What is a Sales Funnel and how to set it up for your company

If you’ve reached this post, it’s probably because you’re looking for a way to improve your sales and consequently increase revenue, right?

Therefore, in this article, I present you with a technique that is widely used to trace the customer’s journey, punctuating the step-by-step from the awareness of the problem to the acquisition of your product or service as a solution to this problem.

Follow until the end of this content to understand once and for all what a sales funnel is .

How does the sales funnel work?

The sales funnel gets its name because it really is illustrated as a funnel (the ones we use in the kitchen, you know?). In which the top of the funnel (also known as ToFu) is the first step, where customers initiate contact with your brand, going through the middle of the funnel (which we call MoFu) and then complete the purchase at the bottom of the funnel (BoFu).

The funnel was chosen to represent this technique for a simple reason: at the top there are several possible customers, but the conversion rate tends to be much lower and therefore the bottom is very narrow. That is, it is a representation of the volume of consumers who are always on the way in the purchase journey.

What are the steps leading up to the sale?

The steps leading up to sales are as follows: top of the funnel and middle of the funnel. In these phases, the consumer needs to understand that he has a problem and start to consider your product or service as a solution, respectively.

The sale is focused on the last stage of the customer journey: the bottom of the funnel.

What are the stages of the sales funnel?

Top of funnel (ToFu)

The top of the funnel is the customer’s gateway to the purchase journey, knowing your brand. At this stage, we have two types of consumers: first, those who are not clear that they have a problem and second: those who know they have a problem but may not understand that there is a solution (your product or service).

In general, the top of the funnel is related to the discovery of the problem.

For this level of awareness, it is necessary to present the benefits of your product or service in a light way, generating identification and recognition. It is at this stage that you must use all possible tools to be found on the internet.

Here, the potential customer is not mature enough to close the purchase, so it is necessary to take him to the next stage: the middle of the funnel.

Tip: produce content optimized for SEO (search engines) and once optimized, distribute it on social networks.

Middle Funnel (MoFu)

At this stage we are already dealing with leads in a concrete way: they are people who provided you with the email to follow the newsletter and receive promotions or started to follow you on social networks.

These people already understand that they have a problem and are starting to consider your product or service as a solution. Here we are at the most important stage of the sales funnel: the decisive stage that will convince the customer to move on to the last stage of the funnel.

In the previous phase the objective was more educational, now it is necessary to take a closer approach to sales techniques. Try to solve specific problems of these leads.

Tip: Focus on content that touches on the pain and difficulties of the persona and presents a more robust argument for your solution. Beware of overly appealing content with explicit sales techniques.

Bottom of funnel (BoFu)

Here we arrive at the most qualified leads: those consumers who are already convinced that your solution can help and just need a good sales pitch. At this stage, the leads are making cost-benefit comparisons and all the authority you built in the previous steps can be essential for the conversion to complete.

Tip: work with comparative advantages, consulting and price lists. Ideally, at this stage, some mid-funnel content is merged to make the sales process friendlier and less appealing.

The customer journey through the sales funnel

Let’s now analyze this entire flow of the funnel compared to the customer journey:


This step is equivalent to the top of the funnel. It is literally used to attract potential consumers with light content to raise awareness of the problem. Provide assertive information, your company needs to be noticed in the market crowd.


At that moment, your company will already be on the radar of those who have a problem that your product or service solves. Therefore, abuse the arguments that touch on the pain or difficulty of your leads or audience. This should all happen in the middle of the funnel.


The moment the customer passes the card to you. Equivalent to the bottom of the funnel. Make use of direct sales pitches.


Result of a well done after-sales service. At this stage, quality service in conjunction with over delivery must result in customer delight. When that happens, the lead becomes an ambassador for your brand and you get the best kind of advertising: social proof and word-of-mouth.

What is a Y sales funnel?

This is a type of sales funnel that is not so widespread in the market, but it can bring excellent results.

The Y sales funnel addresses two types of strategies: inbound and outbound marketing.

In the traditional sales funnel presented above, we basically work on inbound marketing, a strategy that attracts the customer and he goes through all the stages.

In the Y-funnel technique, we insert outbound marketing in which an active approach is made to cases of leads who do not know your company or do not yet have an awareness of the problem and mature solution.

This way of working can boost your sales as it covers different ways of attracting customers. Generally speaking, regardless of how the customer enters your marketing and sales ecosystem, you can target them for conversion at the bottom of the Y.

In short, leads obtained actively (outbound) can be nurtured and convinced through inbound with relevant content and an attractive newsletter. And after these information-fuelled leads, the funnel cycle continues normally. With information, you will be able to devise strategies to boost your business sales by understanding and respecting the customer journey.

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