What, Why, and How to Create Lead Funnels

Published by Jamie Finch on

A lead is a person or business that might have an interest in what you are selling. Without leads, sales and marketing teams will have little to work with as leads directly correlate to revenue. So, to increase revenue, you need to generate leads. And, to get leads to buy, you need to get them through a funnel.


Lead generation is achieved through various means. One of the most common is through advertising, which can encourage people to click on a link or contact the company in another way. Companies also use lead magnets and other incentives to get their information.


Raw leads are unlikely to be ready for anything and trying to do so too soon is only likely to scare them away. For example, somebody reads a blog post of yours coming from Google search and you are able to get their email. Can you get them for a sale directly? No. Instead, they need to be worked with and slowly nurtured, and only when they start getting interested in your product can you go for the sale.


To help marketing teams take a raw lead to the point where they are ready for the sales conversations, lead funnels are used.


Image Source: https://www.trewmarketing.com/


What Is a Lead Funnel?

A lead funnel is a workflow that helps marketers guide leads through the conversion process. The general idea is that raw leads are poured into the top of the funnel and customers come out at the other end, albeit only a small percentage will make it all the way through.


A good lead funnel will consist of different stages. With each stage acknowledging how far through the conversion process a lead is. Leads will be interacted with according to the stage they are at in the funnel, with the intention of leading them through to the next stage.


Why are Lead Funnels Needed?

Lead funnels are needed because they help marketing devise workflows that help with the conversion process. They also help marketing recognize the stage individual leads are at, helping marketing interact with them accordingly.


Without a lead funnel, it would be very difficult for marketing to work with leads and nurture them predictively. Sales would be left trying to sell to leads that are nowhere near ready to buy anything and without knowing what warm leads are interested in. Many potential customers would be lost and the lead generation process could end up costing more than any revenue generated.


Stages of a Lead Funnel

A lead funnel is a type of workflow and as with any workflow, there will be different stages. The different stages of a workflow are usually defined as those below:



As raw leads are poured into the top of your funnel, they will enter the awareness stage. At this point, the leads are unlikely to have much interest in buying the product and are instead just looking for information. Marketing will nurture leads through content, emails, retargeting ads, etc. to slowly earn their attention. Once they are interested, they would book a demo or sign up for a trial or strike a conversation through live chat.




Leads that enter the interest stage have developed an interest in the product. They are not ready to buy yet, however, and they still have questions, reservations, and objections that prevent them from handing over their money. It’s up to both marketing and sales to help overcome these to get them to the decision stage of the funnel.



When at the decision stage, the lead is likely considering which product to choose. They might still be looking at similar products from other companies, however, there is still work to be done before a sale is made. At this point, sales would already be talking to them but marketing needs to share resources to be able to demonstrate that your product is more beneficial than the products of competitors and that it represents good value for money. This is where sales and marketing alignment and ‘revenue marketing’ come into play.



When a lead is ready, it’s time to get them to take action. Present them with an offer they are interested in and there’s a good chance of getting a positive result. It’s at this point that the sales team is doing the heavy lifting. A hot lead could easily go cold if not sold in time, or a competitor might swoop in. So, it’s important to strike when the time is right.


How to Build a Lead Funnel?

To build lead funnels yourself, you will need to start by defining your customer’s journey through the funnel. This means identifying the questions and obstacles that need to be overcome before they move onto the next stage.


Image Source: https://suttida.medium.com/a-guide-on-how-to-build-a-marketing-funnel-for-lead-generation-32661aaa2db9


With the customer’s journey defined, content needs to be created to help guide them through that journey. The aim of the content is to help answer their questions, share valuable information, and earn their trust. As a lead progresses through the funnel, the content should do more to educate the prospect and demonstrate how the product will help their business to operate more smoothly and/or increase their profits.


You will also need to create assets like email campaigns, landing pages, support guides, etc. to share the information. Landing pages and forms help you get a lead’s information.


To really make the most of marketing and sales funnels, you will need to use a marketing automation and enablement platform. This will automate the process for you, helping you to work with even very large databases easily. Marketing automation platforms will also help you to track and segment your leads, qualify them and help you work with your leads as individually as possible while working on a scale at the same time. Salespanel is something you can try out.



With lead funnels, you can turn more of your leads into customers. A lead funnel will help you understand the customer’s sales journey better and know how to work with them to take them through this process in a satisfying manner. It will also help you to recognize where you may be losing leads and where you can tighten up to improve your conversion rates. While lead funnels can be very complex, even simple funnels and experiments can be effective at giving your business a significant boost in revenue.


Sell more, understand your customers’ journey for free!

Sales and Marketing teams spend millions of dollars to bring visitors to your website. But do you track your customer’s journey? Do you know who buys and why?

Around 8% of your website traffic will sign up on your lead forms. What happens to the other 92% of your traffic? Can you identify your visiting accounts? Can you engage and retarget your qualified visitors even if they are not identified?

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Categories: Marketing

Jamie Finch

Jamie Finch is a B2B writer who currently resides in Thailand. Jamie often writes for Salespanel.