Crush Your Sales Goals with These 6 Best Web Services Proposal Templates

In contrast to other industries, those involved in digital design are well aware of the importance of a compelling and expertly-designed business proposal. A proposal, other than personal presentations, is the best way for business owners to convey the appropriate solution to a client’s demands or pain areas. Proposals demonstrate your understanding of the client’s requirements and your suitability for the job. In fact, most customers normally ask for this document before asking to review the project portfolio.

Your web design proposals, as a website designer or developer, must have eye-catching designs and layouts. However, due to scheduling restrictions, it might not be possible. For that reason, we’ve prepared this list, so you can choose your preferred web design proposal template and start winning more business!

But before you proceed, there are a few things to keep in mind when using templates for web design proposals. First, make sure that the template you choose is appropriate for the project you’re working on. Second, customize the template to fit your own needs and style. Third, don’t be afraid to add your own flare to make the proposal stand out.

Now let’s get into the list.

6 Best Web Services Proposal Templates

Website Design Proposal Template

Proposal for Website redesign 01


Are you searching for a responsive template to highlight your web design services that are visually appealing but clutter-free?

Look no further, you can’t go wrong with this slick, stunning website design proposal template from RFPLY. The proposal template not only delivers a simple aesthetic experience, but it also has seven organized sections that can be used to show potential customers how you can best satisfy their demands. The sections include a case study page, a page about our processes, a page about timelines, a page about investments,  and a page about terms and conditions

This gorgeous website proposal template does the job and much more. The powerful, self-assured design,  uses dark primary colors, which will give your business a contemporary, appealing, and expert appearance.

eCommerce Website Proposal Template

An e-commerce website proposal template offered by RFPLY.COM can be a great way to streamline the process of creating a proposal for an online store. By using this template, you can ensure that your proposal is well-organized and has every component needed to construct a strong web design proposal for an online store that will convince potential customers to always sign your proposal.

The template will help you save time by providing a structure for your proposal and pre-populating some of the content. This will be particularly helpful if you are not experienced in writing proposals or if you are creating a proposal for the first time. In addition, it is one of the most comprehensive and well-organized proposals that will need minimal editing.

UI UX Design Proposal Template

This UI UX design proposal template focuses on your specific approach to managing UX design projects to their successful completion and has a brief and thorough format that is easy to scan and understand. The free template outlines pages for a cover letter, description of the job, project schedule, estimate, and terms and conditions. It also gives room for highlighting the background and expertise of the organization.

In short, this UI UX design proposal template will be a great way to streamline your workflow and ensure that your proposals are consistent and professional.

Graphic Design Proposal Template

This graphic design proposal template can help you save a lot of time and hassle when creating proposals for your graphic design clients. Instead of starting from scratch each time, you can simply fill in the blanks with your client’s information and project details.

Below are three reasons why you should think of using this graphic design proposal template.

  • The template will ensure that all necessary information is included.
  • When you use this template, you can be sure that you haven’t forgotten to include any important details in your proposal. All the key points that should be covered are likely already listed in the template, which takes the guesswork out of preparing your proposal.
  • The template will make it easy to compare proposals from different designers.

Google Adwords Proposal Template

As the internet becomes more competitive, it is important for website owners to utilize all available tools to increase their visibility. Google AdWords is one of the tools that can be used to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine results pages. AdWords can be an effective way to drive traffic to a website and generate leads. Therefore, if your website agency provides Adwords services in addition to other web design services, you will find this Google Adwords proposal template very useful when preparing an estimate.

By using this pre-made template, you can quickly create an effective ad campaign that targets your specific audience. It is definitely pricey to hire someone to design your advertising plan. With the help of this template, you can complete it yourself at a much lower cost.

SEO Proposal Template

SEO Audit Services Proposal Template


This SEO proposal template from RFPLY.COM can be used by web services agencies when soliciting new clients. The template can help to ensure that the firm provides potential clients with the necessary information about its services and fees. Additionally, the template can help the firm to stand out from its competitors.

By using this template, you can avoid having to create a custom proposal for each new client. This can save significant time and resources. Additionally, the client will appreciate receiving a well-organized and professional proposal.

