Are you struggling to generate the leads you need to meet your customer acquisition goals? Imagine a pipeline filled from top to bottom with qualified leads.
This free sales funnel template will give you the foundation you need to build a lead generation machine that will have your funnel fit to burst.
I’ve been generating leads through digital marketing for the past 10+ years, and I’ve distilled all of that experience into this simple (but powerful) sales funnel template for SaaS marketing and any other industry.
Actually, it’s a system of four templates that combine to form one robust sales funnel template—kind of like Voltron.
Then, at the end of the article, I’ll share an example of how Russell Brunson of ClickFunnels did this for one of his products, Funnel Scripts.
You can apply these templates in any software (or without software, using this lead generation website template). By combining them, you will have a powerful lead generation platform to:
- generate leads at every stage of the funnel
- nurture them from the top of the funnel to the bottom
The sales funnel templates below will allow you to set up a full-funnel lead generation platform in no time. And you won’t have to go looking for lead generation companies! But, as I mentioned before, if you’re looking for a done-for-you sales funnel, I’m your man. This template is just for those rugged individualists out there who want to get their hands dirty.
How to Build a Sales Funnel
Before we dive too deep into the weeds, let’s cover some basic questions that come up when discussing sales funnels (if you’d rather get right to the point, skip this).
What’s a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is the path your potential customers take on their way to a purchase. It’s a lot like a marketing funnel. (In fact, some people would say it’s the same thing. If there’s a difference, it’s that the sales funnel doesn’t start until your leads are qualified.)
Prospects will come to you at all stages of the funnel, but a sales funnel template is a map of the complete path from start to finish.
Your sales funnel begins before a potential customer hits one of your landing pages. It starts before anyone even clicks a link. Your sales funnel begins as soon as a prospect sees one of your ads or skims past one of your search listings on a Google SRP.
What is a Sales Funnel Template?
A sales funnel template is a visualization of your funnel. It shows the critical steps in the marketing and sales process so you can measure its performance and make sure potential customers aren’t dropping off because you’re missing something during the lead nurturing process.
Why Use A Sales Funnel Template?
If your sales process is a cobbled-together mess or your close rates aren’t what you think they should be, you’ll benefit from creating a top-to-bottom view of all sales funnel stages. A sales funnel template can help you start to get organized.
So if you’re looking to manage your sales pipeline by filling it with leads at all stages of the funnel, check out this funnel explicitly designed to keep your pipeline full from top to bottom.
Now that you understand the basic building blocks we’ve got to work with, let’s talk about how you can combine them to work for you. (This will also be useful if you decide to take the “done-for-you” approach and hire someone because you’ll be better equipped to ask intelligent questions when researching providers.)
The Power of 4 Sales Funnel Templates
The funnel I’m going to show you is the Inbound Sales Funnel. It’s actually a combination of four funnels. First, there’s the Qualification funnel (to make sure you’re only selling to likely customers).
Then there’s one for each stage of the buyer’s journey (Awareness, Consideration, and Decision).
How a Sales Funnel Works
Here’s how one segment of your funnel might look:
Your prospect finds your blog post after searching Google
At the end of the blog post, your prospect clicks a call-to-action promising them an ebook
- Lead Generation
The landing page has a form on it that your prospect fills out to get the ebook
Your prospect is then sent to a thank you page with the download
These four marketing funnel templates apply an inbound approach to paid lead generation (hence the name). That means they are designed to deliver the right ads to the right people at the right time.
Supercharge Your Funnels With Remarketing
Although inbound marketing is usually considered to be almost synonymous with content marketing, the Inbound Marketing Funnel Template relies heavily on digital advertising (primarily remarketing).
Through the wonders of remarketing, you can create lists that segment your website visitors into various stages of the buyer’s journey.
This allows you to nurture your leads through ads, while simultaneously nurturing them through traditional methods (e.g., email marketing).
You’ll create four Facebook audiences:
- Qualification: A Saved Audience targeting a broad group of people who might be interested in your product or service (using interest targeting)
- Awareness: A Custom Audience targeting anyone who has been anywhere on your website in the past 180 days
- Consideration Audience: A Custom Audience targeting people whose website activity over the last 90 days indicates that they’re in the Consideration stage (e.g., if they visited your “Features” page)
- Decision Audience: A Custom Audience targeting people whose website activity over the last 30 days indicates that they’re in the Decision stage (e.g., if they visited your “Pricing” page)
Note: You should tweak the membership duration of the list based on the length of your sales cycle.
Marketing Funnel Content
Once you’ve set up those audiences, you need content to feed them.
This is where you’ll be ahead of the game if you’re already doing content marketing. If not, I’m about to tell you the core pieces of content you’ll need to form the foundation of this strategy.
You’ll need to create at least four pieces of content before you start:
- A Qualification stage blog post. Make sure this will only appeal to your target market. This content exists to get likely customers onto your remarketing list. The more specific the topic is, the less money you’ll spend on wasted clicks further down the funnel.
- An Awareness stage downloadable offer. This will be used to collect first names and email addresses.
- A Consideration stage downloadable offer. This will allow you to collect more information (e.g., company size, job title, etc.) and determine when they’ve moved down the funnel.
- A Decision stage downloadable offer. This will allow you to get any other information you need to make the sale (e.g., phone number) and to determine when they’re ready to buy.
If you’re in a hurry, this can be a good time to spend that money you were going to blow on that ClickFunnels subscription (For more on ClickFunnels, see What is ClickFunnels?). Services like Content Allies, Word Agents, and ContentFly all offer content creation.
