Perfect Marketing Sales Funnel Design

Perfect Marketing Sales Funnel Design

Marketing and sales spend an enormous amount of time hashing out different pipeline stages and funnel stages, trying to determine at what point different users fit into each. And you probably have an established process, so reviewing that will be incredibly helpful and save everyone a lot of time and testing.

In order to help you create a stronger marketing and sales funnel upfront that converts more, we’re going to go over how to design a perfect marketing sales funnel design that will make every department happy.

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Debates That Happen Around Marketing Sales Funnels

There’s a lot of tension between different departments surrounding marketing and sales funnels, especially when it comes to marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), product-qualified leads (PQLs), sales-qualified leads (SQLs), and lead acceptance. Different departments will naturally prioritize some over others, leading to a potential discrepancy, especially if different departments want to optimize funnels based on their own preferences.

What Are MQLs vs PQLs vs SQLs?

Marketing-qualified leads are those that enter the sales funnel after successful engagement from marketing campaigns. They may have completed a lead form after seeing an ad on Facebook, downloaded an ebook after reading a blog post, or subscribed to an email list. They’re users who are interested based on initial marketing touchpoints, but they haven’t been qualified beyond that.

Product-qualified leads are those that have used your product in some capacity and find value in it. They may be using a free trial, the free version in a “freemium” model, or even just be using a standalone feature you offer to reel users in. They’re the next step up from MQLs. Their activity and engagement makes them appealing, but you may still have an enormous section of users who only want to use the free version of your app forever and nothing more.

Sales-qualified leads are those that are qualified by the sales team. They’re in touch with the sales team in some capacity, and the sales team is able to qualify them for fit, activity, and interest as they start to work directly with the user to nurture them into paying customers.

Why MQLs vs PQLs vs SQLs Cause Tension

It’s easy to see where the discrepancies lie. The marketing team’s job is to drive MQLs to free trials, demos, and the sales team. If they’re bringing in interested leads, they’ve technically done their job. If they end up bringing in a large number of user who only want to use the freemium version of the app, however, they may be happy and product marketing managers may be happy, but sales isn’t.

There’s often some tension around lead quality. Attracting hte wrong audience is a no-win scenario, even if your team successfully attracts a lot of them, and it just means that your marketing and ad spend was wasted.

You can’t have a down funnel conversation regarding planning and increasing conversions without a clear understanding of the total funnel with an agreement on the true goals. Teams may want to zoom in without being all on the same page, and if everyone has a point but no one is quite in agreement, the marketing sales funnel often ends up worse for the wear.

Therefore, having your marketing and sales team work together can be crucial, and having a good understanding of a solid marketing funnel and how it works is imperative.

How Marketing & Sales Can Work Together to Develop a Stronger Sales Funnel

Ideally your marketing and sales teams will work together to create a strong, cohesive, and highly effective marketing and sales funnel that will drive the largest number of high quality leads to your business.

The marketing team will ultimately be responsible for setting up different touchpoints and campaigns throughout the funnel, but getting input from sales is vital. Your sales team can express what type of leads are most likely to convert, along with the qualifying information they need in order to maximize sales.

They may also have information they get directly from customers that is invaluable to the marketing team, like why customers are converting, what brought them to your brand, and what made them choose you over the competition. Why did customers convert now, and what caused them to almost not convert? Your marketing team can push these selling points earlier in the funnel, and overcome objections with campaigns before they ever even get to the sales team.

The marketing team can use that information to really understand different segments of potential clients, including core customer triggers, pain points, and needs. This will help them to create stronger, more targeted funnels and higher-converting campaigns that will appeal to the right type of leads right from the beginning. It can also help them to get qualifying information sooner, making their path to your sales team shorter and more effective. Keeping the dialogue open is essential, because these things may shift over time.

Make sure that the focus is on driving users to the next step of the journey, and having slow, medium, and fast conversion paths to account for different types of customers is essential.

Designing the Marketing Funnel that Works for You

You know that your sales and marketing teams need to work together in order for a stronger marketing funnel to be possible, but having a basic marketing sales funnel template can also be a good place to start.