So in case you are wondering what makes a good SEO proposal, there’s no need to start from scratch. RFPLY has done all the nitty-gritty tasks for you. All you need to do is simply add your company-specific details under each section provided in the proposal template and you are on the go for sealing deals.


In conclusion, if you’re looking to up your web services proposal game, these six templates are a great place to start. They’re designed to help you close more deals and reach your sales goals, so what are you waiting for? Get started today!

3 Essential Photography Proposal Templates for Building a Six Figure Photography Business

When running a photography business, every business owner or independent contractor should always have some business documents readily available. Building a library of document templates is an incredibly worthwhile investment for any photography business owner. Not only will it save you time and hassle, but it will also give your business a more polished and professional look.

Think about all of the different types of documents you regularly need to create: invoices, estimates, contracts, proposals, etc. Now imagine having a professional-looking template for each one that you could easily customize to fit your specific needs.

So take a deep breath and relax – we’ve got you covered. We have put together a round-up of 2 proposal templates and 2 contracts. With these samples on hand, creating essential business documents will be a breeze. So save yourself some time and hassle.


Proposal Templates

Photography Proposal Template

Photography Proposal Template

With our proposal template, you can quickly compose and respond to an RFP or proposal for a project so you can easily focus on important chapters like the scope of work (SOW), methodology, timeline, and pricing structure.

The proposal template has the finest written paragraphs that allow you to introduce your company, experience, services, team profile, and references in a professional manner. What the user will customize, will be their organization addressing the scope of work, the timeline of the project, and pricing if needed.

Audio Visual Production Services Proposal Template

Individuals and companies that provide professional corporate photography will find this photography proposal sample helpful when writing business proposals that explain their services and showcase their expertise.

This photography project proposal allows you to highlight your background, introduce your team, and demonstrate your abilities by including your portfolio. Provide your clients with a clear description of the types of photography services you offer, the packages available, and the fees for each. Ensure client confidence by supplying customer testimonials, along with helpful tips for a successful photo session.

Video Production Services Proposal

This template was used for a commercial video production services proposal. This proposal outlines paragraphs such as cover letter, services, the artist’s style, and resources needed including models, project deliverables, audio, setup, and delivery dates along with showing the artist’s portfolio and references, copyright ownership, and policies.

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These photography templates are easy to use and customizable, so you can make them work for your specific needs. With a little effort, you can have a successful and profitable photography business up and running in no time.

Customizable Proposal Templates For Every HR Staffing agency

It requires a high level of perception skills to be able to recognize people, figure out how to best use their abilities, and identify if they are even any good. Human resources have to deal with that every day.

The importance of human resources cannot be understated. A strong human resources department can make or break a company. As the backbone of any company, human resources is responsible for a variety of things, right from ensuring that employees are productive and happy, which in turn boosts morale and helps to create a positive work environment to help the company protect itself from legal trouble by staying up-to-date on employment law and handling any issues that may arise.

In short, human resource is an essential part of any business. Without a strong human resources department, a company would be lost.

Working in the human resource department you are required to develop proposals, contracts, letters, and other kinds of documents on a day-to-day basis. And when it comes to managing such documents, templates can be a lifesaver. From tracking employee performance to creating a system for onboarding new hires, templates provide a framework that can save time and help ensure consistency.

So here, in this blog, we have made put together a complete list of important HR document templates. With these templates, all you have to do is customize them based on your needs, and you’re ready to roll.

Staffing Agency Proposal Template That Wins Clients

This proven proposal template won over $9,000,000 of business for our staffing and recruitment customers in 2022 alone. The text, images, colors, your logo – it’s all 100% editable.

  1. IT Staff Augmentation Services Proposal Template


Proposal for upskilling employees

Training your employees with the latest work skills has become a necessity in today’s fast-paced environment. With regular innovations in various fields, it is important that your workers are kept abreast of the latest policies and systems for their jobs. Ease of doing business is a key factor for most of these new pieces of training. Propose your company’s expert guidance for upskilling your client firm’s employees with our specially developed Microsoft Word proposal template. Introduce your training campaign with an impressive cover letter slide to build a good first impression on your audiences. With a dedicated table of contents included with this recruit training proposal, keeping track of all sections of your pitch becomes simple.

