I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “sales funnel.”
A sales funnel is a term that describes a series of steps that potential customers go through when you can turn them into loyal customers.
Each part of the funnel has its own role in turning potential customers into actual customers.
Crafting a sales funnel will help you structure your business in a way that makes it easier for people who come to your site to become customers.
As a matter of fact, if you’re currently running an e-commerce business or want to start one in the near future, you can only benefit from understanding sales funnels: their structure, their numbers, and their trends.
So that’s exactly what I intend to cover in this article.
In this article, I’m going to break down the most important Sales Funnel Statistics, Facts & Trends so you can make your own sales funnel more effective.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a marketing term that describes the different stages a potential customer goes through on their way to becoming one of your customers. It helps guide you from the beginning of the sales process to the end (which is the sale of your product).
That’s why a sales funnel works like a funnel — it narrows down the target audience and filters them through your sales message.
Sales funnels are the system that makes your business work in its totality:
- Generating qualified traffic
- Converting visitors into leads
- Turning those leads into customers
- And offering bonuses and promotions to keep them coming back
To put it simply, a sales funnel is a process used to turn leads into customers.
Here’s an illustration of a typical sales funnel:
Each step in the funnel represents a range of decreasing potential customers, with those at the top of the funnel representing the best potential clients or customers.
You can also categorize your sales funnel into at least five stages:
- Awareness – This is where the sales rep tells you about the benefits of the product, how it works, and why it will benefit potential customers.
- Interest – You need to maintain interest here by delivering what you promised and also connecting with the right audiences.
- Evaluation – The customer is not ready yet to make a purchasing decision. They still have queries, doubts, or concerns before converting through checkout, so this stage is necessary.
- Engagement – This is where you try to convince yourself to convert by engaging with our sales funnel
- Conversion – You are ready to close the deal and make your lead into a permanent customer.
There are a lot of moving pieces and content types that have to come together in order for you to get everyone from one stage to the next.
On to the latest sales funnel statistics and trends now to help you build a winning sales funnel.
Top Sales Funnel Statistics, Facts & Trends For 2023
Here’s a list of sales funnel statistics you should know:
Lead Nurturing & Prospecting Statistics
1. Articles and Blog Posts are the most valuable content type to move prospects through the sales funnel
In a 2019 study by Statista, 55 percent of B2B marketers claimed that articles and blog posts are the most valuable content type for moving prospects through the sales funnel.
A well-written article or blog post that resonates with its audiences can be the most valuable piece of content your organization produces.
Having your own blog on your website provides you with a free official platform to showcase yourself as an expert. It also allows you to position yourself as an authority in your niche.
As long as you publish valuable and engaging content, articles and blog posts can be one of the most powerful tools at your disposal in convincing potential customers to buy your products or get your services.
2. Over 40% of marketers and salespeople find prospecting to be challenging
According to HubSpot, more than 40% of salespeople say that prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. This is followed by closing sales (36%) and qualifying (22%).
Prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales funnel process. That’s because prospects are in “listen to a sales pitch” mode instead of “consider buying thing” mode.
Naturally, compelling the lead to spend money for your product is not as easy as simply making them see your value proposition.
And prospects who entertain the thought of buying need a lot more than just one meeting to make an informed decision. By the time they come to you, they’ve seen or heard every other thing in their area and are pretty well-informed before they get on the phone with you.
That’s why almost all of your efforts in prospecting should be focused on getting them away from those sources and leading them back to you.
This brings us to our next point…
3. Nearly half of the sales go to the vendor that responds first
If you look at the statistics, 35-50% of total sales are clinched by the vendors that respond first.
Let’s consider this scenario:
You’re browsing a product category and see two similar products at a similar price. One vendor has responded to your message asking you to buy their product, and the other hasn’t.
Which would you buy from? Does it even warrant asking?
The choice is obvious! There are good chances that you’ll be inclined to buy from the vendor who answered your query first – unless the latter offers something exceptional or a similar product at lower rates.
So, if you’re a vendor, you should know it’s not about you. You are only one piece of a larger picture. Your prospective buyer has to evaluate your response against the other responses too. If you respond last, you’re going to lose most of the time.
4. 51% of the respondents in a survey claim they want salespeople to respond in a timely manner
In a survey by HubSpot, over half of the respondents said that a salesperson should respond in a timely manner to make the user experience positive.
This survey affirms the sentiment of the previous point.
Customers buy when they believe. They believe when they trust. And they trust salespeople who respond to their needs—fast. It’s not enough to simply be responsive, you must respond fast because it engenders customers’ trust.
