What is the sales funnel?

The definition of the sales funnel (also known as a revenue funnel or sales process) refers to the buying process that companies lead customers through when purchasing products. A sales funnel is divided into several steps, which differ depending on the particular sales model. One common sales process is divided into seven phases including:

  • Awareness Phase – in which prospects become aware of the existence of a solution.
  • Interest Phase – in which prospects demonstrate interest in a product by conducting product research.
  • Evaluation Phase – in which prospects or prospect companies examine competitors’ solutions as they inch toward a final buying decision.
  • Decision Phase – In which a final decision is reached and negotiation begins.
  • Purchase Phase – in which goods or services are purchased.
  • Reevaluation Phase – in B2B sales it’s common for offerings to involve contracts that need to be renewed. As a customer becomes familiar with an offering, and especially as a contract draws to a close, a customer will enter a reevaluation phase during which they’ll decide whether or not to renew their contract.
  • Repurchase Phase – in which a customer repurchases a product or service.

Inside sales managers commonly adopt strategies, tools and tactics aimed at optimizing each stage of their sales process.