Our Proposal For Upskilling Employees has been designed to put forth your employee training business in the best light. With smartly planned bullet points, describe in detail your project context and project objectives in this training proposal. Exhibit your proposed plan of action with aesthetically developed info-graphic charts that have been organized to portray each stage of your planning agenda with specific icons. Ensure that your prospective customers understand the scope of the training process well with this proposal.

  1. Upskilling Training Digital Skills Services Proposal Template


Medical Staffing Services Proposal Template

If you are a staffing agency or provide other recruitment, hiring, and HR services, our medical staffing proposal template provides a sample outline for preparing a winning bid proposal.

Pitch your comprehensive recruitment system, rigorous screening process, and full onboarding services that attract the right candidates needed for your client’s business growth.

Whether you provide temporary or permanent employment services where you place expert nurses and specialty clinicians in short-staffed healthcare facilities, this proposal template can help you streamline your sales process.




Cover Letter: What is it & How to Write it?

It’s not easy to effectively present your company to someone, you need to have an effective communication plan if you want to convince someone to sell your product or service.

Set your product or service apart from others and convince people that your proposal is the best one… and that’s when a proposal cover letter or executive summary enters the picture!

A proposal letter can give you the edge you need to grow your company. To write an ideal proposal letter, there are a few things you must understand.

In order for you to succeed, we will provide you with all the knowledge you need about a proposal letter in this blog article.

Definition of a Proposal Cover Letter?

A proposal letter is a type of business letter that you use to introduce someone to your product or services. It could be a new product, service, or project that you want to bring to their attention. The key to a proposal letter is to be clear and concise about what it is that you’re proposing, and why you think it’s a good idea.

There are different types of proposal letters, but they all have the same goal: to sell a service or product. Whether you’re trying to get a client on board with your new product line or convincing your boss to invest in your latest project, the principles are the same. The best way to write a winning proposal letter is to keep it short and sweet and make sure that your argument is airtight.

The letter should contain a detailed description of the products or services provided by your company, along with how they would benefit the client.

Why you should Create a Proposal Letter?

When you’re trying to land a new client or project, the first step is always to create a proposal letter. This document is your chance to make a great first impression and sell your potential client why they should work with you.

In addition to increasing your chances of landing a client, creating a proposal letter has other advantages for your company:

Provides a roadmap

First, it forces you to think through your idea and what you hope to achieve with it. This process can help you clarify your goals and objectives, which is essential for any successful project. It forces you to think through all aspects of your project before you even begin. This includes identifying your target audience, developing clear goals and objectives, and outlining a strategy for how you will achieve them.

Additionally, a well-written proposal letter can make a strong impression on potential investors or partners, helping you secure the support you need to move forward.

Addresses risks

A proposal letter is a tool that can be used to address potential risks in a project. By outlining the risks and their possible impact on the project, a proposal letter can help to mitigate these risks. Doing so can help to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

A well-written proposal letter can also help to build trust between the parties involved in the project. By clearly outlining the risks and their potential impact, it shows that the team is aware of the risks and is taking steps to address them. This can help to build confidence in the team and its ability to deliver on the project.

It demonstrates professionalism and commitment

When you are ready to begin work on a new project, it is important to show your professionalism and commitment to the project. One way to do this is by writing a proposal letter. A proposal letter demonstrates that you have thought through the details of the project and have a plan in place. It also shows that you are committed to seeing the project through to completion.  This can go a long way in convincing a potential client or funder to invest in what you are doing.

A proposal letter can be a helpful tool in securing funding for your project. It can also help to build support for your project from potential collaborators or investors. Writing a well-crafted proposal letter is an important step in ensuring the success of your project.


How to Create a Proposal Letter? (Step by Step)

If you’re not sure how to get started, don’t worry. We’ve put together a few tips to help you create a winning proposal letter.

Step 1: Introduction and background information

The first step is to introduce yourself and your organization (if applicable). Be sure to explain who you are and what your qualifications are for making this proposal. If you are representing a company, you should also provide some basic information about the company.

The introduction should include a concise summary of the entire project and some background information about your firm.

If you have planned to schedule a meeting or have had any previous interactions, mention these in your opening statement.

In order to make it look like you’re contributing to the discussion on something they were previously considering, you should also address the client’s or partner’s business needs.

