What Exactly is the Sales Funnel?

by Taline Badrikian


You've probably heard the phrase "sales funnel" tossed around from time to time. It's an essential part of the sales and marketing processes in this day and age, but if you don't know what it means, it probably sounds like just another buzz phrase.

Have no fear! Our inbound marketing agency is here to explain how the funel works and what to do at each step through. 


How Your Sales Team Uses the Sales Funnel

The individual layers of the funnel will usually vary from business to business. Usually, the stages will be defined by brand-specific jargon that encompasses the company's culture and values. That said, the basic idea remains the same no matter which company or industry you're dealing with.

  • Take it to the Top. The top of the sales funnel is the largest part. That's because there are tons of potential customers floating around online, just waiting to fall in love with your business. You have some work to do to move them down the funnel, so you need a wide net at the top to capture as much interest as possible. The more engaged consumers become, the further down the funnel they fall.

The top of the funnel is typically where you'll account for website visits and begin to accumulate potential leads.

  • Making it to the Middle. Once your audience has made it to the middle of the funnel, you've managed to engage your audience enough to pique their interests. At this point, you're trying to weed out qualified leads from those who probably aren't actually going to make a purchase at the end of the process.
  • Final Filter. The final part of the funnel is smallest in size because this portion contains the greatest concentration of people who are most interested and most engaged with your business and they could actually turn into customers. When the funnel has been properly procured at all prior stages, your sales team has an excellent chance of closing the deal when consumers find their way to the end of the funnel.

Take a look at Hubspot's sales funnel for a more in depth and visual demonstration.


How Sales Funnel Stages Affect the Way You Engage Your Customers

No matter what you call each stage of your sales funnel, it's important to understand that each layer represents a different phase in your buyers' journeys. In other words, this is where marketing comes into play. The content that's most likely to entice folks at the top of the funnel isn't likely to work for people who have made their way all the way down to the bottom.

  • At the Top. Also known as the "awareness" phase, this is when people are digging around for answers and doing research to figure out their possible options.
  • In the Middle. The "evaluation" phase -- At this point, heavy research is ensuing, and customers are evaluating you against your competitors to determine the best prices, product, quality, and service for their particular needs.
  • At the Bottom. This is the "decision" phase. They've decided they like you, and you have what they're looking for. Now it's up to you to seal the deal.

If the sales funnel is an unfamiliar element to your small business, you should consider speaking with an inbound marketing agency that can explain the way each stage could enhance your particular company.  

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Topics: Lead Generation

Taline Badrikian

Written by Taline Badrikian

Taline is the founder of Laveh Inbound Marketing. Using modern marketing concepts without the hefty price tag, Taline has a history of leading small businesses to explosive growth.