Now, this doesn’t mean they want you to be at their beck and call. But they do expect a reply to their emails within a few hours (or if it’s really urgent, even a few minutes).
They want to be able to count on you, and if there were times when you didn’t reply, that would make them feel anxious about doing business with you.
5. 57% of customers say they prefer to deal with salespeople who don’t apply pressure when following up
While potential customers prefer salespeople who respond promptly, it doesn’t mean you’ll keep blasting their inbox with incessant follow-ups.
A whopping 57% of people said they would be encouraged to make a purchase from a salesperson who doesn’t try to apply pressure or hassle them when following up.
The customer is king, as they say. In fact, customers are more like Gods nowadays: they can take your business away from you. They are not under obligation to give you their business, and if they feel like they are being pressured or harassed by salespeople calling them every day, they will just opt out.
It’s best to space out your follow-up calls or emails. And if you don’t get any response even after 3 to 4 follow-ups, it’s best to remove the prospect from your funnel.
And even while sending initial follow-ups, it’s important that you don’t get too aggressive and pressure them into a sale. This can make the prospect feel uncomfortable and will make them want to avoid any future contact.
6. 44% of salespeople give up after just one “no,” while 22% give up after two “nos.”
Statistics suggest that a whopping 80% of customers are likely to buy after saying NO’s five times.
However, most salespeople give up after a single No.
Here are some interesting numbers:
- 44% of salespeople give up after one “no.”
- 22% give up after two “nos.”
- 14% give up after three “nos.”
- 12% give up after four “nos.”
No customer buys right away. Even if you sell yourself, you should have a follow-up strategy. The sales cycle is too long, and people forget. All salespeople know this. That’s why they send follow-ups and make phone calls to customers after they have made their first sale.
It’s only fair that prospects need some time to make a buying decision.
As we all know, in our world of information overload, from TVs and radios, newspapers and magazines, to the internet with its countless articles, blogs, videos, and podcasts.
Be persistent, but don’t overdo it lest the prospects find you too “salesy” or “pushy.”
7. 69% of buyers say salespeople should listen to their needs to create a positive buying experience
A study by HubSpot shows that buyers want salespeople to do three important things when it comes to creating a positive retail transaction: listen to their needs (69%), not be pushy (61%), and provide relevant information (61%).
Think about how annoying it is when you go to a store, find what you want, and then the salesperson keeps talking to you about unrelated things.
It’s a total buzzkill, right?
I know I stop listening immediately.
The reason is simple.
I want the salesperson to take my needs and wants into consideration before they decide to talk. This doesn’t happen often enough.
A huge part of selling is understanding the needs of your buyers. The end goal for every marketer should be to understand consumer needs and find creative ways to meet them.
Similarly, it’s equally important to provide the relevant information to the buyer while dealing with them. Without the right information, the buyer will have unanswered questions about the product, resulting in buyer’s remorse, which is precisely what you do NOT want.
8. It may take up to 18 calls to connect with a prospect
Your job is to be a quote closer. There may be technical, soft-pitch, and top-of-the-funnel calls.
While there are exceptions to this rule, the standard is that 18 or more calls are required before you can earn business from a client, as stated by the recent Sales Development Technology Report.
Cold calling isn’t dead!
However, it’s not as prevalent as earlier either.
And if you choose the cold-calling route, it’s going to take some time to connect with a prospect and get them excited about your product/service.
9. 73% of consumers claim that they feel “frustrated” when a website offers irrelevant ads and promotional content
Nearly one-third of customers expressed their frustration with irrelevant website content, including offers, advertisements, and promotional content.
Gone are the days when customers want to be marketed to before they make a purchase. Most customers today want relevant information tailored to their specific needs.
This means it’s imperative that you’re focused on providing valuable, skim-worthy content — particularly in the sales funnel beyond the landing page and your official offer pages.
When customers land on your website, they should be automatically redirected to the most relevant offer based on their intent.
For example, a brand might offer a free guide or eBook download when people are looking for specific data, and it’s displayed at the top of their customer journey. Otherwise, they will likely bounce off because it seems irrelevant to them.
Sales Funnel Conversion Rate & Revenue Statistics
10. Average conversion rate for a tripwire sales funnel is 1.5% to 3%
According to a report by Data-Driven Marketing, 1.5% to 3% is considered an optimum tripwire sales funnel conversion rate.
Have you ever wondered what Tripwire Sales Funnel is?
For the uninitiated, Tripwire is an offer or benefit made to get a lead’s attention and convert that lead into a customer. A tripwire is meant to trip a passerby into entering your sales funnel by offering them something right off the bat (aka an incentive).