Step 2. State your purpose for the proposal

A proposal letter is a document that outlines a plan of action, request, or offer. It is important to state your purpose for the proposal letter in the beginning. This will help the reader understand the context of the letter and what you are proposing. The following tips will help you state your purpose for the proposal letter:

  • Be clear and concise in your statement of purpose.
  • Explain why you are writing the proposal letter.
  • Describe what you hope to achieve with the proposal.
  • Be specific about what you are offering or requesting in the proposal.
  • State any deadlines or timeframes associated with the proposal.
  • Indicate whether the proposal is confidential or not.

Step 3. Defining your goals and objectives

When creating a proposal letter, it’s important to first define your goals and objectives. What are you hoping to accomplish with your proposal? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can begin crafting your letter.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when defining your goals and objectives:

  • Be specific. Your objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. In other words, they should be SMART goals.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t try to accomplish too many things with your proposal letter; focus on one or two key objectives.
  • Make them relevant: Make sure that your goals and objectives are relevant to the needs of your potential client.

Step 4. Discuss the utilization of budget and funds

When you’re writing a proposal letter, it’s important to make sure that your differentiators are clear. By highlighting what makes you and your company unique, you’ll be more likely to win over the client.

Here are a few tips on how to make your differentiators stand out:

  • Make a list of all the ways you’re different from your competitors.
  • Highlight the most important points in your proposal letter.
  • Use strong language to emphasize why you’re the best choice for the job.
  • Back up your claims with evidence, such as customer testimonials or case studies.
  • Explain how your differentiators will benefit the client specifically.
  • Use simple language that everyone can understand – avoid jargon or industry-specific terms.

Step 5. Highlight your differentiators

The client or business partner should be given a general estimate of the overall expenses associated with the deal. This does not imply that you must provide a complete budget and financial breakdown. Instead, a detailed explanation of the costs should be provided. This part is crucial since the ultimate decision-making process heavily considers a project’s cost.

Step 6. Call to action

The most important part of your proposal letter is the call to action. This is where you tell your potential client what you want them to do, and how you can help them. Here are some tips for creating an effective call to action:

  • Be clear and concise. Your call to action should be easy to understand and follow.
  • Be specific. Tell your potential client exactly what you want them to do, and how you can help them.
  • Be persuasive. Use strong language to convince your potential client that they need your services.
  • Use a strong close. End your letter with a powerful statement that will leave a lasting impression on your reader.

Step 7. Close the letter and provide contact details

The final step in creating a proposal letter is to close the letter and provide contact details. This allows the reader to know how to get in touch with you if they have any questions or want to discuss the proposal further.

To close the letter, thank the reader for their time and let them know that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Include your name, title, and contact information below the signature so they can easily get in touch with you.


In conclusion, a proposal letter is a document that states a problem and proposes a solution to that problem. It is important to remember the basic structure of a proposal letter when writing one, which includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. Following these tips will help you write a successful proposal letter.

Craft A Winning Proposal To Pitch Your IT Support Services With This Proposal Template  

Craft A Winning Proposal To Pitch Your IT Support Services With This Proposal Template

If you are an IT support firm, offering IT support services this winning premium IT Support Services proposal template saves you the hard work of writing a proposal from scratch every time for a new prospect. This professionally designed proposal template will surely create a unique impression in front of your prospective client.

We have put together all the elements that you will need in the template you just have to fill in the blanks and customize it as per the client’s requirements.

There are many types of templates in Microsoft Word format that you can choose from:

  1. Managed Services Proposal Template
  2. ICT & Support Services Proposal Template

  3. Managed Services Proposal Template with comprehensive work plan chapter

  4. Cyber Security Consulting & penetration testing services proposal template

  5. IT Staff Augmentation Services Proposal Template

IT Support Proposal Template Format

Having a good IT Support Services proposal gives you another level of confidence. With this proposal template, you can highlight your client’s pain points, goals, and desires and gain their trust.

Advantages of Proposal Templates

Ready to Use Templates: Save Time

Get your proposal in front of your prospects quickly so that you don’t lose the next business. Pick this ready-to-use polished proposal template and outrank your competitors. No more struggling with proposal pieces.

