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Learn how to use the marketing funnel and the sales funnel

Gustavo Goncalves
Gustavo Goncalves

Jul 25, 2023

We are used to having a marketing sector and a sales sector, each operating under its own rules, which generates a marketing funnel and a sales funnel. But are the concepts really that different?

What you will see in this post:

Although we are talking about a funnel in both cases, the structure may be similar, but when we enter each stage, the strategies are different (and at the same time complementary).

Anyone who has already learned the importance of integrating these two sectors has understood that the important thing is to have a single funnel, or pipeline. At each stage of this funnel, an approach comes in, sometimes marketing, sometimes sales,and it is our job as a marketing team to identify the moment in which our lead/client is and act with a focus on their needs.

A good sales and loyalty process uses the best practices of both funnels in a complementary and interdependent way, this dependence allows you to have a broader view of the consumer journey. This vision allows you to be able to work on situations in a timely manner even before the lead itself identifies a need itself.

The marketing funnel

The famous marketing funnel, is a result of Inbound Marketing and is nothing more than translating the consumer's journey into different stages, understanding what our leads' difficulties are and thus providing them with the necessary solutions at the exact moment.

That is, the objective of the marketing funnel is to attract visitors through actions and content with the aim of converting them into leads. Any resemblance to the flywheel you may have seen in inbound strategies is not mere coincidence! These two tools go hand in hand when it comes to attracting and capturing leads.

The funnel is divided into three stages:

  • ToFu: you have a wide audience, formed by all those that your educational institution considers candidates for a vacancy. Here, it's the moment of attraction! where you generate actions and content that call your potential lead's attention so that he gets to know you better and at some point, becomes aware that he has a "pain".
  • MoFu: people interested in what education can offer. That is, at that moment, the lead already knows that he needs your product in the educational area, and you need to nurture this lead with relevant content for him to advance in the purchase journey.
  • BoFu: are those who are really interested in enrolling and being in the classroom. It's time to sell! Here you need to offer your best business strategy so that your lead becomes a student.

marketing funnel

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The sales funnel

Between the middle and bottom of your marketing funnel, the work of theSales team, but that doesn't mean marketing's work is over. And this is where the confusion usually appears!

While the sales team takes a commercial approach, highlighting benefits such as discounts on enrollments, gifts for the first 100 enrollees and scholarship draws, marketing continues doing what it does best: educating, making its leads aware of the importance of studies.

From now on, the work of convincing is done together. After enrollment, marketing becomes more active again, employing loyalty strategies.

Marketing's work

There are those who think that "SMarketing” is a smart marketing strategy. However, it is a combination of sales. It is marketing, building an integrated perspective of these two sectors.

Although it is not an easy task, it is necessary to focus on the common good: sales and loyalty. These two things are only possible when the customer contact areas work in an integrated manner, respecting the stages of each process.

It is always good to remember that these two areas have in common the objective of selling more and better, generating profit for the company.

When your educational institution understands that there is no linear path in the consumer journey, it begins to understand that the joint action of these two sectors forms a single conversion funnel.

There are leads that arrive completely unprepared for conversion, requiring greater marketing work. Others, in turn, are already decided, just choosing the best educational institutions, demanding proactive sales.

There are also those who are in the middle of the path or go back and forth on the journey of decision. In this case, joint work is even more necessary. Sales can't pressure the lead to convert and marketing can't let it go backwards.

Marketing funnel and sales funnel = conversion funnel

Our final tip is: build your conversion funnel, integrating marketing and sales activities so that they contribute to speeding up the process. It requires understanding and synergy between these two teams; a shared understanding of who the educational institution's audience is and a clear vision of where each person's work begins and ends.

It is also important to eliminate the common barriers that bring these sectors into conflict, such as differences in goals and objectives. The aim is to make everyone work towards the same result: enroll and grow in.

And since we are talking about registrations, how about getting to know some educational marketing strategies for colleges?

4 educational marketing strategies


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The world changes all the time and technology is no different! Here at Mkt4Edu, technology is in our DNA, we work with many different softwares to make the whole process of automation and artificial intelligence work more efficiently and achieve more results.

Here, new softwares are tested all the time. Modern tools and new functionalities are tested all the time, there were already more than 200 tests so you can have the best result in your institution.

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