Difference between Sales Funnel and Marketing Funnel

Having the ability to generate profits is crucial to the survival of a business. Because of this, businesses have little alternative but to engage in aggressive activities that will eventually lead to sales conversions. Sales and advertising are two methods that are regularly used to boost earnings. Most businesses view marketing and sales as separate entities, with each having its own set of responsibilities and procedures. However, in the context of the business world, the difference is often blurry because the two terms are nearly equivalent.

These expressions take on a deeper meaning when you define the relevant funnel, or more particularly, the path a customer follows from the prospect stage to the purchase stage. Can a marketing funnel be differentiated from a sales funnel? Let's find out.

What is a Sales Funnel?

To put it simply, it's a technique that takes a prospective buyer by the hand and leads them from the first marketing efforts all the way through to the final conversion. In spite of the wide variety of business structures, the usage of sales automation tools to guide leads through the sales funnel at a predetermined pace is commonplace. This helps to prevent the easy loss of potential business.

To be effective and yield the desired results, a sales funnel must be uniform and cohesive. This is because consumer behavior varies across the various sales phases.

The benefits of using a sales funnel are as follows −

  • Acquiring the trust of your target market might result in a dramatic increase in sales.

  • It is possible to identify problem areas in a sales process with the use of a sales funnel, allowing for more targeted troubleshooting.

  • They make the automated nature of the sales procedure more robust.

A sales funnel typically consists of these four stages −

  • Attention − Get the attention of a possible new client right now by spreading the word. Possibly you found this page by seeing a poster, reading an email, seeing an online ad, or doing a Google search.

  • Interest − In the interest stage, potential buyers learn more about the product and compare it to similar options.

  • Decision − When a shopper is ready to buy, they have progressed to the decision phase of the buying cycle. At this juncture, companies should supply clients with deals so alluring that they can't pass them up, including steep discounts or free delivery.

  • Action − During the action phase, the buyer takes the necessary steps to finalize the purchase. Though it's the last stop on the customer journey, firms still need to put in the effort to keep their current clientele happy by offering them perks like after-sale support.

A good sales funnel should have −

  • A sufficient quantity of the desired customers must be obtained

  • Convince potential customers to give you their contact details by impressing them.

  • Use sales activities to generate revenue.

  • Keep customers coming back for more purchases.

What is a Marketing Funnel?

The term "customer conversion" describes the action of converting a prospective client into a paying one. This not only helps potential customers become acquainted with a brand, but it also helps companies visualize their customers' journey, which in turn facilitates the creation of a strong marketing backbone.

The marketing process may be broken down into the following stages −

  • The overarching goal of any lead generation effort is to increase consumer familiarity with a company's product or service. Examples of lead generating activities include online advertising, trade shows, trade fairs, viral marketing campaigns, inbound marketing, and content marketing.

  • The next step, following a successful lead generation campaign, is to focus on developing those leads. Lead nurturing is the process of fostering a positive customer-brand connection.

These are the stages that make up a marketing funnel −

  • The first step in creating leads is raising brand recognition. Conducting market research is the first stage in developing a strategy to reach a wider audience. At this stage, companies will engage in a wide range of promotional activities, such as print and online ads, live shows, online seminars, and word-of-mouth campaigns.

  • At this point, you'll provide the client background about your business, your product, and anything else you think they could find helpful. Initiating contact with leads at this stage gives businesses the greatest chance to start a fruitful partnership.

  • Don't forget that potential buyers may find out more about your goods through channels like automated email messages.

  • Buyers' intent is revealed at two points: when a prospect expresses interest in a product via a survey and when a prospect adds a product to their online shopping basket. Customers who have already demonstrated an interest in making a purchase are moved to the consideration stage.

  • Customers in the evaluating phase are debating whether or not to buy a service or product. Both the marketing and sales teams work together to convince potential buyers that their product or service is the best choice.

  • After a prospect has made a purchase, they enter the buying stage of the sales funnel.

Similarities − Sales Funnel and Marketing Funnel

  • Both improve the ability of a business to foresee its customers' paths through the buying process.

  • Both organizations have the same goal of maximizing profits through elevating recognition of their brands or products among customers.

  • Each side should equip themselves with the knowledge, skills, and resources required to make the most of each stage.

Differences − Sales Funnel and Marketing Funnel

The following table highlights how a Sales Funnel is different from a Marketing Funnel −

Characteristics Sales Funnel Marketing Funnel


The sales funnel describes the path a potential customer takes from the initial point of contact (usually marketing) all the way through the final point of conversion (often closing a transaction).

The marketing funnel is the path that a potential customer takes to become an actual, paying customer.


More purchases of a product or service are the end goal of using a sales funnel.

Companies that care more about their reputation and brand recognition will do better in the marketing funnel.


The sales funnel helps keep clients interested.

Marketing funnels are used to pique consumers' attention.


The sales funnel describes the path a potential customer takes from the initial point of contact (usually marketing) all the way through the final point of conversion (often closing a transaction). The goal of this strategy is to boost sales of a certain product or service.

In contrast, the marketing funnel is more concerned with building up the name recognition and reputation of the company among potential customers than converting them into actual ones. Though distinct, the two parts work together to win over and retain customers.

Updated on: 16-Dec-2022

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