Make The Best First Impression: Hook Them Up

When your client receives your proposal, they would want to open it right away. Use this proposal template to get the reactions like, “professional”, “neat”, and “These guys are professionals”

100% Customizable: Make It Your Thing

These templates are 100% editable and customizable. Pick your proposal template and customize it to suit your brand. The sections, text, color, images everything can be changed.

Clean Structure: Easy Navigation

With the clean structure in your proposal, you can make it super easy for your clients to uncover, and understand your proposal better. A clear structure helps your clients to set their expectations, right from the beginning.

Microsoft Word doc is modifiable and can be saved as a PDF

Would you ever need proposals in Microsoft Word format? Of course. So you can rest assured that you can amend, and modify, whenever you want.

How to Write an Executive Summary: Step-By-Step

Picture this: You’re in a bookstore, and you come across a cool-looking book. Great title. Looks like somebody cared enough to make the cover look good, too. There’s just one thing, though. You don’t know who the author is.
Should you take a chance on him? Will the book be worth your time and money? To find out, you start reading the description. “Nah,” you tell yourself a minute later, “I’ll pass,” suddenly visualizing the piles of crime novels sitting on your bedroom floor still waiting to be read.
Now imagine that instead of a contract employee deciding whether to buy a book, you’re an investor looking for a project to finance. You pick up the first file in a stack on your desk. Instead of the blurb on a hardback’s dust jacket, you go over the executive summary.

Will you want to know more about the project? Or toss the file where it will never be seen again?
The answer will largely depend on what the executive summary says.
An executive summary condenses a much longer document and conveys its findings, takeaways, and recommended action plans. It often appears as the introductory section of a research study, white paper, or business plan. In project management, it accompanies documents such as a project proposal, statement of work, or project charter.
Usually 1-4 pages long, depending on the size of the document it’s based on, it provides readers with an overview of the major points so they don’t have to read the entire material.

As is characteristic of summaries, the executive report summary is usually the last to be written and the first to be read. However, there is no rule saying it has to be written last. You can, of course, write it first and use it as a loose outline to be refined later when your project proposal or business plan is done.
Sometimes referred to as the management summary, it’s also the most frequently read section of a document and, in some cases, the only portion an executive or investor might read.

So if you’re looking to boost your business budget or secure funding for a project that’s tied to a major business development initiative, treat the executive summary report as your elevator pitch, the hook to lure your target audience into learning more about your project, business plan, or proposal.
What you include in an executive summary will vary depending on the content it covers. For example, a startup plan may contain a description of your product or service, financial projections, key business metrics such as revenue growth, and your funding request.
A project proposal executive summary may provide an overview of the project scope and constraints, a summary of the project resources, a high-level explanation of the change management plan, a description of the major deliverables, and so on.

So think about the type of information your target audience would be interested to know in the few minutes they’ll allot to your executive summary. Also, you may sometimes be required to follow certain formatting guidelines, so review any instructions relating to length and overall format.
The steps below will cover the key components to include when writing an executive summary for a proposal.
Open with a bang. Capture the client’s attention right out of the gate. You do that not by talking about yourself. Talk about them and the issue they’re trying to address.

Here’s an example executive summary format for your opening:

Firefly & Co. is a brand poised to reach great heights in the plus-sized women’s clothing industry. High-quality, reasonably priced basic wardrobe staples — you can’t go wrong with that! Especially with Firefly’s ethical and sustainable production practices.
Evidence of Firefly’s growing clout is its ever-increasing social media following. In just less than a year, it has gained over 1 million followers on Facebook and Instagram. While that is an accomplishment in and of itself, what Firefly fails to leverage are the benefits of an e-commerce store.

Tip: Be concise and direct. Build a solid case, and do so in a captivating way.
Clearly state the problem or goal your proposal aims to address. You want to assure the client or sponsor that you fully understand the situation.
Here’s an executive summary example defining the problem:
All purchases are currently done in physical stores. This limits sales potential and the possibility of gaining new customers. With the upcoming launch of Firefly’s summer bag collection, there’s no better time than now to step up its online presence.