One thing to remember is that you get what you pay for. In my experience, the content you’ll receive from companies like ContentFly is barely acceptable. It requires a lot of editing. But it is affordable.
For example, Content Cucumber, a company I’ve used extensively, is only about $600/mo for up to 8,000 words.
Maybe my standards are too high, but I found myself spending enough time editing those 8,000 words that I decided it wasn’t worth it. So I do the writing myself or work with a content writer (e.g., Milena Alexandrova who I highly recommend).
The Inbound Sales Funnel Template
Here is the simple blueprint for the four funnels you should absolutely be using in your business. And don’t worry if you rely on organic traffic instead of ads; the funnels look the same no matter how you pour the traffic in.
The Qualification funnel exists to weed out visitors who aren’t a good fit for your company.
For instance, if you sell Windows software, you don’t want to spend ad dollars on Mac users.
Write a blog post that is super-focused on a topic that would only appeal to your audience. A new security issues affecting Windows users, for example.
Then target a broad swath of potential customers through interest targeting, native ads (like Outbrain or Taboola) to see who bites. This funnel will fill your Awareness stage remarketing list so that you’ve got a big enough audience to remarket to.
The first funnel in our sales funnel template is the Awareness funnel. Your Awareness funnel will direct everyone who has ever been to your website to content that is relevant to the early stage of the buyer’s journey. The Awareness funnel exists to:
- Make people aware of your brand
- Make people aware of the problem you solve
- Generate leads that you can nurture down the funnel
This ad should lead to a landing page with a simple offer (a checklist, list of tips, brief ebook, etc.). Don’t ask for too much here. Just get their first name and email address.
Here’s an example:
The next funnel in our sales funnel template is designed to get more information from potential customers moving through the buyer’s journey. You want to remain educational at this point. Help them consider the different types of solutions that exist.
This ad should lead to a landing page with a more robust offer. A whitepaper discussing the many options that exist to satisfy their needs, for example.
Here’s an example of a Consideration funnel:
This is where you close the deal. Here’s where you see if your sales funnel template is a stud or a dud.
Depending on what you sell, this funnel could offer a limited-time discount, a free consultation, or a demo.
Make sure your form gets the rest of the information you need to follow up and make the sale. Then, if they don’t close after a few days, follow up with an explicit sales pitch by email and/or phone.
Here’s an example of a Decision funnel:
Sales Funnel Template Traffic Breakdown
When you use this marketing funnel template, most of your traffic will come from Facebook and Google Ads.
Your Facebook remarketing lists will grow as more people visit your website. Each time they come back you’ll be building your brand. It will also increase the chance that they’ll become interested in other sections of your site.
For example, they may come to read a blog post, and then start wondering about the features of your product.
When they click to go to your features page, they’ll be moved down the funnel into your Consideration audience. (Of course, that’s assuming you set it up right!)
Your Google ad will focus on purchase intent keywords. You can also use a remarketing list for your search ads. That way you can include a bid adjustment for anyone who has been on your site before.
Why? Because return visitors will be more likely to make a purchase than someone who has never heard of you before.
How Much Should You Spend on Ads?
If you’re wondering how much you should be spending on ads, I’ve created an ad spend calculator to help you determine how much you can afford.
How to Optimize Your Funnel
Remember: getting traffic to your landing pages is only the first step.
I talked with Brandon Weaver, Head of Content at Instapage, and he said that one of the biggest mistakes he sees beginners make is that “[t]hey don’t focus on the post-click stage as much as the pre-click (keyword ad targeting, job titles, geo-based, email segmentation, etc.).”
That means you need to have a great landing page experience for one thing. At the same time, you have to pay special attention to the post-conversion experience as well. In other words, you’ve got to work on lead nurturing.
An Example of a Funnel in the Wild
Now, if you’ve made it this far and you’re looking for Russell Brunson’s funnel for Funnel Scripts: here it is. In this deep dive, I break down everything Russell did to generate leads and sales for the product so you can see how it works.
A Quick Word About Lead Gen Software
There’s nothing wrong with using lead generation software! “It will save you a ton of time, reduce your frustration, and free up your creativity to allow you to focus on the marketing,”
John Parkes, VP of Marketing at ClickFunnels, told me. “Wouldn’t it be worth $97/m to make all of the headaches go away?”
If you do decide to go with a sales funnel software solution, that’s cool! But take some advice from Brandon:
Look at customer reviews, unique features that you need, but just because big brand names use a particular software, are they in your industry/are they the best case studies to review in your purchasing decision? They may have different use cases than yours.
Anyway, now that you’ve finished this article, and this one, I hope you won’t feel like any additional software is necessary.
If you do choose the software route, here’s some parting advice from John over at ClickFunnels on choosing the right sales funnel software:
Look for a funnel software that is simple to use, produces high converting and beautifully designed funnels and has the various pieces that they need to complete their entire vision.
You may also be interested in funnel mapping software, which helps to visualize your funnel.
Should You Pay for a Sales Funnel Template?
Now that you’ve read this guide, I hope you realize that you don’t need to do that (unless you want to). If you insist, there a plenty of options out there. If you need something custom, I’d be happy if you emailed me about it at [email protected]. I can help you with a done-for-you sales funnel if that’s what you need.
But if it’s early in the game and you’re trying to keep costs low, I’ve written a guide to show you how to generate leads without spending any money. Check it out here: How to Build a Lead Generation Website.
The information in that guide, combined with what I’ve shared with you in this article, is a great foundation for driving more leads and growing your business online— without spending $97/mo on ClickFunnels. (Spend that money on ads instead!)