Any buzz in the upper echelons in marketing is often accompanied by more theories than one would expect after a particularly piquant episode of Game of Throne. One of the hottest discussion making its round in the upper stratum is totally focused around an endless discussion about whether the proverbial Sales Funnel is dead. With all the researchers proclaiming about the death of Sales Funnel, it is understandable for any business owner to get overwhelmed. After all, Sales Funnel is the oldest and most illustrated marketing paradigm and any business owner worth their salt have used sales Funnel some or the other time. So does it mean sales funnel has passed on? The resounding answer to this question is “No!” The Sales Funnel is not dead but has just progressed to suit a new medium, arena and audience. The funnel is a blueprint or a metaphor, with buyers at the top and even at the bottom of the funnel and as business owners, we want to move them through. Forsaking a tried and tested blueprint to guide the prospects through to a successful sale is shortsighted to say the least and may lead to consumer chaos.

Has Sales Funnel Changed?

In the digital age, the world of sales has transformed. The transition of a customer from interest to purchase is not straightforward anymore because fundamentally the buying process has changed. Today the consumer is no longer at the mercy of salespeople. They are not ill-informed like before, rather, they are better informed and empowered. They come in and out at different stages of sales funnel, sometimes just researching and going silent for long, before they want to purchase. With such erratic and unpredictable buying pattern, the traditional sales funnel is no longer relevant. However, to the anti-funnel researchers claiming that the sales process is non-linear, the non-linearity should not be misperceived layering the core objectives of marketing. The sales funnel is basically a simple and intuitive metric-driven hierarchical tool used for visualizing core marketing outcomes. Although unlike the traditional sales funnel where the leads went in at the top, with sales coming out from the bottom, today’s sales funnel look more like sieve wherein the leads leak out all through the journey. However, that doesn’t mean all the leads get lost, it just means that even though leads could go silent for a long period, they could return in a completely different stage altogether and come out of the funnel as a successful sale.

So what is new?

Basically, the top down stages of a traditional sales funnel remain unchanged, nor does the exact shape of the funnel has changed much. So what is new? In the new Sales funnel paradigm, marketing has a much stronger role to play. Marketing can no longer just remain on the sideline drawing the lead into the sales funnel and letting the sales team take over. In the new sales funnel, marketing follows the lead into the funnel through each step. The new kind of funnel is much more fluid and here the consumer guides the sales process instead of you guiding them.

The newfangled sales funnel could be aptly renamed as an” engagement funnel” where the sales move in the direction from

Awareness>Interest>Deliberation>Intent >Action/Conversion>Evangelism>Customer Retention


The evolution of the Sales Funnel just proves that change is essentially a good thing. The new Sales funnel allows for a better collaboration and communication. To keep the leads from slipping over, the sales funnel needs to be ‘marketing enabled’. You need to be in touch with your consumer without intruding and be able to continuously adjust to meet their demands. Still not convinced on how you can create a sales funnel exclusive to your industry that works? Get in touch with us now!

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