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Written by Finn Ruijter, 05 May 2021

Generate better leads with a marketing and sales funnel

A business or organization cannot function properly without a well thought out sales process. Attracting potential customers is an essential part of the marketing and sales process. To make your website a true marketing weapon, make sure the site delivers a steady stream of leads. The actions that provide these types of contacts are called lead generation.

You generate the best leads by deploying an optimized marketing and sales funnel. A good funnel entices potential customers to purchase your product or service and is thus crucial to your (online) success. Using a marketing and sales funnel is therefore essential in any industry. In this blog, we explain what such a funnel is, how it works and how to generate the most quality leads.

What is a marketing and sales funnel?

A funnel is a funnel-style model that describes the process from website visitors to returning buyers. In the marketing and sales funnel or “sales funnel,” the target audience is enticed to make a purchase through specific messages sent to them, at a specific time.

The marketing and sales funnel is linked to the customer journey, or customer journey, of visitors. Potential buyers go through the following process: awareness, information, consideration, purchase and loyalty.

The marketing funnel and the sales funnel are often seen as two separate processes. These funnels are not the same, but complement each other. For this reason, it is important to use these funnels together.

Marketing Funnel

The marketing process aims to introduce your target audience to the product or service. It creates awareness and awakens the target audience’s interest in your company. This continues until the lead has become a prospect and may be moving toward a purchase. In this funnel, you respond to the problem or search question that the target audience has and offer different opportunities that they can take advantage of and learn from.


Prospects enter the sales process when they realize they need your product or service. In that case, your offer becomes interesting to them and a sales meeting can take place. This funnel ensures that the purchase is actually made and the customer is retained in the future. The message in this funnel is about the best solution you offer to the problem the target audience is experiencing. Focus on the benefits of the product or service.

How does the funnel shape work?

The funnel is represented as a funnel because more contacts (potential customers) always fit at the top than at the bottom; visitors who do not want to or cannot become customers get stuck halfway down the funnel as leads. So the likelihood of a lead moving on to the next stage in the sales process gets smaller and smaller the further down the funnel a lead goes. Halfway down the funnel representing the sales process, the marketing funnel merges into the sales funnel.

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What is the purpose of a marketing and sales funnel?

Through the funnel, you can follow leads and (potential) customers throughout the sales process. Based on that, the marketing and sales departments go to work. You can also forecast revenue (forecast) based on the amount of contacts at each stage. The funnel shape provides an overview of the stage a contact is in. We distinguish the following lifecycle stages: visits, leads, prospects, customers and returning customers.

Lifecycle stages

  1. Visits are website visits from individuals who have a need for a product or service you offer. However, there has been no concrete contact (yet).
  2. Leads are potential customers. A lead is someone who shows interest in your offer and leaves his or her contact information. That could be an e-mail address or a phone number, for example. In a world of spam and telemarketing, a lead like this sends a clear message: this person trusts you and may be in the market for your service or product.
  3. Prospects are potential customers who are actually labeled as quality leads. This means that the organization or person fits within your target audience. Prospects are close to making a purchase and have already converted several times.
  4. Customers are the organizations (or individuals) who purchased your product or service.
  5. Returning customers are returning customers. They are loyal to your company and make purchases again.

Marketing and sales funnel in practice

To get a marketing and sales funnel going, we need to start by increasing website visits and collecting leads. Then, through proper segmentation, you can send targeted marketing and sales messages to your target audience. For example, a lead is looking for a different answer to his or her question than someone who is about to purchase a service or product.

Lead generation is a profession in itself: obtaining quality leads is easier said than done. To get the most out of your marketing strategy, you would prefer to receive a steady stream of leads. You can get leads in a variety of ways: from social media likes, completed forms, downloads, incoming phone calls, and so on.

Many companies run into the problem of receiving leads, but few of these leads fit the target audience. These leads are probably not suitable for your service or product. This makes it difficult to move leads from the marketing department into the sales process. By getting started with your lead generation strategy, it is possible to close the gap between the marketing funnel and the sales funnel.

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How can you spot the right leads yourself?

There is a better way to spot interesting visitors before such a lead has actually converted on your website. With our new partner Leadinfo, you can identify and actively respond to anonymous B2B website visitors. Leadinfo has an up-to-date database for identification, which is proving to be particularly accurate for Dutch companies and organizations. For example, through lead scoring – tracking relevant interactions – you can significantly increase the number of leads from the website in a B2B market.

Leadinfo not only provides an overview of each website visitor, but also detailed browsing activity of individual leads. Users with a buying intent will become visible even faster as a result. This is how you involve the sales funnel more with the marketing funnel.

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In the image above, you can see Leadinfo’s dashboard. Integration is possible with 25 different platforms. This allows you to receive all this valuable information and continue to use your favorite marketing and sales platforms. By using Leadinfo, it is possible to set up your marketing and sales funnel even better.

Leadinfo: partner of 2manydots

2manydots partners with Leadinfo and adds value to our clients. With Leadinfo, you actively engage in lead generation, rather than reactively based on what comes in. Leadinfo lets you observe and respond to leads in real time. This means that you have access to a constant stream of opportunities that you can act on immediately as they arise. This allows you to decide which leads are interesting for you to approach and guarantee quality, even before a website visitor has converted. All information relevant to you can be exported from the tool.

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Want to know more? We would love to tell you about it! Make a no-obligation appointment right away.