Sales Funnel Vs Flywheel: Which Strategy Does Your Business Need?

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sales funnel vs flywheel

The sales funnel has been a practical approach for companies to scale up their marketing and sales processes. However, the flywheel, primarily focused on customer experience, has also become widespread. So, which is the better model for your business to follow, a Sales Funnel vs. Flywheel?

To clear your path, we have compiled this detailed comparison. You will learn each method’s outstanding characteristics to find the best solution.

Sales Funnel Vs Flywheel: Overview  

Before digging into the comparison part, we will cover some basic information about sales funnels, flywheels, and their differences. 

What Is A Sales Funnel?

sales funnel process
The Sales Funnel Process

A sales funnel is the buying process businesses guide clients through when making product purchases. The idea is exactly the same as that of a real-world funnel; you put something in at the top, and it gradually drips out at the bottom. The marketing funnel employs the same idea of the sales funnel. 

Ensuring customers continue to join the funnel is crucial to a sales funnel’s success. More people entering the funnel leads to more sales.

You need to maintain enough internet presence to increase awareness of your brand. Then, you can keep the top of your marketing funnel filled.

Learn more: What Is A Sales Funnel? Everything You Should Know

What Is A Flywheel? 

the flywheel model
The Flywheel Model – Source: Hubspot

The customer is the focal point of the experience in a flywheel. Due to this mindset, your company should have an excellent customer service team to provide satisfying post-sale experiences.

A flywheel’s main goal should be to guarantee that you take good care of your existing customers over the long run.

If you have happy customers, they will bring you more revenue. As a result, your flywheel can spin faster, and your company will expand.

Like a flywheel, which is constantly spinning, your business marketing strategy also needs to be frictionless. You must look at your entire business structure to determine the contention points.

Inbound marketers work a lot with the flywheel model because inbound marketing frameworks aim to attract customers by producing useful information and experiences specifically catered to their needs. 

Key takeaways 

  • The flywheel is getting popular, and the sales funnel is the standard inbound marketing model.
  • The flywheel focuses on the advantages of the sales funnel while solving its drawbacks.
  • The flywheel, which continuously generates prospects, focuses on growth.
  • The force that pushes the flywheel is from promoters or clients who appreciate your praises. 
  • Reducing friction enables the flywheel to continue rotating without being inhibited.

Comparison Table

CriteriaSales FunnelFlywheel
StructureCustomers at the bottomCustomers in the center
ApproachThe prospect goes through the funnelOther elements surround the prospect
PurposeProspect conversionCustomer experience
ContinuityStart and StopOngoing

Differences Between Sales Funnel Vs Flywheel  

Sales funnels have been around for many years and have experienced much success. Flywheels are newer to the market. Yet, they progress dramatically by improving the disadvantages that sales funnels can’t solve. 

However, it doesn’t mean the traditional sales funnel fails to boost your sales and marketing campaigns.

Let’s see how the two models differ and which you need. 

Structure 

The structure is the core value of any business model. It describes how the model works and highlights all key parts. 

Sales funnel 

AIDA marketing funnel
AIDA model in marketing

The sales funnel and the AIDA model go together like clockwork. It illustrates a prospect’s four steps to convert to a customer. They are as follows:

  • Attention: You will attract users’ attention to your company first. 
  • Interest: You pique people’s interest in your products or services.
  • Desire: You help the client establish a desire for those products or services.
  • Action: You drive people to take action by encouraging them to purchase your items.

AIDA is a hierarchical model. In other words, a customer journeys from the top, where Attention is, to the bottom, where Action is.

The AIDA framework encourages you to draw attention to your company and turn as many individuals as you can into customers. To be more specific:

  • Attention

Attention (or Awareness) is the initial stage of this funnel model. This is the moment a person learns about your service or product for the first time.

They might become aware of you due to your advertisement, social media exposure, or word-of-mouth recommendations. 

By clicking on a link and purchasing your item, the prospect might turn into a customer if the timing is just right. To interest the prospect in your brand, you will need to convince them to visit your website or contact you. 

  • Interest

The prospect now has information about your business and goods or services. They have decided to assess it according to their level of curiosity.

You should create compelling content that informs and engages your audience without overtly pushing them.

  • Desire

The customer is prepared to buy at this point and maybe research various options. They will compare costs, packages, and other features to determine which solution is ideal for them.

Making the offer enticing is vital if you want the prospect to take it and go further. Use your content at this stage to compel your prospect. 

  • Action

When prospects use your product or service, they turn into customers. 

Sometimes they leave without buying anything. If the customer purchases stuff, they are now a member of the ecosystem of your business.

Flywheel

the flywheel broken down

In comparison to the AIDA model, the flywheel uses somewhat different stages. A flywheel has three stages, and the fifth one is Customers: 

  • Attract: This stage is similar to the Attention of the AIDA model. But instead of asking web visitors to read your material, it earns their attention with useful information and removes obstacles. 
  • Engage: The Engage stage includes Inform and Decide parts. Don’t just close sales with customers; establish relationships as well. If you employ a sales team, don’t only focus on close rate; link incentives with customer success.
  • Delight: Align resources properly so you can allocate them more efficiently throughout the entire client engagement.
  • Customers: Your business will develop if you know how to work on this core value. Your firm will lose speed unless you reduce friction. Besides, make sure all staff are collaborating to reduce conflict.

