10 experts explain what makes sales funnels succeed or fail

sales funnels

Sales Funnels

Sales funnels are a series of steps designed to guide potential customers toward a buying decision. They are models of the customer journey a company uses to purchasing their product or service and to give them their best advantage.

The goal at each step of sale funnels is to solve customer problems and keep potential customers on the path to purchase.

Because when you know customer problems, you can present the solution, content, messaging or incentive that keeps them on the destination to purchasing your product or service. This is when the real magic of sales funnels happen. Or doesn’t.

10 experts explain what makes sales funnels succeed or fail.

What makes them succeed

  • “Tony Robbins says that all human desire is based on one foundational principle. That principle states that we will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. This principle of pain versus pleasure can easily be leveraged by positioning your products or services in the right way to help leverage this strategically. When you think about pleasure, you can also think about the benefit. What’s the biggest benefit (pleasure) that a consumer is going to get when they buy what you’re selling. You also have to think about what they’re going to avoid (pain).” – Robert Kanaat – Author, Engineer, Blogger and Entrepreneur
  • “They need to learn about your product and services. This goal can be achieved with the help of quality blogs, interesting video, involving influencers and conducting email campaigns. If people are not aware of the products you sell, there will be no sale. Therefore, you need to adopt different lead generation strategies to drive users to your website. Your lead generation efforts won’t be enough on their own if you fail to engage your audience. .” – Shane Barker – Digital Marketing Consultant
  • “Sales funnel work when you know your target inside and out, including her biggest frustrations and deepest desires, in his or her words, have a clear offer that you know she wants, without a doubt, understand and know how to effectively employ marketing and sales strategies that can “speak to the masses,” and have a very high flow of traffic entering into your funnel.” – Jenny Shih, Business Coach
  • “Landing pages are the first direct connection between your leads and your business. And, when the competition is stiff, the first impression is definitely the last impression, right? Target optimization and your promotional specifications must reflect the promise presented in the targeted ad your viewers clicked on.” – Sam Makad, Marketing Consultant

Why they fail

  • “There a gap between sales and marketing. Your marketing manager is attracting followers and connections, creating white papers and e-books to attract leads, and optimizing the latest blog post. Your sales manager is assuring that every sales representative has the training to do what he or she does best—sell to a qualified buyer. But if no one is qualifying leads, there’s no bridge between these valiant sales and marketing efforts and the synergies are lost.” – Jeff Kalter – 3D2N
  • “You aren’t bringing in enough traffic. Your sales funnel begins with the traffic that you bring in. If you aren’t bringing in enough traffic, then your sales funnel has no chance to work. If you don’t have enough visitors to your website or landing pages, then you won’t have enough subscribers. If you don’t have enough subscribers, then you won’t have enough (or any) sales. If you don’t have sales, then you don’t have a business. So before you try to optimize other parts of your funnel, you need to fix your traffic problem.” – Tonia Kendick, Solopreneur
  • “The idea that customer journeys are linear (they’re not). Customers not only enter at all different stages but they often skip over stages entirely, move back and forth between stages, or will stay at one stage indefinitely. Don’t sit down and map out a step-by-step process that says “first they’ll do this, then they’ll do that, next they’ll do this…” and expect that your customers will actually follow your plan. Some reports are saying that up to 90% of the customer journey is now self-directed.” – Gary DeAsi, Director of Marketing, Demand Generation
  • “Lack of consistent follow up. According to JMJ Direct, 48% of sales representatives never follow-up with a prospect. Furthermore, only 10% of sales involve more than three contacts and an incredible 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact. Knowing the most appropriate time to contact a lead is difficult – do you start calling new leads or follow up on an old lead for the fifth time?”- Search Engine People
  • “Not providing different content for every phase of the funnel. Newly entering customers have shown interest in your product and services, and simply want to explore. They want content that’s educational — different than the customers in the middle of your funnel who have taken a step beyond basic information and are looking for more details. It makes sense, then, that serving up the same content for every stage will only frustrate customers and totally mess with your flow. Provide relevant content — appropriate for every phase — that nurtures customers along instead of chases them away.” – Kelly Kalis, Revel

Do these experts provide insight for you on what makes sales funnels succeed or fail? Does your business need help creating a sales funnel that works.


  1. Andre Floyd

    Great article!

    1. Rob Petersen

      Thanks Andre. Really appreciate your feedback.

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