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Top 10 Reasons You’re Not Reaching Your Sales Funnel Goals

Hailey Dale


I’m Hailey – content strategist and founder here at Your Content Empire where we help you create more profitable, purposeful and productive content — and hopefully enjoy yourself more while doing it too. Learn more about me here >>

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Content Systems
Content Strategy
Sales Funnels
Top 10 Reasons You're Not Reaching Your Sales Funnel Goals

One of the ways that we help clients reach their sales funnel goals in the agency is through our funnel fix package. It starts with a funnel audit and then a step by step optimization plan to help bring their funnel strategy, messaging, design, copy and traffic targets into alignment with their goals. 

When clients come to us for this,  it’s usually because they’ve had a not-so-great experience creating or scaling their funnel on their own. They’re rightfully upset that they haven’t met their sales goals and usually not met by a long shot.

People often don’t realize how much work goes into a successful funnel—and that most of the work actually starts after the first version of it is launched. They’ve been tricked by the sparkling lights and Facebook posts that start with phrases like, “I’ve reached 100K in 3 days with my latest funnel.

That’s why I want to start an important conversation (an expectation checkpoint) about the top 10 reasons you’re not reaching your sales funnel goals. 

Reason #1: You haven’t nailed your funnel messaging

At the core of a successful funnel is clear marketing messaging. 

How can you communicate your paid and free offers so that

  1. Perfect potential customers understand exactly what it is
  2. The value of these offers are crystal clear
  3. Your customers are motivated to take action right away (they know they can’t afford to wait)

Even if the offer is incredible, having shoddy messaging can sink the whole funnel. This is also why our funnel fix package starts and ends with a messaging map so that we’re talking the same language as the clients of our clients in every single piece of copy we produce. 

Reason #2: You haven’t done enough nurturing to earn trust

The last thing you want to do is jump straight into a “buy my thing” pitch in your funnel—especially if that offer isn’t a small tripwire-priced impulse buy. 

If you’re leading to an offer that’s going to require a multi-consideration purchasing decision, there are a number of things the potential customer is going to have to believe about you and your offer: 

  • You understand their problem
  • You know how to solve their problem and have proven experience solving it
  • This is something different (and better) than they’ve tried before
  • The investment is low-risk for them (it has a high chance of success or they can control-alt-delete the decision and get their money back)

This is done through the nurture touch points in your funnel and it’s not something you want to half-heartedly throw together or rush through. 

Reason #3: You haven’t segmented your list (you’re trying to sell to your entire list)

Related to reason number 2 in that you aren’t making use of list segmentation. So instead of selling to anyone who joins your list or putting your entire list into your funnel, include interest segmentation so that you’re only selling to the people who are the most interested and likely to say yes to your offer. 

Not doing so is a mistake of a couple of reasons:

  • You’ll see more people unsubscribing from your list
  • Your email conversion rates will look worse than they are because of unopens and unclicks by an audience whose inactions shouldn’t count against the funnel performance

Segmenting to identify your warmest leads can also let you add into personal touch points which have a huge impact on conversion rates and connection.

Reason #4: You’ve set unrealistic sales funnel goals

This is a big one, especially for people who are new to sales funnels. The truth is that until you have your own benchmarks to work with for predicting the outcomes of funnels, you are guessing a bit here.

However, there are some common industry standards that should help you guestimate more accurately.

  • On an average salespage, you can expect 1-3% of your unique traffic to convert to sales
  • With an average engaged email list (or interest list – see reason three above), you can expect 1-3% of subscribers to purchase
  • With the average automated webinar, approximately 25% of sign-ups will watch it, and approximately 20% of those will purchase during the follow-up

Like I mentioned, these are averages and there are SO many factors that determine how your conversion rates will actually stack up against these averages. 

Things like: How effective is your sales copy? How well do you sell your offer in a webinar if it’s a webinar funnel? Time of year? How well aligned your offer is to what your audience actually wants? The list goes on and on.

Reason #5: List exhaustion, you’re selling all the time and not spending enough time nurturing

You’re excited about all the new things you’re creating – that’s totally understandable. But you should be spending more time nurturing and providing value to your audience than you do selling to them.

Couple of good rules to follow:

  • 80/20. Just like with social media, 80% of your content should be for providing value and engagement and 20% (or less) to do with selling.
  • Don’t just show up in your subscriber’s inbox when you have something you want them to buy.

