what are sales funnel

There is so much chatter around sales funnels, sales stages, and strategies. I get it, it can be overly confusing even to someone who deals with marketing every day to keep the lingo all straight. In this article, I will share what the SALES FUNNEL for a potential client can look like if you follow my method. There are several generic methods online if you do a simple google search but I think you’ll find mine to be super useful and simple.

by Kristin Korn

Ep 92: 4 Important Stages Of A Sales Funnel: What Are They?


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Podcast Show Notes

There is so much chatter around sales funnels, sales stages, and strategies. I get it, it can be overly confusing even to someone who deals with marketing every day to keep the lingo all straight. In this article, I will share what the SALES FUNNEL for a potential client can look like if you follow my method. There are several generic methods online if you do a simple google search but I think you’ll find mine to be super useful and simple. 

What is a Sales Funnel?

So the definition I use for a Core Sales Funnel is the emotional journey a potential client takes with your brand from introduction to after a sale is made. 

Most potential clients don’t see your post then purchase your product right away. While this does happen, especially with ads and smaller-priced items, it’s likely not the case 99% of the time. 

There is an emotional journey that a potential client takes from the time they get introduced to your brand to when they decide to purchase from you. The ways most potential clients find your brand is from a referral, a social media post, a pin on Pinterest, a podcast, a live event, or a google search that leads them to your blog article.


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1st Sales Funnel Stage: CONNECTION

Something you said or posted, or communicated created an initial connection with this potential client. When this trigger happens your potential client enters the top of your sales funnel and into the first stage called CONNECTION.

And when I use the term funnel, I want you to visualize a real utility funnel – The upside-down triangle-shaped kind for filling your car with oil. 

But at that CONNECTION STAGE, these potential clients are still your cold audience. These are people who don’t know the real you yet, or they may be on your email list but haven’t opened any of your emails in 12 months. 

In the connection stage, this cold audience still needs to hear your brand story, understand your journey and your beliefs, spark trust with you, and see who you are as a person outside of your work to decide if they will move on to the next stage in their emotional journey with your brand.

what is sales funnel in digital marketing
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2nd Sales Funnel Stage: SHIFT

As your potential clients decide your brand beliefs and interests align with theirs, they start to create an authentic connection with you, and they will drop further into your funnel.

This second stage is what I call the SHIFT stage. When a potential cold client moves from your CONNECTION stage to this SHIFT stage, they then become part of your warm audience.

So the further they drop down your sales funnel, the warmer they become and the closer they are to making a purchase.

Inside this warm shift stage are people who don’t know if they need you yet but are still somewhat paying attention to you and your content. They are aware of your brand but still have limiting beliefs, fears, and hesitations. So they haven’t taken any big purchase actions that you requested of them yet. 

As they come into this WARM shift stage, they will click on your Instagram bio link, go check out your website, read a blog post or watch at least 50% of a video you posted on Youtube or social media. 

As they move through this SHIFT stage they may start sending you direct messages, watch more of your videos, and opt-in for a webinar or lead magnet.

To get them to move out of the SHIFT stage, you must produce content for your prospective warm client that will shift their perspective, remove fears, doubts, hesitation, and old limiting beliefs.

3rd Sales Funnel Stage: EDUCATE

When you do this, you just led your potential warm client into the next stage called EDUCATE, and they are now part of your HOT leads. This is the last stage before purchasing with you.

They are converting from a potential client into a high-quality LEAD and eager to learn from you.

These are people who are about ready to purchase. They are taking the actions you request of them. For example, they visit your sales page or your blog more often, not only subscribe to your email list but open your weekly emails and watch your videos in full.  

They already know who you are and what you stand for, and they are your ideal client. 

They are starting to see things differently from your SHIFT-stage content, but they need a bit more from you. They want to understand your method and teachings a little better to make sure you can give them the transformation they need and solve their problem.

So when you can share your unique solution to their problems by EDUCATING them with content that points back to your method and paid solution, these HOT LEADS are naturally led to the bottom of your funnel.

When creating this educational content, remember your FREE content tells the What and Why and your PAID product shares the HOW-TO.

Ep 79: How To Build A Profitable Online Business In 5 Steps

4th Sales Funnel Stage: PURCHASE

So the final and 4th step of your funnel is the PURCHASE! They are ready to purchase your offer! They see you as an industry expert and can help solve their top problems.

So there you have it –  the four stages of the SALES FUNNEL:

1 – CONNECTION – full of your cold audience

2 – SHIFT – full of your warm audience

3 – EDUCATE – full of your HOT leads

4 – PURCHASE – They Make a Purchase

Sales Funnel Marketing Strategy

The key to using this SALES FUNNEL in your marketing strategy is to target these audiences with the right messages at the right time to move them down your funnel faster.

When you do this, you shorten the journey a customer takes with you. This means you help a customer quicker, and you make money faster.

Inside my signature Automated Business Bootcamp course, I teach you not only how to approach your content strategy using this Sales Funnel but the exact content to share with your audiences in each of these stages to move them through your funnel faster.

You can learn more about my Business Building Roadmap and this course online at businessbuildingroadmap.com.

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Average Customer Journey

But you must remember that (according to Nielsen research) the average customer journey is 21 days from first engagement to purchase. This means, on average, it takes a customer 21 days from entering to exiting your sales funnel.

And while this potential client is inside your sales funnel, it takes an average of 32 exposures to your brand before they purchase. Most times, it’s a minimum of 10.

So you must stay patient and consistent.

That’s why it’s imperative to hit them with the right content at the right time for their sales funnel stage.

Luckily, you have a more significant opportunity to reach your audience online than ever before, as people spend on average 2 hours and 33 minutes per day on social media.

So use this opportunity wisely and publish the kind of content your potential client will pay attention to based on their sales funnel stage and the emotional journey they have with your brand.

Ep 87: 12 Essential Business Tools You Need This Year

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Stay on top of your Content Strategy and keep your Ideal Clients Engaged here.
  2. Design a Memorable Brand Identity to Instantly Stand Out from Competition here.
  3. Hire us to Build a Done-For-You Lead Generation Funnel to get your Brand in Front of New People. (Booked out 4-6 weeks)
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Since I share awe-inspiring resources and must-have products for business builders like you who want to streamline their business – my content may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you take action (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase) after clicking one of these links, I’ll earn a small commission. While it has no effect on your pricing, it’s my responsibility to let you know that an income (however small or large it may be) is made from recommending products I love, use, and share with other awesome people like yourself. With your support, I’m able to commit time to this blog and to each of you on your journey!


I'm kristin

Once an obsessively frustrated network marketer, I flipped the industry approach to online marketing by implementing personal branding strategies. Since 2017, I’ve been helping women take the hard out of building a brand and making sales - bypassing the hustle and inserting automation.

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