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The Difference between a Marketing and a Sales Funnel

The traditional sales process involves selling face to face, and marketing is selling through a system. The basic difference is that your sales funnel involves making actual sales and making money, whereas your marketing funnel is everything leading up to your sales process.

A few years ago, Forrester Research published a report on “engagement” and suggested that the marketing funnel has become much more complex in today’s environment.  While the influencing factors are more complicated, the same simple, visual framework as the traditional marketing funnel can be leveraged to show this complexity. The design needs to account for engagement throughout the process rather than looking at it through a lens of static messages we push out.

Marketing Funnel

The three basics parts to a marketing funnel are –

Traffic – There are ton of traffic generation strategies. Once you start generating traffic you will want to consider the quality of the traffic. Also you want to constantly tweak your funnel to improve your conversions.

Leads – Once traffic generates interest, this process is considered a lead. A lead is anidentification of a person or entity that has the interest and authority to purchase a product or service.

Follow up – Follow up has consistently involved making phone calls and keeping a record of when you last talked to prospects. However this is the Information Age, thus making this process easier especially since crm’s have evolved.

Sales Funnel

A sales process, also known as a sales tunnel or a sales funnel, is a systematic approach to selling a product or service.

A sales funnel is a simple map of your lead-to-sale process.

  1. Let’s imagine you start with 1,000 leads (visitors to your web site)
  2. 100 might click on a sales page link for one of your products
  3. 50 might click your Order Now button and enter your shopping cart
  4. 10 complete the checkout process and buy the product

So your sales funnel starts at a 1,000 leads and ends in 10 sales—that’s a 1% conversion. The conversion rate is referred as a ratio of visitors who convert casual content views or website visits into desired actions based on needs and wants. The objective of the sales funnel is to increase the conversion rate of leads into actual buyers.

According to Heidi Cohen (heidicohen.com) – Today marketing plays a huge role in defining a revenue generation process, it shows how involved marketing is in a sales process and how integral its role in the process of converting Leads to customers. Marketing until now has always been considered as a cost center, however the entry of Marketing Automation platforms has ensured, companies are able to measure the ROI for their marketing activities and marketing stakes a claim as part of the revenue.



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