Let’s take a look at the B2B sales funnel map that we recommend using.


This stage of the marketing funnel is designed to introduce your brand to potential prospects.

At this stage, you must do the following:

  • Provide basic information about your product, including your unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Catch user’s interest and ideally have tracking set up so that you can retarget them
  • Create different avenues for users to discover you and get in touch quickly as soon as they’re ready


Keep in mind that most B2B brands have longer consideration times on average than most B2C brands, but that sometimes it’s a short journey.

Your website and your digital presence must have easy access to core information like how your product works and what features it offers, ideally using visuals like videos or images. You also need to have clear access to a free trial or demo alongside “learn more” sections.

And while the marketing department will focus on expanding reach to catch a wide net of leads, take a look at which platforms and campaigns brought in the highest quality leads last time. Many B2B brands have better luck landing customers on LinkedIn Ads, for example, than Facebook. Tracking users beyond initial clicks and even free trial sign-ups can help with future optimization at this stage of the funnel.

Research & Consideration

The research and consideration stages require giving users enough information to come out ahead of your competitors when they’re actively researching a buying decision.

You must consider the following touchpoints at this stage of the funnel:

  • Pop-ups that encourage users to subscribe to your email for something of value, whether it’s educational content or a discount
  • Feature case studies on your site that highlight real results and happy customers
  • Publish lead magnets like whitepapers, webinars, or ebooks that users can access for exclusive, high-value information in exchange for sharing their email address
  • Make it easy for users to get in touch and ask questions, and make sure that they can book a demo almost immediately if needed
  • Have a live chat support option available on your site as a pop-up to encourage users to ask questions
  • Free trials for SaaS tools should be readily available


The sales team can do a lot to nurture tentative leads, but they can only do that when you actually capture the lead information. In order to help them, consider asking for qualifying information at this point on lead forms, like the size of their business, annual revenue, or what they plan to use the tool for.


In many cases, your sales team will have stepped in at this point for some customers during their buyers journey.

While some customers may see a free trial, sign up, decide they love it and then convert, this is less common. In many cases, your sales team will be involved for an in-depth demo, follow up to help increase usage, promote features, and offer deals to get that conversion. Sometimes, they’ll be able to convert a free user into a paid one just with intentional outreach.


At this point, your funnel should focus on the following:

  • Reaching out through email, including personalized emails and potentially phone calls from a sales representative to overcome individual objections (and reminding them of triggers and pain points) in addition to standard triggered email campaigns
  • Retargeting ad campaigns to get users to re-engage and purchase
  • Offering solid discounts and promoting value offers, potentially customized for individual customers by your sales team

Engagement & Loyalty

Last but not least, we’ve got the engagement and loyalty sales funnel stages.

Once users purchase and convert into customers, you want to keep them as customers. Fight churn and increase both your retention rates and your average order values by having dedicated re-engagement campaigns that upsell, cross-sell, and re-engage as needed.

The following touchpoints and strategies are essential at this point of the marketing sales funnel:

  • Utilize retargeting campaigns to let user know of new features or higher-level products or plans based on their current usage
  • Offer loyalty bonuses like exclusive access to new features, private Facebook groups, email letters, or beta tests
  • Stay in touch, having your sales team reaching out every so often in general and when the user hits indicators like maxing out their current level of their existing subscription
  • Looking for new upselling opportunities to push users into the next tier of subscriptions or for add-on purchases


Final Thoughts

It’s essential to have your marketing and sales teams working together if you want to create a strong funnel that will actually lead to sales enablement.

Strong collaborative tools for your marketing and sales team will become a crucial part of this. Having all of your marketing and sales content in a single place is a game changer, allowing for improved funnel creation and optimization to make everyone happy. Content Camel can help with that: Our software was designed for this purpose, implementing an easy-to-use interface (and easy-to-find data) for quick sharing and collaboration.

Having the right tools and process in place is the first step, so let’s get started!

Ready to facilitate collaboration between your sales and marketing teams? Take a tour to see how how Content Camel can help