What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel, also called a purchase funnel, is the visual representation of the customer journey, depicting the sales process from awareness to action.


The funnel, which is also sometimes referred to as a marketing funnel or revenue funnel, illustrates the idea that every sale begins with a large number of potential customers and ends with a much smaller number of people who actually make a purchase.

How the sales funnel works

Sales funnel stages will vary by company, but they are generally divided into the following four sections:

  1. Awareness: This stage includes the largest number of customer prospects. They have determined a problem, begun searching for a solution and become aware of an organization via Content marketing, an email campaign, social media marketing or other avenue.
  3. Interaction: At this stage, the number of customer prospects begins to decrease, but the possibility of a sales conversion increases. This is generally when the customer will engage with the organization and request more information. The prospect will also conduct competitive research to determine if the organization’s product can best meet their needs.
  5. Interest: The prospect demonstrates increased interest in the organization by reaching out for answers to their questions. This stage of the process may include sales offers and further research into the different options the organization presents as well as pricing. If the customer declines to buy something, they cease to progress through the funnel.
  7. Action: All of the previous stages of the sales funnel culminate in the final step — action. At this point, the customer has decided whether or not to purchase the product. If the prospect declines to make a purchase, the organization can use other marketing tactics to ensure their product stays top of mind.

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