What is a sales funnel and how does it work?

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What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel takes prospects through various stages of their buying journey. You can track a customer’s journey by using customer relationship management (CRM) software.

What does a sales funnel do?

A hand writing the word Audience on a whiteboard

No matter the stage, sales funnels are about providing value to your audience. (Image credit: Melanie Deziel on Unsplash)

A sales funnel offers:

  • A five-stage process: Awareness, Interest, Decision, Purchase, and Repurchase.
  • A way of categorizing and interacting with your target audience based on the buying stage they are at.
  • Strategies that optimize the conversion rate at each stage, which can include online advertising, email marketing automation, deal negotiation, tracking and analytics, and using sales software such as CRMs.
  • An opportunity for sales and marketing teams to collaborate on high-value leads, using a centralized contact and pipeline database.
  • A reminder to prioritize and nurture leads that show interest in your business—for example, lead interest may be expressed by downloading a whitepaper or making a product inquiry.
  • A systematic approach to ensure valuable leads don’t drop out of the funnel by enabling you to track customer communications, analyze conversion rates, and learn from high-performance teams.
  • An effective way to boost your bottom line and use marketing and sales resources more efficiently.

How departments can use a sales funnel

Sales 

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