How to begin a sales funnel strategy.

sales funnel strategy
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The very first step in the process of designing a high-converting sales funnel is all about outcome setting

Like most things in life, building your first high converting sales funnel takes a little time and energy. In fact you need a sales funnel strategy.

Many people simply dive in and start putting elements together using some of the incredible online tools, such as Kartra.

This in itself of course is just fine, and a great way to learn the new software you’re playing with, but when it comes to building a professional sales funnel for your products and services, it helps to take a step back and really plan out your funnel strategy.

This article is all about how I go about beginning a strategy session with a client before I design and build the sales funnel. Essentially, I go through a very simple question and answer process to figure out how to build a funnel which both meets their desired outcomes, and maintains the integrity of their brand and values. And I do this every single time, without exception.

But before we get into that, a brief reminder of the key elements of encouraging a prospective customer to becoming a paying customer:

  • Need (do they actually need what you’re offering?)
  • Urgency (do they need it now, or very soon?)
  • Price (is the price within their comfort range, and will they appreciate the value for the price?)
  • Utility (How will they use it?)
  • Motivation (Does it solve a problem for them, or make their life better somehow?)
  • Trust (do they trust you to be the vendor who delivers it?)


I always put a sales funnel strategy together for every client. This to be is absolutely vital. It is to ensure that they are able to clearly and concisely answer these very simple questions:

  • Why do you want to build a funnel for this product/service
  • What is your target outcome?
  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • How will the funnel impact your brand?


The first question is fairly self explanatory. Essentially, I’m checking to see if they understand why a funnel is important, as opposed to just doing something because it’s the latest “in vogue” thing in digital marketing.

Not every business or offer needs a sales funnel. If you go into a shop to buy a sandwich, or you’re purchasing an album of your favourite band from Itunes you probably don’t need one. This is because there are different buying environments.

Essentially, we want to know the answer to the question “what is the buying environment you want to create, and what are the perfect conditions for a prospective customer to become a buyer”.

And beyond that, it’s about realising that prospects very often realise what they might need long before they have the urgency to make the purchase.

This is where the psychology comes in. For sure, some people will buy your product straight away, but they are very much in the minority, and for the rest, if you can bring them into a sales funnel, you are already in pole position to become the vendor of choice when they are ready to make a purchase…as long as you can meet the other conditions.


Question 2 is probably one of the most important things you can ever ask a client… In fact, if I could only ask one simple question about a client, it would be this one.

There are so many different outcomes for a sales funnel, and it’s useful to be able to map them out. For example, a client may enter a funnel for a particular product which they never purchase…but that doesn’t mean the funnel has failed to convert them.

Perhaps it wasn’t the right product for them, but maybe something else you sell will meet their needs.

If they’re in your funnel already, they are way more likely to convert at some level in the future. In which case they have to rediscover you, and this is way harder from a marketing perspective.

Outcomes I generally look for include:

  • harvesting their email address to build a list.
  • being able to analyse and segment your client base to better understand what makes customers buy (or not).
  • building brand awareness.

But probably the most important outcome for non-converting clients is to begin the process of building trust with them.

Remember, trust is the final key psychological element of selling. When you’re thinking about what to put in different sales funnel stages, always aim to drive trust.

This way, you are way more likely to sell them something in the long run.


Next, we are onto being able to understand WHO the target client base is. This is so that you can think about elements such as the design and aesthetics of your funnel. But it’s bigger than that.

One consideration is that in terms of buying strategies, different groups tend to be vastly different when it comes to making the decision to make a purchase. For example, older people (in the baby boomer age group) tend to be more likely to take their time, and to make much longer in deciding to buy than those in the millennial age group.

So, I always want to understand who the client thinks are the target customers.

I’m also always mindful that they may be wrong. Sometimes, you need to be prepared to challenge the customer based on the real data. Occasionally you find that clients don’t really understand their customers too well. Rather than being a major problem, this is great because as a marketer you can really help them change this.

it’s vital to understand who your customers are. And I never accept the answer “well, everyone is a potential client” because no product appeals the same to everyone.


Finally, I want understand how a sales funnel will impact the overall brand of the client. Why? Because sometimes running a sales funnel strategy will just annoy the traditional client base.

It’s a little bit like a political party. In the 2019 General Election, the British Labour Party were absolutely destroyed at the polls. It was hardly surprising, because they failed to connect with their traditional supporters in the Northern regions of England.

They became seen as the party of the middle class Londoners and this really annoyed the vast numbers of voters in these areas.

Their “Red Wall” fell, and they suffered the worse defeat in almost 100 years.

This is a great example of why you shouldn’t do anything which radically changes your businesses perceived values.

If you’ve got a great value proposition, entering people into a funnel could be disastrous for your business brand if it goes against your values.

Similarly, having a sales funnel which is seen by people as intrusive or spammy can also have the same effect. It has it on me sometimes, and I know I’m entering into a sales funnel when I see one.

There are ways and means of segmenting this and dealing with it by using smart technology. De-duplication checks whether you’ve already interacted with someone before they end up in your funnel can help.

You might also consider a more advanced, and gentle funnel which provides more continuity and is less “in your face”.

The last thing you want your is for your funnel to negatively affect your brand.

If you really want to maximise your acquisition and conversion rates, take the time to really answer these questions.

And my advice is be mindful of “gurus” who tell you that you can create a high converting sales funnel in minutes. They are almost certainly losing good customers by not really connecting with them on a deep, personal level.

Once you know your outcomes, my next step is how do we figure out customers buying motivation, and how does this related to sales funnel psychology?

Final thoughts…

If you want to get your sales funnel strategy right, talk to someone who has years of experience in psychological techniques and marketing. Let us really help you create a high converting sales funnel that actually works!

Find out more about how I do it here.

Dylan Leighton

Dylan Leighton

Dylan Leighton is an expert in marketing automation, Sales Funnels, Blockchain and Human Behavioural Psychology. Born and Bred in Yorkshire, England, he now works predominantly as a growth hacking strategist, working with brands from all over the world to improve user acquisition and customer retention.

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