What’s the difference between a marketing funnel and a sales funnel?
Marketing funnels and sales funnels are crucial tools for businesses that want to take their customers on a journey from first brand interaction to conversion.
While sales and marketing funnels can be classified as conversion funnels, there are some explicit differences in the way they are applied to a business.
What is a funnel?
Before delving into the differences between marketing and sales funnels, we need to understand what the business definition of a funnel actually is.
A funnel can be described as the journey a person makes from a prospect to becoming a customer that purchases a product or service.
The journey can also be thought of in terms of the stages of the funnel a prospect passes through.
What is a Marketing Funnel?
Marketing campaigns focus on developing brand awareness and increasing visibility to gain a competitive edge over competitors.
A Marketing Funnel, therefore, is the approach digital marketers can take to guide potential customers from the discovery and awareness phase, right through to the point where they decide they want to purchase from you.
Increasing brand awareness
A marketing funnel allows prospects to get acquainted with your brand, helping them visualise their customer journey.
The marketing funnel has three components: building awareness, maintaining interest, and finally, customer evaluation.
The gold standard approach to a marketing funnel is to separate it into two phases: Lead generation and lead nurturing.
The first phase involves increasing brand awareness through marketing activities such as landing pages, content marketing, online ads, direct emails, social media outreach, newsletters, and so forth.
Developing and nurturing leads
The second phase involves taking those interested prospects and nurturing them by building a relationship through tailoring content to introduce them to the product or service they are interested in.
At the very end of the marketing funnel, the prospect becomes a qualified marketing lead.
What is a Sales Funnel?
The sales funnel picks up where the marketing funnel leaves off. The moment a prospect becomes attracted to the product or service on offer, they enter the sales funnel.
The goal of the sales funnel is to take a prospect and turn them into a paying conversion.
In simple terms, the marketing funnel piques the prospect’s interest and the sales funnel takes that interested party and guides them along the final part of the journey to becoming a paying customer.
Turning prospects into qualified sales leads
The moment the sales prospect considers purchasing your product or service, they become a sales qualified lead within the sales funnel.
The marketing funnel is the widest at the start, gradually narrowing and passing into the sales funnel. The last section of the sales funnel is the narrowest end of the conically shaped marketing funnel.
The real key to maximising funnels is to recognise where the marketing funnel tapers off and morphs into the start of the sales funnel.
Conclusion about the difference between sales and marketing funnels
In digital marketing when setting up your client acquisition process in place the biggest difference between a marketing funnel and a sales funnel is that, in a marketing funnel you automatise your lead generation. This is usually done for products and services that need a call or a 1:1 meeting to be sold.
On the other hand in a sales funnel you sell the product or service, and add upsells, downsells in the process to maximize your return on investment. This is creating your 24/7 sales rep. That will sell for you without getting tired or sick.
In the end it is the same process, it’s generating fully automatic leads or sales that will create a constant flow of new customers.
Creating your funnels is a very important step in the pillars of FairTech’s client acquisition formula. It is the pillar that helps you harvest leads and turn them into clients.