It can be confusing.
You've finally got a grasp on what a "Sales Funnel" is - it converts a member of your target audience into a paying customer ...
... and it makes sense.
You start with advertising to a large number of people and through the rapport building stage some people "fall out" because they're not interested, not looking to buy, don't care, etc.
Eventually you're left with a handful of people that want to buy your product or service and the "shape" of the flow looks like a funnel.
But then, you're told that something that looks like this is a sales funnel too:
It looks nothing like a funnel ... it looks like some kind of crazy flow chart!
They're All Sales Funnels
The crazy looking flow chart thing is what the inside of a sales funnel looks like.
It's basically the "engine" or "system."
Through that whole process, you're going to bring people in, you're going to build a relationship - some people are going to "fall out", some people are going to buy, and some people are going to become repeat customers.
Picture it like this:
So, whether you hear sales funnel, sales system, automated sales system, or email marketing plan ... they're all referring to the same concept.
Hopefully that clarifies things for you and helps you move forward with the implementation of a sales funnel for your business!