It could be as simple as a one-time discount or free trial. A great way to create a tripwire is by offering something free if they take any other action.
For example, offering free shipping on their first purchase or the first month of service for free. This strategy is used commonly by e-commerce sites.
Here is a two-step tripwire sales funnel template, for instance:
These funnels give you the upper hand to the top-of-mind awareness and start creating a domino effect of prospects visiting your website.
11. A good visit-to-lead conversion rate falls between 3.1% – 5%
Recently, Databox surveyed 77.8% of service-based and 22.2% were product-based businesses.
And that’s what they uncovered when it comes to an optimum sales funnel conversion rate.
About 30% of the respondents said 3.1% – 5% is a good funnel conversion rate. On the other hand, around 18% of respondents suggested that 5.1% to 8% and 1.1% to 3% is a good funnel conversion rate.
Sales funnel conversion rate is a number businesses use to understand how effective their sales funnel process is. It’s the percentage of visitors who take action at each stage in an online sales process.
12. The average sales funnel conversion of most industries is about 3%
According to Adobe Digital Index 2020 report into consumer electronics, it’s estimated that the average sales funnel conversion of most industries is about 3%.
This means that only 3% of your website’s visitors actually convert.
Conversion rate is determined by the number of visitors (or visits) to your site who then proceed further through to a specific part of the sale process, such as hitting one of your product pages.
That may not sound like much, but if you better optimize your website, consider testing different landing pages, and segment your traffic using website optimization tools, there’s a good chance you can increase that number even more.
13. Landing pages and funnels with a 0-2 seconds loading time have the highest conversion rates.
According to a research report by Portent, the average conversion rate is the highest at 32% when the page load speed is less than 1 second. At 1-second load time, it drops to 20%. And at 2 seconds, the conversion rate further drops to 12-13%.
The conversion rate is the lowest when your landing page and funnel pages take 5 seconds to load.
If you want to improve your transaction conversions, keep your page load time between 0-2 Seconds.
It’s just one of those things that’s hard to dispute. After all, it’s proven by tests again and again.
People don’t like waiting. We all have limited attention spans and more things to do than we can get done in our day. If a web page takes too long to load, people will leave.
They’ll go do something else – even if the page is exactly what they are looking for. It won’t matter how beautiful your website is. If it takes a long time to load, visitors will leave it immediately.
Having a page that loads quickly is an absolute must if you want your sales funnel to convert leads and keep your customers happy.
14. Half of the revenue can be attributed to social selling in 14 common industries, making it an essential part of your funnel
We’ve all heard the buzz about social selling, but why is it an essential part of your sales funnel?
According to statistics, around half of the revenue in 14 common industries like computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising comes from social selling.
This makes social selling an indispensable part of your sales funnel.
The days of door-knocking and cold calling are long gone. Today, it’s all about the digital sales funnel: You make money by bringing in traffic using social media, and then you convert that traffic into leads using one or more conversion funnels.
15. As of the third quarter of 2019, 94% of Facebook’s advertising revenue came from mobile devices
Mobile is the future, and mobile ads are becoming increasingly popular.
According to a Statista report, 94% of the total Facebook ads revenue in 2019 was generated from mobile devices. This goes to show just how important it is to optimize your funnel for mobile devices.
And people that primarily use their cell phones to access the internet are used to getting info fast, but digesting long chunks of text can be difficult if you’re on the move.
The key is to ensure that you design your marketing campaign with mobile devices in mind.
- Making sure the graphics for your ad campaigns are high-quality and easily read on smaller screens
- Making sure your landing page doesn’t overwhelm visitors with too much information
- And that your email marketing messages can be opened and read quickly while on the go
Here’s an excellent example of a mobile-optimize funnel page:
Make it easy for people to take action by utilizing every opportunity you get to interact with them digitally.
16. Businesses with an easy buying process are 62% more likely to close a high-quality sale
According to Harvard Business Review, businesses that provide their leads with an easy buying process have a 62% more likelihood of closing high-quality deals.
When it comes to sales, the biggest problem you face will be attracting and converting high-quality leads.
And for that, your sales process is key. Sadly, most sales processes are downright awful.
Do you know why? Because most companies try to solve their poor sales by creating complex and involved processes.
However, on the contrary, one of the most powerful tools in the hands of a high-performing sales team is a streamlined sales process.
This way, you get to create a great experience for your visitors and then convert the most promising of them into leads through your sales funnel.
It’s also worth noting that the simpler your sales funnel will be, the more referrals and positive reviews you’ll get (more on this in the next point).
