In a company where Marketing and Sales funnel are distinct roles or departments – the typical workflow that we have seen is that marketing creates interest, and the bottom of their funnel is the top of the sales funnel or pipeline.
We’ll give you an example, let’s ignore things like lead nurturing and follow-up cycles for a moment and focus purely on the functional roles.
Marketing and Sales Funnel: The Big Difference
Marketing has the responsibility to create awareness and to compel action on the part of the suspects (these are not prospects yet) in their marketing funnel. They will typically cast a wide net with the anticipation of trying to capture as much interest as possible through various tactics. These may be social media, paid advertising, blog posting, PR or any one of a hundred other ways to reach what they feel are their target audience.
Company’s target through Marketing
This is the TOP of their funnel. Their goal is to provide enough incentives, intrigue and the appropriate calls to action to get people who are in this large suspect pool to take an action. I’ll ignore micro-actions along the funnel but the end goal is to have the suspect take an action in which they provide their contact information and/or specific product interest into some sort of lead capture pipeline. This may be a book download, filling in a contact form, calling your toll free number, or other engagement in which these relevant details are captured. This is the BOTTOM of the marketing funnel.
The Journey to Sales Funnel Starts
The capturing of these details typically shifts this person from a suspect to a prospect (not necessarily a qualified prospect, but a prospect none the less) and this is the TOP of the sales pipeline.
If the marketing team has done their job, there will be a record of the micro-actions (CRM) and other interactions that the prospect has had with the business which will give the salesperson information about the needs or the path (your product or service) that this prospect may be most interested in.
Now different companies may have different processes for the handoff between marketing and sales – and there is also a push to create greater alignment between these groups so that more “qualified” prospects are delivered at the top of the sales funnel and they have a higher chance of closing.
Over To You
Marketing and sales funnel are two different things and have a different unique role to play in the growth of any company or business. However, both work hand-in-hand to bring about your business objective or customer attraction and retention. In other words, marketing helps in creating a sales funnel. When done right it gives the necessary customer information to create a sales pipeline.