A sales funnel is a marketing model that illustrates the journey of a consumer leading up to the point of purchase. It serves as a visual representation of the steps a consumer takes before buying something.
The sales funnel usually consists of a top, middle, and bottom, but may be broken down into as many as six stages. The top of the funnel represents the awareness stage in which a consumer becomes aware of the product or service. The middle of the funnel is the interest stage wherein consumers learn about the product or service and how it can help them. The bottom of the funnel represents the decision stage wherein a consumer is actively making the decision of whether or not to purchase.
Example: A low-touch sales funnel is a simplified buying journey where there are minimal steps from awareness to point of purchase.
Strategic partnerships are relationships between two entities (most commonly two companies) with overlapping or complementary products or services that aim to achieve a mutually beneficial result. Strategic partnerships are also commonly referred to as an alliance or joint venture.