Tip: Be very clear about the business need behind the project. The focus here is the client and their pain point, not you or your company — not yet, anyway.
Next, briefly explain the solution you’re proposing. Then, give them a mental picture of what their business would end up looking like once their problem is solved. You want to touch on the business benefits of the completed project, which will generally come in the form of:
Here’s an example of an executive summary describing the solution and expected outcome:
All this can be done with Shopify, a full-service e-commerce platform that provides retailers with an easy-to-use interface for creating professional-looking websites. It comes with all the features they need to manage product listings, inventory, sales, and customer information. It even offers customers different ways to pay — debit or credit cards, mobile wallets, and more!
These features can better translate Firefly & Co.’s social media success into profits. With a Shopify store, your customers won’t always have to travel to your store to get the Firefly essentials they need.

Tip: Keep things high level while still giving readers something to be excited about.
This is where you briefly talk about your expertise and whether you’ve done any similar projects before — your qualifications, essentially. You want the client to know that you or your team can deliver on time and within budget. If you can, include relevant figures to highlight your ability to get things done.

Here’s an executive summary sample offering proof of your expertise:
We, at Wildling Creatives, have used Shopify in multiple projects, and most of our clients have seen growth in sales by up to 50% within six months of integrating their brick-and-mortar store with an e-commerce site.
We’re a team of handpicked professionals with a combined 30 years of experience in e-commerce marketing. We’re certified Shopify experts, and with our eyes for good design, web development skills, and expert knowledge in business and e-commerce, we’ve been helping brands like yours create and improve their online shopping presence for years.

Tip: Talk about your strengths, but never lie. Make sure the numbers you include are accurate. If you haven’t already, use project management software for easier tracking and retrieving of key project management metrics such as return on investment and profit margin.
Explain why they should work with you and what they can achieve by doing so. Your call to action can also include your contact information, in case the executive has a question.

Here’s an example:

E-commerce is the way forward. Done right, an unprecedented sales boom is just around the corner.
By partnering with Wildling Creatives, not only will Firefly & Co. significantly boost local sales and improve brand recognition, but it will also open its doors to international customers. We’ve done it for swimwear superstar Bonnie Smith Swim Co., and we’re confident we can also turn Firefly & Co. into the global success it’s meant to be.
If you’re ready to take the next step, this proposal outlines in more detail what you can expect and how we’ll do it. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to personally take your call at (55) 555-5555.

Tip: The goal of an executive summary is more to sell than describe, so this is where you try and close the deal.
To get a better sense of how different executive summaries look, here are templates you can download from

Now that you’ve written your executive summary, you want to give it a run-through before you send it off to investors, clients, or potential partners. Be sure to check for the following:
An executive summary should be brief, usually just one or a few pages long. It cannot be comprehensive. If your reader has questions, they can read the details in the proposal or business plan. As a rule of thumb, the length of your executive summary should be between 5-10% of the full report or proposal.

Avoid jargon. Use language your target audience understands. Writing for medical experts will be vastly different from writing for people in finance.

Discuss the major points in the same order as they appear in the full document. Refrain from introducing information not found in the proposal. And, of course, edit and proofread. You don’t want any typos or errors in your executive summary.
Check if there are any formatting guidelines to follow. Otherwise, structure your executive summary in a way that’s easy to skim. Instead of long blocks of text, use bullet points to break down complex information, headings/subheadings to organize topics, and even images to enhance the reader’s understanding of the summary.
Also, it’s a good idea to get someone to critique your executive summary to see if there’s anything you’ve forgotten to include.

A project goes to the project planning stage because the client or a body of decision-makers believes it can solve a problem. But before that, the project manager or service provider writes a proposal, which generally takes time to write. Surely, you don’t want all your efforts to go to waste.

With a well-written executive summary, you get to highlight all the good points of your proposal and entice your target audience to take action.


