Sales Funnel vs Marketing Funnel: Which Is Best for Your Business?

Sales Funnel:

A sales funnel is a structured marketing model that represents the journey a potential customer takes from initial awareness to making a purchase. It is a visual representation of the customer’s progression through various stages, typically consisting of awareness, interest, consideration, and decision.

Marketing Funnel:

In digital marketing, a sales and a marketing funnel are separate yet connected ideas.

Both are essential for drawing in prospective clients and turning them into paying ones. This article will examine the distinctions between a sales and marketing funnel and how to use each to boost a company’s return on investment (ROI).

A sales funnel shows a consumer’s path from when they first learn about a product or service to when they make a purchase. It is termed a funnel because it begins with many potential clients and gets smaller as they abandon the purchase process at various points. 

The steps of a sales funnel include the following:

Awareness: A prospective customer first becomes aware of a product or service.

Interest: The prospective consumer is curious about the product or service and is interested in learning more about it.

Desire:  At this point, a potential consumer is interested in the good or service and is considering making a purchase.

Purchase: The prospective consumer completes the purchase process.

The objective of a sales funnel is to transfer prospective consumers through its various stages until they become paying clients. 

Businesses must offer each consumer a seamless and personalised experience as they move through the funnel to achieve this.

This can be accomplished using focused marketing and sales strategies, including email campaigns, landing sites, and product recommendations.

  • Various marketing strategies for sales funnel:

The sales funnel represents a customer’s journey, from awareness of a product or service to making a purchase.

Businesses can employ various marketing techniques to achieve objectives along the sales funnel.

  1. Awareness: In this stage, we can Increase brand awareness through content marketing and advertising and assist in attracting new clients at the top of the sales funnel by 
    • Traditional media: TV and print advertisements,
    • Digital channels: social media, search engine marketing, and display advertising

2. Interest: We can draw customers’ interest and take them farther down the sales funnel using content marketing techniques. This can be accomplished using 

  • Email marketing
  • Lead magnets
  • Social media interaction
  • Blog entries 
  • Instructional videos.

3. Desire: To make customers ready to make purchases, we can accomplish this using 

    Product demos, client testimonials, case studies, and tailored communication.

4. Action: Inspiring leads to take action is the key to turning them into customers at the bottom of the funnel. This can be accomplished with

  1. Focused calls to action
  2. Temporary promotions and 
  3. Compelling product descriptions.

Importance of Landing page:

As they operate as a company’s first point of contact with potential consumers, landing pages are an essential part of the sales funnel.

 By obtaining visitors’ contact information in return for something valuable, such as an ebook, webinar, or email course, a landing page aims to convert visitors into leads.

Landing pages are crucial in the sales funnel since they assist in directing visitors’ attention to a particular offer, good, or service. 

A landing page can help move visitors down the sales funnel by encouraging them to take action and give their contact information by including a clear and appealing call-to-action (CTA).

The steps of a marketing funnel include the following:

A marketing funnel is a more comprehensive illustration of the customer journey, starting from the point at which a consumer learns about a brand and ending when they develop a loyal relationship.

In contrast to a sales funnel, a marketing funnel encompasses the full customer journey and is not just focused on the buying process.

Target audience: Understand your ideal customer’s demands, interests, and purchasing behaviour.

Awareness: A potential customer initially learns about a brand at this stage of the awareness process.

Create awareness using multiple platforms, including social media, SEO, content marketing, and advertising.

Interest: The prospective client is curious about the brand and wants to learn more about it.

You can create interest in your brand or service by offering excellent information, showcasing its benefits, and responding to frequently asked questions.

Consideration: At this stage, a potential consumer considers and assesses a brand’s goods and services.

By creating a desire for your product by emphasising its unique qualities, addressing specific issues, and instilling a feeling of urgency.

Conversion: At this point, the prospective client buys something and signs up as a client.

Encourage action via a call-to-action (CTA) that is clear and appealing, such as a form or button.

Loyalty: At this point, the customer develops brand loyalty and keeps buying from the company.

A marketing funnel aims to convert prospective clients into devoted ones. 

Follow-up: Follow up with unconverted leads to maintain their interest and progress them towards a sale.

Businesses must comprehend their target market, offer a smooth customer experience, and foster trust with their clients to do this. 

This can be accomplished through customised marketing initiatives, including customer loyalty programmes, social media marketing, and focused email advertising.

