Sales and marketing funnel stages are not something you would like to skip if you want a prospering business. 

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Each step of the sales and marketing funnel stages illustrates your leads’ path before becoming your actual customers. 

So let’s have a look at them:

What is a sales and marketing funnel?

First things first, let’s understand why “funnel”:

Funnel is a combination of customer journey phases through which a lead becomes a customer. As the whole process looks precisely like filtering something through a funnel, it got this name.

Accordingly, you are sorting your potential clients out stage by stage.

Defining marketing funnel

In the marketing funnel (or purchase funnel) stages, you’re building product awareness which means you introduce a product to the public. 

Marketing strategy

Hence, in this funnel, you start with a broad audience and convince them that your product can solve their problem.

Defining sales funnel

The sales funnel is another set of customer journey phases. And this lad has nicknames, such as revenue funnel or sales process, so don’t get confused when you hear one instead of another.

Marketing funnel vs sales funnel

They’re like twins and have so much in common that it can be clear as mud to understand the difference between them. But no need to worry!

Here is a simple explanation: 

The marketing funnel starts with a “let’s talk about problems and opportunities” stage instead of “let’s talk about solutions.” 

Therefore, it’s the first stage of marketing activities to create brand awareness.

In the past, the main focus was on a sales funnel, while in 2022, a marketing funnel is the most critical part of lead generation

So, if your marketing funnel has done its job well, the time comes for a sales funnel strategy.

What are the sales and marketing funnel stages?

These funnel stages feel like asking someone out on a date, so it’s best to have great patience and well-thought strategies. 

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Here are all the stages of customer journey phases and a few examples:

AIDA – sales funnel stages 

Awareness (top of the funnel)

It’s a “Hi there!” stage. You introduce yourself to customers and put the first stone of brand awareness.


Building a trustful profile here will ease bringing customers to the consideration stage, where they will consider your product as a solution option.


If you have introduced yourself well enough, the chemistry begins. 

Here is all you have to do: 

  • Take your leads on “a date” – they agree to walk with you a mile.
  • Build deeper connections – and while walking, both of you enjoy talking and get to know each other better. 
  • Study your leads’ desires and needs – now you know what they want and what you have.


Ta-da! If your customers-to-be are convinced, it’s time for them to desire (or to decide). Now you move their mindset from “I like it” to “I want it.” 

In other words, you make sure that they consider your product as a solution option for their pain-point. 

Also, it would help if you worked on building trust in the product by creating content and interacting with customers.


The action is the “to be or not to be” stage. Here time is for potential customers’ purchase decisions. 

If you’ve done an excellent job in the consideration stage, encourage customers to buy the product with a call-to-action.

You can do it by:

  • using urgent words like “call now.” 
  • creating time-sensitive offers like “one-day sale.”
  • making it easy to act by taking your consumers directly to the page with the information they need.

Marketing funnel stages

You walk your potential customers through upper and lower funnels and get them to trust your product. Each of the funnel steps is important, so it’s better not to skip any of them.


Now, let’s break upper and lower funnel stages into pieces:


No, my friend, it’s not what you thought: we won’t use it while cooking.

Tofu is the top of the funnel where your future customers get to know you. They may have visited your website or found you out on social media. But they still don’t know anything about you.


Mofu is the middle of the funnel, and it usually goes like this:

  1. A lead visits your website;
  2. Ends up on your landing page (it is best not to skip the landing page magic trick);
  3. Downloads an ebook or attends your free webinar. 


You have only potential buyers who are already considering paying for your products or services at the bottom of the funnel. 

As you have narrowed down the funnel enough, you can now freely chant about your product and explain how efficiently it’ll solve their problems.

Why are the sales and marketing funnel stages so important? 

Business is not just about selling. It’s also about creating value and building trust in your service. 

So by;

  • Creating a thoughtful analysis of the whole sales and marketing stages;
  • Tracking business metrics correctly;
  • And setting the right strategy,

you can boost any small business’s conversion rate drastically.

How to utilise sales and marketing funnel stages for small businesses?

Using the proper sales and marketing funnel strategy will raise the brand awareness and income of your business.

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Here are some great ideas for small business marketing: 

Free promotional tools

You can use automation SaaS (Software As a Service) to improve your lead generation process.

Again, you can find dozens of promotional tools and take advantage of automation while sending emails to your leads. 

Website and Blogging

Nurturing your leads is the first step of converting them into customers.

So while creating helpful and relevant content for your leads, you can simultaneously build awareness of your brand.

And I know you have heard it millions of times, but it’s never enough – use a landing page and offer something for free.

Social media & ads

Social media is the best place for inbound marketing so far.

Just create your profiles, pages and set up ads to generate leads by utilising advanced targeting options.  

Social Media

Best promotion channel – word of mouth

Essentially, word-of-mouth promotion is when your product enters into dialogues of your consumers.

However, WOM is not just a chitter-chatter of your customers. You can even be surprised to hear that WOM marketing can cover all the marketing strategies. 

All of us will trust our friends or family over any traditional marketing. So why not use this “seeding” process to boost your conversion rate?

All in all, studying the audience and walking them through the sales and marketing funnel stages can get your job done perfectly!