Sales Funnel Template And Examples For 2022 – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

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Published: Aug 26, 2022, 3:00pm
Shaped like a funnel to illustrate the journey from a wide mass of prospects to a select few actual customers, a sales funnel communicates to your team your business’s sales strategy. We’ve gathered a few examples and constructed a guide to creating your own sales funnel template.
No matter how your type of business attracts customers, all potential customers are likely to ask similar questions and undertake similar steps toward determining whether or not they will buy from you. A sales funnel is a chart to visually represent your customer’s journey. A sales funnel can help train and prepare your sales team or help you understand your product and sales experience from the perspective of your customer.
All sales funnels are made up of a series of steps your prospective customers take as they “funnel” from the mass of all targeted customers to become a qualified lead, and eventually make an actual purchase. The most basic version of these steps was first imagined by advertising advocate Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. Awareness/Attention, Interest, Desire/Decision and Action, or AIDA, describe the four stages that make up any sales funnel.
Awareness—also called attention—is the stage your targeted customers first learn about your product. Interest describes the moment a customer becomes interested in or aware of your product. When the customer demonstrates a preference or a desire to choose your product over others, you’ve reached the desire stage. Action follows when the customer either starts a trial or actually purchases the product.
The basic structure of any sales funnel includes three main levels: the top, middle and bottom. Each level is usually broken up into sublevels as well.
Top of the Funnel
All sales funnels will begin with awareness, the stage at which potential customers need to first become aware of your product or service. The top of the funnel is the widest section since it contains the huge mass of potential customers you target with advertising as you raise awareness about your product. At this stage, you begin by researching your prospective customers and then targeting them using online ads, content marketing, cold calls and emails to turn them into leads.
The top section will also include the next step, interest, which is beginning to pursue leads that may have had some type of contact with your brand, product or service but are not yet considering it as something they want. This can be done through product demonstrations, service proposals and through the nurturing of your leads by following up with phone calls and further targeted marketing.
Middle of the Funnel
You enter the decision stage with your prospective customer when you begin sending proposals or quotes and negotiating terms. At this point, your prospect has decided that they like your product or service, but needs to make the final decision if they want to actually purchase. Depending on your business, this could be a large or small section of the funnel. It may be a quick process from awareness to purchase, or you may have to further pursue leads for a larger sale.
Bottom of the Funnel 
Finally, you enter the action stage when you are “closing the deal” with your new customer. This is the decision-making stage for your prospective customers and is the time you need to prove your value and build trust in order to separate yourself from competitors. This can take many forms depending on how your product is delivered. Is it a single product or service, or are you bringing them into a subscription platform? Either way, onboarding and pay transactions take place at this stage.
Depending on your business, some funnels may have additional bottom of the funnel stages after purchase, designed to create customer loyalty and build repeat business. This stage is about maintaining customer satisfaction after purchase to generate a long-lasting loyal relationship with your customers.
Providing your team with a sales funnel that is unique to your specific process can be a great help in visualizing the steps each team member should take to close their deals. Download our free sales funnel template and customize it for your needs.
Download Free Sales Funnel Template
The average conversion rate across all industries is 3.9%, with B2B tech as low as just 1.7% and professional services averaging around 9.3%. An effective sales funnel helps you and your sales team strategize and focus on only those leads most likely to be converted. This increases productivity, makes forecasting and insights easier and improves customer relations.
A sales funnel can help you and your team increase productivity by helping you better understand your ideal customer and more efficiently meet their needs. This saves time that might be wasted chasing after unqualified leads.
Using a sales funnel will allow you and your sales team to gain valuable insight about your prospective customer base as they move through each funnel stage. Recognizing what your prospects are looking for and what turns them into qualified leads will provide you with better insight into your product or service development and enable you to predict sales success.
Sales funnels will also help you visualize leads that are not moving to the next funnel stage, thus allowing you better understand the needs of potential customers you’re missing out on.
A brokerage is a business representing multiple providers of products or services and “brokering” to customers. A brokerage sales funnel follows the relatively standard sales funnel by first raising brand awareness via marketing, then gauging interest by educating customers and nurturing prospects. The third stage of the funnel is key for brokerages, as this is where the funnel differs slightly from a basic structure. When customers request pricing, brokers can offer a sales quote with a presentation of the multiple options being offered. Finally, the customer makes a purchasing decision.
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) products are a bit more complicated than selling a physical item, but this business will also benefit from a sales funnel. As with most sales funnels, it begins with making prospective customers aware of your SaaS product via online ads, marketing, emails or cold calls. Next, sales reps should follow up with leads to nurture and qualify, delivering sales pitches or conducting product demos to lock in interest.
