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FEATURED ARTICLE — January 18th, 2019

Why a Marketing Lifecycle Should Replace the Sales Funnel to Better Reflect Our Customer’s Journey

The sales funnel as we know it is at least 94 years old.

That’s pretty dang old. Especially in this age of the internet, where algorithms, news, newsfeeds, data, trends, memes – you name it – change at lightning speed.

The creator of the idea of a sales funnel was William Townsend. He wrote about it in 1924 in his book, Bond Salesmanship:

“The salesman should visualize his whole problem of developing the sales steps as the forcing by compression of a broad and general concept of facts through a funnel which produces the specific and favorable consideration of one fact … The funnel has helped many salesmen to lead a customer from Attention to Interest, and beyond.”

Wait, what?

Townsend talks about human customers as if they were pieces in an assembly line. To get the desired end result (the sale), you have to squeeze them through your sales funnel by force.

Yikes.

The thing is, the sales funnel model DOES function that way. And that’s exactly why it’s outdated, stale, obsolete, and useless.

It needs to be replaced with an alternative model that better reflects two things:

The nurturing warmth of content marketing.

The real human journeys that happen on the way to a purchase.

Here’s Why the Sales Funnel Needs to Be Replaced

As it stands, the sales funnel is all about pushing, prodding, and coercing your buyers into moving down the funnel. When buyers reach a stage, they are once again pushed toward the next stage, until they at last make a purchase and are dumped out at the end.

Graphic via MailMunch

It’s rigid. It’s cold. Most of all, it’s inaccurate. There’s no room for your leads to be human, have human whims, and make nonsensical human purchasing... Read More

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