The sweet spot for me is to plan a launch per quarter with a couple of super segmented “inner circle” promotions in between.

Reason #6: You haven’t prequalified your offer or audience

Another reason you haven’t hit your funnel goals is that you’ve missed the mark with your offer and customer. 

Usually this happens because we create our products in vacuum. Meaning we’re super excited about them so we think our audience will be too. 

So without any surveying or collecting feedback, we press on, bring the idea to life and then start selling it and just cross our fingers they’ll love it.

Reason #7: The sales page isn’t converting

Even if everything else in your launch goes perfectly, the whole thing can go awry because of your sales page.

Remember: You don’t write a salespage, you assemble it in sections.

Here’s a common salespage outline we use frequently in our funnel projects:

  • Countdown Timer
  • Headline
  • Paint the picture of the pain points (also lets them know who it’s for)
  • Introduce my solution
  • Call to action
  • Benefits (or features tied to benefits)
  • Testimonial
  • What it looks like (the process)
  • Full breakdown
  • Call to action
  • Testimonial
  • Who am I
  • Call to action
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Guarantee

Want my epic guide to writing a salespage that converts? Read or watch it here >>

The Easy Way to Write Your Next Salespage [Free Salespage Copy Kit]

Reason #8: You haven’t set any sales funnel goals

Worse than setting unrealistic goals, setting no goals is another common mistake. 

I like to set an ultimate and baseline goal for the funnels we create and launch. 

The baseline goal is that very first milestone that gives us proof of concept and gives us a base to start scaling and optimizing the funnel using the TLC (traffic, leads, conversions) method. 

The ultimate goal is what we're building up towards. 

Once you have these in place and at least 100 people through the funnel, you can start building out projection models to reverse engineer your goals and pathway to optimize your way there. 

Download the sales funnel audit calculator to get started: 

Reason #9: Your offer isn’t enticing enough

A bit of a hard truth, one that I begrudgingly deliver more often than I’d like, is that your offer (the offer itself and the special offer you’re using for the funnel), just isn’t enticing enough for your people to care. 

Remember reason #2 when I mentioned the 4 things you need to earn enough trust for people to say yes to your offer? (recap: you understand their problem, you know how to solve their problem and have proven experience solving it, this is something different (and better) than they’ve tried before, the investment is low-risk for them), well here comes the final piece of the puzzle that you have to answer in the sales part of your funnel while reinforcing the earlier four:

You need to demonstrate that your offer is something they need to do now (they can’t afford to just wait until the time is right). 

And far too often, I see people just randomly throwing in bonuses for the sake of having something that their potential customers just couldn’t care less about. 

Anything less than making the offer irresistible? Skip it. 

Reason #10: You don’t get enough traffic to reach the sales funnel goals you want

The biggest and most common reason though is that you don’t have enough traffic to support your funnel goals. This happens when the conversion numbers are good (opt-in rate on your freebie sign-up page, conversion rate of the salespage or purchases post-sales calls) but there’s just not enough volume to scale those numbers to where you want them to be. 

And most people drastically underestimate the traffic they need. You can fix this by running your numbers, doing a sales funnel audit (here’s my free calculator) and then reverse engineering the numbers needed to hit your goals. 

Then if there’s a big discrepancy between where you are now and where you want to be, here are a couple of things you can do right now to make your goals more manageable:

#1 – You can play with the price lever. So if it is, “I need to make 500 sales every month off this tiny offer to hit my monthly goals,” Do you need to increase the value of that offer and increase the price tag to go along with it? That way you need far less sales in order to reach your goals. 

#2 – Use a baseline approach. Even though you might have a goal of reaching 10 sales a month of your course, start with just one. What do you need to hit one regular sale per month of your course? And then once you achieve one on a consistent basis, what do you need to get two sales a month, then 4, then before you know you’ll be at your desired target of 10. 

We're not going from zero to 10, right out of the gate, we're going from zero to one, one to two. Small, incremental improvements are the way to go when you’re setting big goals that are both motivating and achievable.

So which of these reasons do you suspect is the culprit behind you not hitting your funnel goals? 

Grab the free sales funnel audit calculator and start charting your course to more sales: 

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