What is a sales funnel? Do need one as a brand-new business owner?


What is a sales funnel? Do need one as a brand-new business owner?

My name is Ryann Dowdy and I’m a sales coach. I help brand new entrepreneurs build the foundation of their six figure businesses by mastering sales conversations and mindsets. I want to talk about a sales funnel today. This is an important conversation. So, I spent my entire corporate career in marketing. So to me, a funnel was a very common word, but if you’ve not been in sales and marketing your entire career, you might be a little confused about what that means and what it is.

So, we’re going to break it down today.

Oftentimes in online entrepreneurship, we hear about the word funnel and we think of automation. We think of technology. You’ve heard of software like ClickFunnels, which I’m a huge fan of, but you think of automation and technology and you probably instantly overwhelmed by that.

I know that I was.

Do you need a funnel in the technology perspective, do you need a landing page that builds an email list that spits out an email sequence?

Probably not, not yet anyway.

Yes, of course. At some point in your business, as your business grows, you are going to want to start building an email list and it’s really super important.

But when you’re brand new, I don’t believe that a technology driven automation funnel is what you need. However, we all need sales funnels.

Sales funnels are part of growing a business. It’s very natural. It’s not new. It has nothing to do with technology. It is literally just the process through how you find leads and convert them to clients. That is literally what a sales funnel is.

So how do we find leads?

What process do they go through to become clients?

So, let’s break down the funnel. We’re going to start at the top of the funnel. So, the top of the funnel are people that we don’t really yet know a lot about. So, these are what we like to call leads. This is just other human beings that we are out in the world conducting with that may become a potential client. That is the very top of your funnel.

Now, we need to take them from lead to prospect.

So, leads are all of the people. Prospects are people that have the problem that you solve. Once we start building relationships, you need to start getting to know them and determine, if a person has the problem that you solve. This is a really big one. And one of the most important things that you need to focus on as your business is understanding the problem that you solve.


So, we’ve got our leads. We’re talking, we’re in the DMs, we’re building relationships. Now we’re identifying our prospects. These people that could potentially have the problem that they see that we solve. Once we start to identify those people, then we need to start nurturing those people. And again, this isn’t a technology thing. It doesn’t have to be complicated. This could be as simple as interacting with somebody on social media. This can be as simple as commenting on their stuff, checking out their websites, those types of things.


We go from lead to prospect to nurture, and now we need to make an invitation.

We need to make an offer to help that person.

So, this may be an invitation to a sales conversation. For most of you, you’re selling one-to-one, you’re selling through a discovery call. A sales call is consultant strategy session, whatever it is, then you’re able to just make that invitation for them to jump on the phone and talk about how you can solve their problem.

And then you’re using that discovery call and that sales call to convert that. That is a funnel! And yes, every single business, it needs one, but there is no tech required. You can use a funnel on social media. You can use a funnel in human person to person sales. You can use a funnel with email marketing, with cold calling.

There’s a million different ways to build a funnel in your business, because it really is just about the process of taking random strangers to prospect, building relationships, making offers, and then converting them to clients.


What’s a great way to track your funnel?

We use Trello. This is very simple. We have a Trello board where we actually keep track of our leads and our business. We keep track of cold leads – those strangers on the internet that we just started interacting with. Then, they become cool leads once we start to identify that they are a prospect. We literally use the Trello board like a whiteboard. So there’s cold, cool, warm and hot. So cold are just people out here. We’re networking, we’re connecting, we’re in conversations. Then once they’ve identified that they’re a prospect, we’re starting to engage with them. Then once we start to nurture them a little bit. Then, if they are a fit, we push them to warm.

And then we make an invitation to a sales call, and we push them to hot. This is such an important part of your business – and it’s very simple.


See you soon!

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