The sales funnel (also known as the sales funnel or sales process) refers to the buying process by which companies lead customers when they buy products. The definition also refers to the process by which a company finds, qualifies and sells its products to buyers.
The typical sales funnel is divided into several stages, which differ depending on the particular sales model. One of the most common ways to split a sales funnel has seven steps, including:
- Awareness phase – where the prospects are aware of the existence of a solution.
- Phase of interest – where the prospects demonstrate an interest in a product by conducting research on the product.
- Evaluation phase – in which potentials or potential companies examine competitors’ solutions as they move towards a final purchasing decision.
- The decision-making phase – In which a final decision is reached and negotiations begin.
- Purchase phase – where goods or services are purchased.
- Revaluation phase – In B2B sales it is common for offers to involve contracts that need to be renewed. As a customer becomes familiar with an offer and especially when a contract is concluded, a customer will enter a revaluation phase during which he will decide whether or not to renew his contract.
- The redemption phase – in which a customer buys a product or service.
Both marketing teams and internal sales managers typically adopt strategies, tools and tactics aimed at optimizing each stage of the sales process.