General Sales Funnel Statistics & Trends
17. 84% of buyers begin the purchasing process after getting a referral from a friend
We just alluded earlier that the simpler your sales funnel or buying process is, the more positive reviews and referrals you’re likely to receive.
And referrals, in turn, can lead to a lot more customers and sales.
According to Harvard Business Review, a whopping 84% of buyers start their purchasing process via a referral from a friend or acquaintance.
It’s now an open secret in the sales world that the word-of-mouth (WOM) channel is one of the most trusted and respected sources for information among buyers.
It has a trust factor several times more valuable than TV advertising and significantly cheaper than print or online ads. The reason for this is because, unlike other channels, most word-of-mouth referrals come from a family member, friend, colleague, or neighbor rather than a paid ad.
18. ClickFunnels is the most popular sales funnel-building tool.
With a market share of around 55%, ClickFunnels tops the list of the most popular sales funnel software.
This is followed by:
- OptimizePress (19.9%)
- Builderall (9.4%)
- Keap (6.6%)
- Kajabi (5.9%)
- GrooveFunnels (2.5%)
- Kartra (2.5%)
- Ontraport (1.7%)
- CartFlows (1.5%)
- Deadline Funnel (1.3%)
Marking blog came to this conclusion by analyzing 570,000 websites. It turns out, 319,900 websites are using ClickFunnels to build their sales funnels.
One of the biggest reasons is that ClickFunnels is a great way to build sales funnels FAST! It also includes a drag-and-drop page creator, automatic email-sending capabilities, sales page optimization, built-in templates, automated workflows, and a whole lot more — all for an affordable price.
19. Most buyers (60%) want to connect with a salesperson during the consideration stage
According to a HubSpot study, 60% of the buyers want to connect with the sales rep at the consideration stage of the funnel. It’s when they’ve considered and researched their options and most likely even have a shortlist.
On the other hand, 19% of buyers want to connect at the awareness stage when they’re just learning about the product. Their priority at this stage is to evaluate your product, consider their options, and decide if it’s worth using.
And about 20% want to connect during the decision stage when they’re sure of the product they want to buy.
20. Six in 10 sales reps say that when they figure out what works for them, they stick to it
You probably change your pitch often and keep your message fresh, right?
However, according to a HubSpot report, about 59% of salespeople say that when they figure out what works for them in the entire funnel, they don’t change it.
The reason salespeople have success with a pitch is that they have been using it over and over again. It’s all about finding out what works for you and trying to repeat it.
Of course, “works for them” can mean different things to different people. But one thing is true: there are a lot of common practices that successful salespeople share.
21. 65% of sales reps who use social selling manage to fill their sales pipeline
When it comes to business opportunities, salespeople have a lot to worry about. From new leads to potential deals and customers? The sales timeline is nerve-wracking.
Thankfully, you have an easy way to make that timeline easier: social selling practices.
We already discussed above (point 14) just how effective social selling can be.
This study reaffirms that point.
According to a study, 65% of salespeople who use social selling manage to fill their pipeline – juxtaposed to 47% of reps who do not use social selling.
The best sales reps out there use social media as a way of building trust and of letting their target market know who they are and what they do.
22. 68% of companies have not identified their sales funnel
For most companies, there is no defined sales funnel. In fact, many companies never break out their sales funnel — or worse; they’re missing the top part of the sales funnel entirely.
According to a report by Salesforce, a whopping 68% of companies have failed to identify or measure their sales funnel.
A sales funnel isn’t that complex, but it does require some level of tracking in order to accurately measure your funnel.
The irony, of course, is that many companies construct a manual sales process with a phone call or an email as the first and only touchpoint. These processes, when left unmeasured, risk leaving leads in their coldest state – further from becoming customers.
There’s no way to build an effective sales process without measurement. That’s why it is important to define and measure each step in the process.
How else would you know where you are losing leads and how many customers are progressing through each step?
That’s a Wrap!
It’s no secret that a strong sales funnel is one of the most important components of a successful business.
The funnel shape helps to show graphically how people flow through a purchase cycle, which can serve as an effective visual reminder of how to lay out a better sales plan for your company.
They can help you bring in more leads, more prospects, and more customers.
Moreover, suppose you are able to master the art of building and optimizing sales funnels.
In that case, you might even be able to do so across multiple marketing channels—something that will become increasingly important as businesses increasingly transition from a focus on offline advertising channels to those that are purely digital in nature.
And we’ve only scratched the surface with these statistics.
In the coming years, new statistics and trends will likely emerge, but the above are just some of what you should expect from a well-built sales funnel.