What is a Sales Funnel?

The sales funnel (also known as the purchasing funnel) is the buying process that a company uses to lead prospects when making a product purchase, qualifying and influencing buyers throughout each stage.

Why is tracking your Sales Funnel important?

Using a detailed Measurement Plan, including both Floodlight activities and high quality first-party data as a starting point, allows you to understand which stage of the funnel your prospects and customers are in and provides key information about their intent and motivations for purchasing your product(s) or service(s). In turn, this allows you to create granular audiences to target with personalised and timely messaging, influencing them to convert with you over a competitor using tactics such as Dynamic Remarketing.

Whether you are running campaigns on behalf of clients, through an agency or even in-housing the GMP, applying ‘sales funnel thinking’ allows a more structured approach to your digital marketing campaigns and a framework to build upon to drive more success and ROI from your ad spend.

Sales Funnel

What are the 7 stages of the Sales Funnel?

7 Stages of the Sales Funnel and how to apply the Google Marketing Platform in each 1

1. Awareness

The key goal during the awareness stage is to generate and build awareness of your brand (and products) for your target audience(s), increasing recognition and recall. Many potential prospects in this stage may not be aware of a problem they need to solve, so when reaching this type of audience, you need to have clear messaging around who you are, what you do and how you help answer a question or solve a problem in their business or lives.

2. Interest

Using tactics such as Proximity Targeting, drive prospects who are actively looking for a solution to a problem or attempting to achieve a particular outcome that your products or services could help with, or look for specific actions on your site which demonstrate intent to purchase. Lead magnet downloads can be an effective strategy to capture email addresses of leads so you can target email campaigns from your CRM (such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud) as well as using Dynamic Remarketing campaigns to bring prospects who don’t convert back to your site and further down the sales funnel.

3. Consideration

  • Goal – drive prospects to learn more about your products
  • Metrics – product page visits; lead magnet downloads

With the level of customer savviness these days and the volume of competitors in many industries, prospects will often do their own research during this stage and consider the viable alternatives to solve their problem before making a final decision. Reaching them with personalised search or media campaigns is key to driving them to your site, where they can find more detailed marketing material and customer service from your team (all of which can be tracked through your Floodlight activities and in Google Analytics 360 (GA360)).

4. Intent

  • Goal – encourage prospects to take actions that signal purchase intent of your product(s) or service(s); qualify prospects and influence them to convert with you over competitors
  • Metrics – product demos; quote or proposal requests; items added to online shopping cart; abandoned cart/drop off rate on conversion pages

Make sure that prospects have all the information they need to make an informed decision on their purchase which can include your sales team providing product demos or content providing comparisons between you and your competitors. Also, ensure your purchase processes have been optimised using Conversion Rate Optimisation and abandon cart or ‘drop off’ campaigns, such as Dynamic Remarketing, are in place to minimise any loss of purchases at the final point of conversion.

7 Dynamic Remarketing tactics to maximise your conversions >

5. Purchase

  • Goal - influence the prospect to convert and complete a sale(s)
  • Metrics - Floodlight transactions & revenue data; eCommerce transaction data in Google Analytics 360 (GA360)

While you may have other Floodlight conversions set up to track the status of your prospects, this stage involves monetary conversions in the form of transactions and revenue, both of which can be set up through Floodlight activities in the GMP or eCommerce transactions in Google Analytics 360 (GA360)

6. Loyalty (or re-purchase)

  • Goal – have customers re-purchase your product or services
  • Metrics – repeat customers (number, frequency, transactions & revenue); engagement and conversion rate of previous or lapsed customer campaigns

The power of the Pareto Principle (aka the 80/20 rule) is well documented in business and economics with customer loyalty a key application of the principle in successful companies. Ensure your customers have an outstanding purchase experience, ask for post purchase feedback and continue nurturing or enticing your customers with personalised content and offers using Dynamic Creative post purchase. This will give you the best opportunity to have those customers come back and repeat purchases.

7. Advocacy

  • Goal – have customers recommend your product(s) or services(s) through online reviews
  • Metrics – Floodlight activities on referral form submissions (volume and value); online review frequency in Google My Business

While having returning customers is a great indicator of a successful product and business, continued growth is always the goal in the ever-changing competitive landscape. While happy customers will naturally spread the word with their networks, it’s important to acknowledge that 91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews and 84% of people trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. This highlights the importance of providing additional incentives or referral programs as part of your customer marketing spend, to further grow your product and business beyond existing customers.

How to improve your Sales Funnel once it’s in place: 7 steps you can take

1. Review your current data and metrics then determine where they fit in the sales funnel
2. Create (or update) your Measurement Plan, also identifying where prospects are potentially dropping out of your sales funnel and why
3. Implement your updated Measurement Plan and Floodlight activities
4. Create personalised content and messaging through Display & Video 360 (DV360) and Search Ads 360 (SA360) to target potential customers as well as addressing why prospects are dropping out of the sales process (identified in step 2)
5. Optimise your website for conversions using an experimentation platform such as Looker Studio to A/B test different messaging over time, including:

  • Page titles on your website for both conversion pages and brand awareness pages like your blog
  • Offers and promotions for your products
  • Spend and audiences for your digital advertising

6. Provide additional incentives to loyal customers to provide feedback and advocate the brand
7. Ensure you using Data-Driven Attribution to provide a feedback loop to improve your digital marketing spend and effectiveness


While the concept of a sales funnel may not be a new concept to business or the media industry, optimising your funnel and adjusting your media, creative and search strategies to target prospects and customers with personalised messaging at the right time will drive continued growth and success of your organisation.

For more information on implementing the Google Marketing Platform across different stages of the sales funnel or for expert advice on any of the products within the stack, speak to the team at FiveStones today.