You’ve probably heard of and use the so-called sales funnel to acquire new customers. However, more and more people talk about an alternative to this solution – the flywheel model. How does it differ from the traditional approach, and how do you incorporate it into your management strategy? Will it soon replace the way we view modern marketing and customer relations? The following article will answer these questions.

Flywheel model – table of contents:

  1. What is a sales funnel?
  2. The benefits of a sales funnel
  3. What is a flywheel model?
  4. The benefits of a flywheel
  5. Flywheel model vs sales funnel – differences
  6. How to use the flywheel model in business?
  7. Summary

What is a sales funnel?

The sales funnel is a widely known and used concept in marketing. It refers to the sequence of individual actions to increase sales. The process encompasses the steps of the customer journey and is depicted as an inverted triangle. This is because the individual steps narrow down our target audience.

Understanding the sales funnel will let you choose the right strategy and communication channels to lead to the purchase of a product. It consists of the following elements:
  1. Top of the Funnel (ToFu)
  2. In this phase, we are just building brand awareness. This involves, among others, running social media and search engine marketing campaigns, creating videos, and blogging. Such activities are supposed to expand your company’s reach and get to your audience.

  3. Middle of the Funnel (MoFu)
  4. Here, we are dealing with people who are interested in our communications and are looking for more detailed information about the offer. They have specific needs that can be met by the company. They are comparing us with our competitors. It’s worth offering them content in the form of newsletters, ebooks, and case studies that will highlight our strengths and the value we can deliver.

  5. Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu)
  6. It refers to the conversion, that is an action taken by the recipient. ITypically, this involves the purchase of a product. However, it is useful to support the decision-making process by presenting credible recommendations from other customers or a promotional offer.

The benefits of a sales funnel

What are the benefits of using a sales funnel in your strategy?

  • Increased sales

Properly tailored activities to the target audience will generate sales leads and create a chance to take advantage of the offer.

  • Identifying problems more easily and understanding customer needs

If at any stage of the funnel you notice lower interest and customer churn, this is a sign to look at the area in question. This will help you correct potential mistakes and improve your sales offer.

What is a flywheel model?

The flywheel model is a slightly newer and different approach to sales. It focuses more on creating a long-term relationship with the customer and building a community. It concentrates on three areas:

  • Drawing attention
  • It involves gaining the interest of the audience by creating consistent marketing communications both in terms of visuals and content. Social media presence and establishing interaction are essential. More and more brands are also partnering with influencers – popular people on the web, given their wide reach and a number of followers.

  • Engagement
  • After gaining potential customers’ attention, you need to show them that your offer can meet their needs and solve their problems. They will be looking for more information about the company, so take care of the look and user experience of the website. Poor website navigation can discourage users from browsing the site. Another issue is to provide detailed information about the product and address any doubts the consumer may have. A purchase decision is considered a success.

  • Satisfaction
  • It refers to the subsequent steps after the purchase, and particularly, whether the customer decides to use our offer again and whether they will recommend it to others. This is, of course, influenced by the quality of the products themselves, but customer service or after-sales communication are equally important (granting discounts, delivery time, accepting complaints, etc.).

The benefits of a flywheel

What are the benefits of the flywheel model?

  • Development of the offer
  • Flywheel focuses on the idea of continuous improvement, as it does not just revolve around the profit from a customer’s purchase, but on improving individual sales processes.

  • Building relationships
  • This is the main goal and benefit of this approach. The steps taken are aimed at creating a good relationship with the consumer. They will then be more likely to use our services repeatedly, share their positive experiences, and recommend us to their friends.

  • Customers in the spotlight
  • The goal of the flywheel model is providing a unique value to the customer – each activity must be centered around their feedback.

Flywheel model vs sales funnel – differences

Customers’ preferences are constantly changing, so models that were effective in the past, may not necessarily do the job today. This is precisely the case with the sales funnel. So what are the differences between the traditional approach and the flywheel model?

  • Linearity
  • The funnel is presented in a single line, which suggests that the individual activities follow one another. However, consumer behavior is a bit more complex and there may be deviations from the generally accepted model. The funnel assumes that the process ends with a conversion, e.g. the purchase of a product. In the flywheel model, the focus is on trust, where the first successful transaction is actually halfway there.

  • One-sided relationship
  • The sales funnel only represents a situation where the company is trying to connect with the customer. In the flywheel model, where social media plays a huge role – both parties can initiate communication, exchange experiences and, most importantly, create products and services.

  • Website functionality
  • In the traditional approach, little is mentioned about the user experience. Nowadays, it is an important element, which determines the customer experience and the perception of the company as professional. Therefore, take care of the optimization and design of your site, adapting it to m-commerce, i.e. handling transactions via mobile devices.

How to use the flywheel model in business?

Using the flywheel model can positively impact the image and success of a company. How can you incorporate it in your management strategy?

  1. Recycle content
  2. Published articles, case studies, videos, and posts can be an endless source of further ideas. You can convert them into other formats to make your message more attractive and reach new target groups through different communication channels. Therefore, it is worthwhile to create so-called evergreen content, which is always up-to-date, so you can use it at any time. Such content also has the potential to generate more traffic to your website.

  3. Create new content
  4. This is related to the paragraph above. Customers will continue to seek comprehensive knowledge and materials that will provide them with more information about your services, suit their needs, and answer their questions. Therefore, it is crucial to meet these demands in a number of ways.

  5. Automate marketing
  6. Use tools to manage marketing or sales processes. These may include:

    • sending newsletters,
    • creating landing pages,
    • conducting post-sales surveys,
    • monitoring statistics (e.g., shopping cart rejection rate, conversion rate, measuring customer satisfaction, promotional campaign results, etc.),
    • managing team’s tasks,
    • invoicing, preparing contracts.

    This will improve the quality and efficiency of customer service, and thus, customers will have a positive experience with the company.

flywheel model


But does this mean that the sales funnel is a thing of the past? Not necessarily, rather, it requires a slightly fresher outlook and taking into account current consumer behavior. Above all, it’s all about flexibility and adaptation to new conditions, which is possible by combining the two models described in the article – the sales funnel and the flywheel approach.

Read also: 4 best sales methodologies. How to choose the right one?

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What is a flywheel model and is it an alternative to a sales funnel? andy nichols avatar 1background

Author: Andy Nichols

A problem solver with 5 different degrees and endless reserves of motivation. This makes him a perfect Business Owner & Manager. When searching for employees and partners, openness and curiosity of the world are qualities he values the most.