How To Build A Sales Funnel For Your Start-Up


Written by Luke Glassford

how to build a sales funnel

You may have heard the term ‘sales funnel’ before, but what exactly is it and how can it really help your business succeed?

A sales funnel is the journey your potential customers or clients are guided through on their way to working with you and becoming your new customer or client. Your sales funnel should bring your business from the awareness stage to the action stage of the process.

In simple terms, what happens between them noticing you and buying from you. If you haven’t thought about that in advance, maybe now is the time to. There are several steps to this process which need to be clearly defined and well thought out, but we will get to that later. For now, how does a sales funnel work?

As we have just discussed, during the sales funnel process, each stage should bring your potential customer or client one step closer to buying from you or working with you. Even without you thinking about it, every single person who has bought from you or worked with you has gone through a sales funnel - it just may mean that funnel wasn’t prepared, planned or precise enough to bring in many more sales.

This process doesn’t have to be long winded; it can happen in a matter of minutes. Imagine you’re scrolling through social media and an advert pops up showcasing a new clothing store. You love the dresses they are advertising, so you click on the link which takes you to their website. You find a dress perfect for your upcoming birthday party, click on the payment link and buy. Although very simple, this is a sales funnel which has quickly taken you from awareness (first noticing the brand) and action (buying a dress).

In some cases, especially when products or services are high ticket, it can take months of different marketing techniques to make this funnel effective. Social media, PR, email marketing, blog writing, presentations…the list goes on. But if these sales funnels are prepared and planned in advance, you can make high ticket sales in a much easier and time effective manner.

Stages of a sales funnel

sales funnel illustration graphic

There are different stages of a sales funnel to be aware of:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action


The first stage of a sales funnel is awareness. You cannot make a sale to someone if they have no idea you exist. You don’t know what you don’t know. This can be achieved by social media, podcasts, guest writing, PR opportunities or cold calling/emailing.


It is great that prospective customers now know about you, so next you have to think about the interest stage.

Are they interested in your company? How do you ensure your ideal clients are interested in what you have to sell? If they fill out a form to request more information, are you replying to them in a timely manner?

Sparking that interest and keeping it alive is a crucial step in the process.


The decision stage is next - someone has reached out wanting to work with you as a business coach, for example. The next stage in the sales funnel is ensuring they’re a good fit for you and your company.

No one should go past this stage if you don’t fully believe that you are a good fit for them and they are a good fit for you. The decision stage is also the perfect time for your potential client or customer to ask any questions which may have been bothering them.


The final stage in the basic sales funnel is action.

Your potential customer has gone through all the previous stages and they are positive (and you are positive) that working together is going to be beneficial for you both.

They’re happy, excited and ready to sign on the dotted line and start their journey with you. Well done, you’ve signed a new customer!

Finally, a stage that is important but a lot of companies tend to forget - retention.

Once your new client or customer has signed on the dotted line it doesn’t mean that we forget about them, our standards drop or we solely focus on gaining new clients. We need to ensure that their needs are met, that we are still engaging with them, creating interest (especially if we launch a new service or product) and have time to answer any of their questions or queries.

Remember, word of mouth is important and people remember how they were treated after they become a paying customer.

Without sounding like we are stating the obvious too much, sales funnels are super important! They help to create the first positive experience with your business and direct customers from awareness right through to action and then retention.

Understanding your customer’s sales journey will help you to convert more leads into paying customers. If you spend time thinking about that journey from an outside perspective and carefully craft your stages to ensure the customer has the most pleasurable and positive experience from the very beginning, you’ll convert more leads than if you don’t think about your sales funnel at all and simply hope you’re getting it right.

Ultimately, this will help you to build trust, instil confidence and craft a harmonious relationship with your future leads quicker.

Before you rush off to build your sales funnel, think about these points:

  • Who is your ideal client?
  • What are their pain points?
  • Evaluate your current analytics to decipher where your clients spend most of their time and what they’re most interested in
  • What influences your ideal client into buying a new product?
  • What are your goals for this sales funnel? What do you hope to get out of it?
  • Research your competition - what are they doing well? What are they doing not so well?
  • Get clear on your branding and tone of voice so your engagement and marketing techniques are following the brand strategy
  • Make it easy for the customer to contact you

To learn more about how Gambit Partners can help your business develop an effective sales funnel, get in touch below: 

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Written by

Luke Glassford

Marketing Director at Gambit Partners