A sales funnel is a graphic representation of the sales stages a customer goes through when buying a product. This concept is based on the idea that all customers are led through more or less the same phases when making a purchase, the first step of the traditional sales funnel being the awareness stage, while the last one is the post-purchase evaluation.
Although the number of levels assigned to a sales funnel can vary from one company to another, the classic model includes the awareness, interest, evaluation, decision, purchase and post-purchase evaluation phases. The number of prospective customers that are attracted in the awareness phase decreases in the next stages of the sales funnel, so the end result is a much smaller number of actual customers.
The efficiency of a sales funnel can be evaluated based on the number of prospects found in each stage and on the conversion rates of the stages.