way to validate your initial funnel building assumptions.

  • Design two variations of an ad that is designed to bring your target prospects into your awareness funnel. Then collect the data to gauge which ad brings in more visitors.
  • Test the CTA’s on your landing page. If you are not getting the responses you want, pick one aspect to change and see if that makes a difference – it may be something as simple as the button you are using.
  • Try two different versions of a re-targeting ad and determine which one gets a wider response.
  • Craft two versions of an email with two different offers. Which one brings a larger response?

The beauty here is that you can A/B test any communication activities/tasks that you design. And you can apply those tests up till you find that ideal set of actions for your sales funnel.

Final Word

If you are not tracking your customers’ journeys, then how do you know whether all of your efforts to nurture them and meet their needs are working? You don’t. And that’s why having a documented sales funnel is so important.

It allows you to identify what steps your teams are taking to close a sale, from the time a visitor comes along, to conversions along the way, to the ultimate purchase. If you don’t know these, and you are not taking a target through your funnel, you have no idea whether your efforts are getting the results you want.

You can use the history of movement through your funnel to make predictions. If 10% of your visitors move to the second stage and 20% of those in the second stage move to the third and so on, then you can use those figures to predict ultimate sales, or to focus on a stage that is not getting the results you want. Looking to build an effective sales funnel? A sales funnel software can also be a good companion, as it empowers you to manage the sales process efficiently and ultimately help converting more leads into customers.

So start working on your sales funnel using the templates provided above to capture more leads and close more sales with higher efficiency!

Handy Sales Funnel Templates To Download

Every business has a unique sales process in line with their sales cycle. Below you will find sales funnel examples and templates that include 3, 4, 5 and even 7-stages. Either of these should meet your needs.

1. 5 Level Semi Transparent Funnel Diagram for PowerPoint

This PowerPoint template is a great design for a presentation to a marketing/sales team, to help them visualize what should happen at each stage of their sales funnel. The details can be filled in as those decisions are made. There are also variations for highlighting each stage.

Use This Template

2. Horizontal 3 Stages PowerPoint Templates Funnel Diagram

This is an ideal template to use for illustrating an online sales funnel stages with additional commentary. It’s also a popular choice for instructors in sales/marketing courses. The beauty of this template is that it is fully editable (e.g., change colors of each stage).

Use This Template

3. Funnel Diagram with Lead Magnet PowerPoint Template

Use this template to visualize consumer behavior during the sales process. Marketing and sales teams can then add respective nurturing activities at each stage as they push the consumer through the funnel. And, of course, if the right data is pulled from their processes at each stage, they can then determine what is working and what is not.

Use This Template

4. Creative Funnel Diagram Template for PowerPoint

If you need a versatile template that could be customized in a few clicks, choose this design. You can drag and drop its many features into your presentation, fully edit and of the variations, and make several different sales funnel designs using this template.

Use This Template

5. Orange 3 Level Funnel Diagram for PowerPoint

Here is a minimalistic sales funnel template that you can use to present simple funnels for different customer segments. You simply add your custom content. The layout variations will provide plenty of space to add text and images

Use This Template

Funnel Analysis PowerPoint Template, Funnel Diagram, Sales, Sales Process
Filed under