Stages of the Sales Funnel

As a salesperson, one is constantly fighting an uphill battle to attract attention from leads and prospects.

The harder it is to sell, the harder the job becomes.

The sales funnel provides a relationship-focused framework to follow, preventing the pitch from giving.

Instead of trying to sell prospects on products or services, a sales funnel educates potential customers to make a qualified, educated buying decision.

While the exact stages of the sales funnel can vary dramatically, it generally follows the same process: awareness, interest and evaluation, desire, action and re-engagement.

At each stage of the sales funnel, a specific piece of information, content, or answers needs to be provided that helps move prospects closer and closer to making a purchase.

Research and Preparation:

Although research and preparation are not the original steps in the sales funnel, it is still very important to create future success.

Start by identifying the own brand values.

Understanding a company’s bottom line lays the foundation for creating long-term, more valuable customer relationships.

Also, get to know the target customer rather than just a potential payday.

Creating buyer personas helps to understand who the ideal customer is, what problems they face, and what solutions one can offer to make their life easier.

A buyer persona makes it easy to identify what content is needed at each stage of the sales funnel.

Understanding the prospect’s goals, frustrations and personalities enable the information provided to be better addressed.


The top of the funnel is awareness.

The main purpose of this phase is to improve the visibility of the brand and start collecting leads.

Make sure it targets the right group of people.

During awareness, focus on the brand but not push any particular product or service. Focus on sharing ideas, solutions or advice.

Ways to increase brand awareness are:

  • Sponsored social media posts
  • SEO
  • Guest posting or guest podcasting
  • Ebooks and whitepapers
  • Independent research
  • Webinars
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Personal events.

Content at this stage of the sales funnel should be informative, but also fun and interesting.

Buyer personas to identify areas where target audiences congregate.

Know the social media platforms they use most often and target those areas.

Run ads on non-traditional platforms they use, such as dating apps or video games, that fit the brand personality.

While not “best practice” platforms like Facebook or Twitter, the key here is to create content that captures the attention of the target audience they are already spending their time with.

If the target audience is not active in those areas, don’t waste time or money.

Determine a specific process or action that leads to the next stage of the sales funnel, such as signing up for a newsletter or registering for a webinar.

Have tangible conversions, such as social media followings or email newsletter signups, and measure how people are engaging versus how many are converting.

If the conversion rate is low, revisit the content being created.

Look for better posting opportunities or content that is more appealing to the audience.

Interest and Evaluation:

Once a lead moves from the awareness stage, they enter the interest and evaluation stage of the sales funnel.

The main goal is to establish a relationship with the new lead to determine what their ultimate goals are.

Create a consistent brand voice and message relevant to the target audience and share it through various content channels.

Content Ideas for the Interest Stage of the Sales Funnel:

  • Email campaigns
  • Blog posts
  • Main magnets
  • Chatbots
  • Social media accounts
  • Free trials
  • Retargeting campaigns
During the interest and evaluation phase, put out feelers to see what the lead is engaging with.
Tracking which links they click in email campaigns or posts they engage with on social media can help to better understand what problems they’re facing and what solutions they’re looking for.
Be sure to follow up with the lead about any questions they may have or additional information they may need.
Even if they aren’t ready to buy yet, they should focus on pursuing positions that help.
This makes them more likely to come when they’re ready to buy.
Also, use retargeting to get ads in front of previous site visitors. Retargeting through Facebook or
Google ads can get leads who didn’t convert to the site the first time to complete the sign-up or check-out process.
The lead is full potential.
This not only catches their attention and makes them interested in the brand, but also makes them consider buying.
Popular types of content to include in the desired stage:
  • Testimonials
  • Pricing pages
  • Case studies
  • Discount codes
  • Customer reviews and product recommendations
  • Live demonstrations or tutorial webinars
  • Consultation
  • Product comparisons
The main goal is to show the prospect what life is like as a customer.
Show them what kind of return they can expect on their investment in products or services, and make it as easy as possible for them to pull the trigger.
This is the stage where all the action takes place.
After properly nurturing the lead, be ready to seal the deal and convert the opportunity.
They also need to be set up to succeed with the product or service.
This means providing them with educational materials that help them introduce and equally incorporate the new solution into their daily lives.
Types of content to include in the action stage of the sales funnel:
  • Internal or customer success tips
  • Special offers
  • Product implementation or training webinars
  • Bundle packages
  • Follow-up email campaigns
A few days or weeks can make or break a potential long-term relationship with a new customer.
If a customer closes a deal and feels lost, it may deter them from making another purchase.
This is especially true for subscription-model sales funnels that rely on repeat buyers.
Once they are more comfortable with the product or service, they can start re-introducing the customer to the sales funnel.
Loyal customers can be the best thing for any brand.
A 5% increase in customer retention rate can increase profit from 25% to 95%.
Re-engaging with these customers who have had a positive experience with the brand can encourage them to make additional purchases, as well as referrals that lead to new conversions and customers.
Ideas to re-engage customers:
Referral programs
Upsell campaigns
Re-engagement email campaigns
Product-specific webinars and tutorials
Live Performances:
Never run out of content to engage customers.
Create offers, information and promotions that will interest them, even if they have already purchased and are satisfied with the solution provided.
In the sales funnel, focus on maintaining a long-term relationship.
This is done by introducing new features and products that customers are interested in or encouraging customers to become ambassadors for the brand.
Content at this stage should go beyond just selling.
Webinars, tutorials and presentations should expand the knowledge of existing customers on how they can use products or services to truly master their purchase.
Measure re-engagement content by the lifetime customer value of each persona.
Find out how long they’ve been a customer of the brand and how much they’ve been spending during that time.
It helps to determine whether the products or services are reaching the people who have invested in them.
The stages of the sales funnel should always attract the target audience.
To understand how the sales funnel and its stages work,
Need to understand how the target audience thinks about the buying process.
While these content options can be enabled for each stage of the sales funnel, then see better results by paying attention to what the audience is asking.