A proposal with pricing and service terms follows and the customers will consider the product, potentially asking questions or negotiating costs. Then, the deal is won or lost as the customer makes a purchasing decision. The key to SaaS products is often in the fifth funnel stage, which may come much later: the “renewal stage.” Current customers either renew existing plans, upgrade to a better plan or may cancel the service.
Enterprise sales involve selling products to larger, enterprise-sized companies. The funnels for these types of businesses look only a bit different because the types of sales are so large that there is more relationship building with each prospective customer. Sales reps will first determine if leads are actually qualified to purchase the product or service, then will conduct a demo and offer a sales pitch. If the customer is on board, sales reps can continue with proposals or service trials before closing the deal.
Business-to-business, or B2B, services often include consulting-type businesses such as IT management, law firms, accounting, marketing agencies and more. The B2B sales funnel is similar to most other funnels but includes a bit more focus in the interest stage with sales reps spending time educating prospective customers about how the service may best benefit their own business. Reps will then create a proposal, which the prospective customer may consider and negotiate before making a final purchasing decision.
Though social media and email marketing sales are often much simpler than brokerage, B2B, SaaS and enterprise-level sales, a sales funnel can still benefit a business selling via the internet. This social media sales funnel strategizes drawing customers to a product through the same AIDA steps: Targeting social media posts generates awareness, emailing with subscribed prospects attracts interest, hosting an online event to help guide decisions and finally offering the customers your product to drive action.
The key to creating the best sales funnel for your business comes from truly understanding your sales pipeline and how each step brings you closer to converting your leads into customers. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider while drawing out sales funnels:
One of the most important parts of structuring your sales funnel is knowing your ideal customers. Imagining the most ideal version of your customer will ensure you are building your sales funnel to move that type of prospect from lead to purchase by considering buying behaviors, what types of communication might be preferred and where to target to best find this customer.
Once you have created a profile of your ideal customer, determine how you will personalize each step of each customer’s journey so they have the most positive experience possible with your brand. These steps will further inform the stages of your sales funnel.
It can be easy to find a huge slew of possible leads, but nurturing those prospects into qualified leads and eventually converting them to customers can be much harder. The later stages of any sales funnel will be about engaging with your customers—whether you are creating interactive content, offering demos or trials or even just further engaging on social media or other marketing fronts, you want to nurture your leads. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can be a huge boon to this process.
A sales funnel is a useful tool for any business, regardless of whether your sales team is just you, or you have hundreds of reps executing large-volume sales day in and day out. A sales funnel takes the often confusing and text-heavy description of your business’s sales pipeline and simplifies it in an easy-on-the-eyes graphical structure. This will allow you to visualize your customer’s journey from start to finish, improving your sales processes, helping you forecast revenue, gain insight into your customers and manage your sales overall.
A sales funnel is a graphical visualization of a series of steps or stages a business uses to guide its prospective customers through every step of the sales process. The funnel may look different for different styles of business, but will contain similar stages from initial awareness of the brand all the way to the customer purchasing or renewing a product or service.
Building a sales funnel will look different for different kinds of businesses, but all sales funnels should follow a business’s ideal customer from initial prospect to qualified lead and eventually to customer. The steps may be unique to each business but are always in service of converting prospects into happy customers.
While sales funnels may have a variety of different stages unique to each type of business, each will typically follow the “AIDA” model of: Awareness, when prospects first hear about your brand, Interest, when you start to create qualified leads, Desire, when leads express a preference towards your brand or product and Action, when leads are converted to customers. With modern products, a fifth stage focused on loyalty, re-engagement and customer retention is often also important.
Any sales-based business can benefit from a sales funnel as it helps business owners, managers and salespeople alike understand the sales process and the different stages of the sales pipeline. This helps businesses improve sales processes, forecast revenue, gain insight into a customer base and manage sales overall.
Chauncey grew up on a farm in rural northern California. At 18 he ran away and saw the world with a backpack and a credit card, discovering that the true value of any point or mile is the experience it facilitates. He remains most at home on a tractor, but has learned that opportunity is where he finds it and discomfort is more interesting than complacency.
Cassie is a deputy editor, collaborating with teams around the world while living in the beautiful hills of Kentucky. She is passionate about economic development and is on the board of two non-profit organizations seeking to revitalize her former railroad town. Prior to joining the team at Forbes Advisor, Cassie was a Content Operations Manager and Copywriting Manager at Fit Small Business.