How to Create a Sales Funnel — A Practical Guide to CRO

Updated · Mar 04, 2023

Sales funnels have become an increasingly popular tool for businesses of all sizes.

A sales funnel helps turn prospects into customers, and each stage of the funnel is designed to bring the prospect one step closer to taking the desired action. 

There are a variety of ways to create sales funnels, but the most effective funnels typically have four distinct stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

Businesses can use targeted content and effective marketing strategies to guide prospects through each stage of the funnel until they finally purchase.

This blog post takes a closer look at how to create a sales funnel that converts. We'll discuss the different stages of a typical funnel and offer practical tips for moving your prospects through each stage of the process.

Note that sales funnels will differ depending on your needs and audience. We’ll equip you with the founding principles that will get you started.

By the end of this post, you should better understand how to create a sales funnel that works.

Audience Research

Before you can start selling to your target audience, you first need to identify who they are and what they want.

This is where market research comes in. Proper funnel development requires conducting market research.

You can learn about your target audience's demographics, interests, needs, and purchasing habits through it. Essentially you want to map out the “context” in which your target audience exists.

For example, if you’re targeting younger people, you’ll need to turn your attention to platforms like TikTok. Should you aim for older users, you’d be focusing on older platforms like Facebook and Instagram or even prioritizing email marketing.

Knowing where your audience dwells and what content they consume, you can build an effective sales funnel to turn leads into customers.

Without market research, it would be impossible to build a funnel tailored to your target audience. Consequently, you would likely see fewer sales and conversions. 

SEO research tools, competition analysis, and knowledge of the market help understand what customers are looking for and then proceed from there.

The Power of Landing Pages

Landing pages are usually the first step when you build a sales funnel from scratch. They are typically used in conjunction with online advertising campaigns.

A landing page is a webpage that is designed to capture a visitor's attention and persuade them to take a specific action. They do so through a call to action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter.

Landing pages are quite easy to put together, especially with the wealth of tools available that help mightily in creating them. However, designing an effective landing page is not that simple, and it takes practice to perfect the art.

Fortunately, there are many resources available that can help you learn how to create landing pages that convert.

With a little effort, you can make them an alluring start to your CRM sales funnel and close it out in the end.

When done correctly, landing pages can be highly effective in driving conversions.

Offer Value

When designing your landing page and the other parts of your funnel, think about what you can offer visitors. It should entice them to undertake the desired action, be that purchase or provide their contact information. 

A common tactic is to offer a discount on their first purchase. This could be a percentage or a certain amount of money off.

Another option is to give away a free e-book or another info product. This could be related to your product or service or something else that would be of interest to your target market. 

You could also offer a free physical product as a way to get people to sign up for your email list or join your loyalty program. Obviously, you shouldn’t just give the product away at zero expense to the customer because that will see you losing money. Instead, offer to send it as long as they pay for the shipping.

Whatever you offer, make it something valuable to interest your target audience in your brand and begin building loyalty. 

Data Collection and Analytics Are Essential

With contact made, it’s time to start gathering data in your funnel process. This data can give you invaluable insights into who is visiting your site, what they are interested in, and how you can best reach them.

Such data will help you refine the sales funnels to provide better offers and increase the chance of a conversion. 

Additionally, capturing visitor data gives you a way to contact them with offers and market to them across platforms. This is how you keep them in the “body” of your funnel.

You can use social media or email marketing tools to reach out to potential customers who have visited your site but have not made a purchase. This can nudge them further down your online sales funnel and toward the desired action.

Capturing visitor data is essential for any business that wants to be successful in today's competitive marketplace. It lets you understand prospective and existing customers and helps you optimize your sales funnel. 

Promote the Final CTA

The final call to action is where the visitor decides whether to buy something or subscribe to a service. It can be a difficult decision, and there are a lot of factors that go into it. 

An effective call to action often is the difference between a successful product funnel and missed opportunities. There are a few things you can do to close the deal. 

First, you need to make sure that you have a strong offer. It should be something that the visitor wants and needs. 

Second, you need to build trust with the visitor. They're unlikely to buy from you if they don't trust you. This is actually a large part of the sales funnel process. It’s about keeping a good relationship and fostering trust so you can convert the lead when this moment comes.

Finally, your sales funnel design needs to make it easy for the visitor to take action.

If they have to jump through hoops, or your CTA isn’t clear, they're likely to give up and move on.

Make it simple. A landing page that leads them to a secure, quickly-loading checkout where they can easily pay for the product or service. 

Remember, everything else has been building up to this, so the final moment doesn’t have to be overdone. Upsells and new offers can be safely saved for later.

On that note…

Continual Sales Funnel Management

It often takes more than one exposure to a product or service before someone becomes a paying customer.

Whether someone has answered the final call to action or not, it's important to follow up. This builds loyalty with acquired customers, while those that declined can be tempted by an improved offer.

Following up fosters relationships and trust, and for return customers, it can also be an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell additional products and services. This is where remarketing helps you build a funnel.

It’s another important tool for businesses, especially when it comes to online advertising. By targeting ads to people who have already visited your website or shown an interest in your product, you can increase the likelihood of another conversion. 

This is effectively done through email automation. Email marketing is crucial to any sales funnel, as it’s still the most widely used form of communication on the internet, as email marketing statistics consistently show.

Buy or Build a Sales Funnel?

If building a sales funnel seems intimidating, there is a way to streamline the process. While we recommend learning on your own to get a better idea of what to do at each stage, you can make use of various funnel-building services.

ClickFunnels is perhaps the most famous and will actually allow you to purchase pre-built funnels. There are also a number of ClickFunnels alternatives that offer similar services. 

The obvious downside is that using these services can be expensive, especially if you’re buying funnel templates.

It is often an investment rather than a pure expense. The price is offset by the fact that you can deploy a proven funnel right away and start expanding your business.


So now you know how to create a sales funnel.

You start off with a landing page, which will be the tool for pushing calls to action.

Always offer value to stoke engagement and get leads in. 

Make sure to capture data to help facilitate the journey of your leads before pushing the final CTA. Lastly, use data to optimize your funnel to convert more leads and make return sales. 

With these simple tips, you can begin your sales funnel journey and start improving your conversion rate efficiently!

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.