The flywheel model makes it simpler to comprehend the factors influencing the development of your company.

The marketing funnel strategy often overlooks service and support. In contrast, the flywheel model strongly emphasizes every department that interacts with customers. Its primary objectives are sales, marketing, and customer service.

You may picture each of those forces working together by using a flywheel. You will greatly succeed if you streamline your business procedures, simplify your pricing, and provide superior customer service.

You realize the importance of putting the client first while adopting the inbound marketing methodology. Your customers will be delighted if you provide authentic and relevant content.

Approach

The top of a sales funnel is broad, indicating customer awareness of a company and its products. As a prospect progresses through the funnel, only a small portion of those who arrived at the top turn into customers.

This structure is a common strategy in the sales process since business development departments usually have a solid sales focus: finding the lead to close the deal.

On the other hand, a flywheel method centers the process around the client. The remaining three parts of the flywheel are equal pieces that reflect the diverse customer journey phases or teams.

Prospects vs. Customer Experience

The typical marketing funnel does not consider how consumers can give feedback on the sales process for subsequent purchases. Instead, it focuses primarily on prospects and how to push them swiftly to become customers.

While the funnel operates as a whole, businesses employ different tactics for each phase of a customer’s decision-making process.

The marketing funnel offers the advantage of clearly defined stages representing a customer’s interaction with your company. Knowing where they are in the purchase process can alter your engagement and content accordingly.

On the other hand, the sales flywheel demands that each step flows into the following and centers around the client and their brand experience.

Marketers must think about how each step of the customer journey creates a personalized customer experience at any and every touchpoint to motivate customers to purchase and continue using a firm’s products and services.

Programs that encourage loyal customers can boost customer satisfaction and word-of-mouth marketing. Positive word-of-mouth recommendations will boost sales since hot leads are more likely to become clients than cold ones.

Start and Stop vs. Ongoing

A sales funnel sets up a clear start point and endpoint. Your customer journey is like this: Marketing funnel -> Sales Funnel -> Customer service funnel

There will be a lot of sudden transitions, starting and stopping for your customers. All of that pressure will hurt your financial results.

Your sales team can reduce the friction by breaking the start-and-stop approach using the sales flywheel. A prospect or customer stays in the center of the wheel rather than having a particular start or endpoint.

The sales team may reach a deal after your marketing team brings a client in with an enticing offer and turns them into qualified leads.

Even when they have completed their purchase, that customer’s journey continues while they are on the wheel. They remain in your flywheel as they become marketers or as they make more transactions from your business.

Additionally, the marketing flywheel does a much better job of accounting for leads that don’t progress through a linear sales cycle.

There are probably many leads accessing your sales funnel. As soon as you learn somebody isn’t a good fit, you remove them from the funnel.

However, that prospect remains in the flywheel. Your marketing department can develop them until they are a perfect fit. They are now simple for your sales team to connect with and convert.

Pros And Cons Of A Sales Funnel 

Pros: 

  • This funnel model works nicely with a linear design.
  • It highly emphasizes marketing.
  • It’s proven effective for many years. 
  • The methodology is rather simple to comprehend and apply.

Cons:

  • It fails to demonstrate how customers can support business expansion.
  • Momentum may get lost at the bottom of the funnel. 
  • There is no link between customer retention or repeat sales, marketing, and sales.

Pros And Cons Of A Flywheel 

Pros:

  • Everything focuses on the customer.
  • The integration of sales, marketing, and service has improved.
  • The model reduces customer experience friction.

Cons:

  • The flywheel departs from the fundamentals of inbound marketing.
  • It oversimplifies the procedure for attracting traffic to your website and turning that traffic into qualified leads.

Funnel Vs Flywheel: Which Is The Right Model For Your Business? 

Many businesses believe that the new marketing flywheel model renders the sales funnel outdated. We share the same idea that the flywheel approach gives a much more contemporary perspective on the client experience.

However, the sales and marketing funnel concept is crucial since it demonstrates how to attract clients into your flywheel.

You can build brand supporters and keep your company running efficiently by utilizing the flywheel to keep your clients satisfied and devoted.

As a result, more consumers will find your sales funnel attractive, and they may enter at different points along the funnel.

Conclusion 

The goal of the sales funnel is to drive targeted prospects down the bottom of the funnel by filling the top with the specified target market for the company.

On the other hand, the flywheel strategy centers a firm’s marketing efforts around the customer.

Although many companies are switching their sales funnels to the modern flywheel models, both methods can help you boost your business as long as you know how to bring out the best of them. 

Hopefully, our comparison can help you determine the suitable model for your business. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask.

Thank you for your interest in the article!

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Key Nguyen

Key is the guy behind Funnel Secrets blog, where he shares his passion for sales funnel, lead generation, digital marketing, and what he learned to help people avoid mistakes he made to save money.

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