Difference between Funnel and Flywheel

The transformation from a funnel to a flywheel! The concepts are ubiquitous in the corporate world, especially in the fields of marketing and sales. For a very long time, businesses have used the notion of a sales funnel as the framework for organizing their marketing and sales activities. Salespeople, CEOs, and marketers have complained that this doesn't work, despite the fact that it has been shown advantageous.

One of the most powerful influences on consumer behavior is positive word-of-mouth and recommendations from current customers, yet the sales funnel considers the customer as an afterthought rather than a driving force. The ensuing flywheel is the subject of the next section.

What is a Funnel?

St. Elmo Lewis used this model to explain the development of businesses. It depicts the journey taken by the typical buyer from first product learning to final purchase. The journey may vary depending on the nature of the goods or services being purchased and the type of customer making the purchase.

The sales process typically consists of the following stages −

  • At the top of the sales funnel is "awareness," which describes the moment a prospective buyer hears about a product or service for the first time. Advertisements on Google and other search engines, social media, billboards, and radio spots are just a few examples of how this may be accomplished.

  • A customer's expression of interest in a product or service indicates that they have a positive opinion of it. Buying intent can be shown when someone makes a purchase-related inquiry, likes a product-related social media post, starts following the product's manufacturer or distributor online, performs an in-depth web search for the product's website, or signs up for the manufacturer or distributor's mailing list.

  • During the evaluating stage, the client compares and contrasts several service providers who offer the same or similar offerings.

  • Decisions are followed by negotiations.

  • Here, the client takes the initiative to buy the item.

  • After-sale incentives like discounts, how-to guides, and product usage suggestions can help keep customers coming back for more. This will make customers more likely to come back and tell their friends about you.

The sales funnel has degraded over time because it does not put the customer first. It often leads to thinking that once a lead has been converted, the job is done.

What is a Flywheel?

This strategy for making sales, which relies on the enthusiasm of existing customers to generate new ones through word-of-mouth advertising, was developed by James Watt. Model predicated on the idea that success may be measured by a company's ability to make its customers happy. Because of this, it has a beneficial effect on business metrics like sales, growth, and expansion.

The flywheel rotates around the consumer, who occupies its center; the quantity of momentum or energy generated is proportional to

  • The amount of resistance encountered.

  • The rate at which the flywheel turns.

  • The removal of irritants that exist between the teams

Consider how customer service and advertising should be reoriented to better serve them. The flywheel spins faster when there are more major impacting areas, such as customer service.

Additionally, the plan for the firm needs to eliminate friction, a source of inefficiency. Some methods for achieving this goal include open pricing practices, encouraging teamwork, and making an honest effort to connect with potential customers. However, the flywheel will look different in every company.

Differences − Funnel and Flywheel

Both the models share the common goal of converting leads into paying clients. The following table highlights how the Funnel model is different from the Flywheel model −

Characteristics Funnel Flywheel


The term "funnel" refers to a business growth model that specifies the steps a customer must take from the "awareness" stage to the "purchase" stage.

The term "flywheel" is used to describe a sales strategy that uses the enthusiasm of existing clients to bring in new ones and spread positive word of mouth.


The funnel was developed by E. St. Elmo Lewis.

James Watt is credited with the creation of the flywheel.

Customer focus

When a funnel is complete, customers are happy.

The flywheel's customers are its most valuable input.


In the funnel, the frictional zones are ignored.

By establishing transparent pricing, fostering an atmosphere of collaboration, and providing comprehensive customer service, the flywheel strives to lessen the system's resistance to change.


The term "funnel" refers to a company growth model that specifies the steps a consumer must follow from the "awareness" stage to the "buy" stage. Contrarily, the phrase "flywheel" is used to describe a sales strategy that relies on the enthusiasm of already-converted clients to generate new business through word-of-mouth.

While both strategies aim to increase conversions, the flywheel method is superior since it centers the customer experience at every stage of the process. It employs a simple pricing plan, encourages teamwork amongst its staff, and creates comprehensive links with prospective clients in an effort to minimize disruptions. Different business models necessitate different approaches, thus some methods may be more fruitful than others.

Updated on: 15-Dec-2022


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