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. The definition also refers to the process through which a company finds, qualifies, and sells its products to buyers.
The typical sales funnel is divided into multiple steps, which differ depending on the particular sales model. One of the most common ways of dividing a sales funnel possesses 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.
Both marketing teams and inside sales managers commonly adopt strategies, tools, and tactics aimed at optimizing each stage of their sales process.