Focused email marketing:

Email marketing sends targeted and customised emails to customers and prospects at various points in the marketing funnel. 

By adjusting messaging to the particular requirements and preferences of each stage of the funnel, the 3 main objective are:

  1. Nurture leads
  2. Develop connections 
  3. Promote conversions and sales.

Boost conversion rates entail segmenting email lists depending on subscriber activities and distributing pertinent, personalised content.

Sales Funnel VS Marketing Funnel:

AspectSales FunnelMarketing Funnel
DefinitionA visual representation of the stages a customer goes through before making a purchase.A visual representation of the stages a prospect goes through before becoming a customer.
FocusConversion of leads into paying customers.Building brand awareness, lead generation, and nurturing potential customers.
StagesAwareness, Interest, Decision, Action.Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Intent, Evaluation, Purchase.
MetricsConversion rate, Average Order Value (AOV), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and Sales Volume.Traffic volume, Click-Through Rate (CTR), Cost-Per-Click (CPC), Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA), and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
ToolsLanding pages, Call-to-Action (CTA), Email marketing, and Sales page.Content marketing, Social media, SEO, PPC, Email marketing, and Webinars.
ObjectiveTo maximise sales and revenue.To create a relationship with prospects and build trust, increasing the likelihood of a purchase.
TimingAfter a lead has expressed interest in the product/service.Before a prospect even knows the business exists.
Customer JourneyA linear path towards the purchase, with a clear end goal.A circular path that begins with awareness, continues through consideration, evaluation, and purchase, and then loops back to create repeat business.
Team InvolvementSales team, customer service, and finance.Marketing team, sales team, content creators, and SEO specialists.
ImportanceCritical for generating revenue and maintaining customer relationships.Critical for generating brand awareness, building relationships with prospects, and increasing the number of leads.

Importance of converting paid clients to devoted ones

As repeat business is essential for long-term growth and sustainability, firms must convert paid customers into loyal ones.

 Repeat consumers are more likely to spend more money, recommend the company to others, and provide positive reviews, which can promote more sales.

Retaining consumers can assist a business’s bottom line and boost its return on investment because keeping current clients is often less expensive than obtaining new ones (ROI).

Boosting companies ROI using both funnels:

A company can increase its return on investment (ROI) by using sales and marketing funnels.

 A company can ensure its target audience hears the correct message at the right time by using the marketing funnel to raise awareness, spark interest, foster desire, and inspire action. Sales may be boosted, and conversion rates may rise as a result.

With the use of the sales funnel, a company can monitor each lead’s development and ensure that they are efficiently nurtured and moved through the funnel in the direction of a sale. 

Increasing conversion rates and generating more income might help identify funnel bottlenecks and optimise the sales process.

By combining the two funnels, a company can increase ROI by ensuring that its target audience is being reached with the correct message at the right time and that its sales process is set up for optimal conversion. 

The major possible outcomes of using the funnels are

  1. Improved sales
  2. More effective resource management
  3. Higher ROI for the company 

Real-world examples that illustrate the differences between a sales funnel and a marketing funnel:

  1. Sales Funnel Example: Online Retailer

An online retailer might use a sales funnel to convert website visitors into paying customers. The retailer would create a landing page that showcases their products and includes a call-to-action (CTA) button to encourage visitors to add items to their cart. Once the visitor adds items to their cart, the retailer would send abandoned cart emails to remind the visitor to complete their purchase. The goal of the sales funnel is to convert website visitors into paying customers.

  1. Marketing Funnel Example: B2B SaaS Company

A B2B SaaS company might use a marketing funnel to generate leads and convert them into customers. The company would create a blog post on a relevant topic to attract potential customers and include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the post to encourage readers to sign up for a free trial. The company would then nurture those leads with targeted email campaigns and webinars to educate them about the product and build trust. The goal of the marketing funnel is to build brand awareness, generate leads, and ultimately convert those leads into paying customers.


To sum up, a sales and a marketing funnel are both significant ideas in digital marketing.

 A sales funnel concentrates on the buying procedure and seeks to turn prospective clients into paying ones. 

On the other hand, a marketing funnel concentrates on the complete client experience and seeks to convert potential customers into devoted ones. 

Businesses may improve their ROI and accomplish their marketing and sales objectives by comprehending and utilising both a sales and marketing funnel.