Brand Onboarding: Goodbye Old Sales Funnel

I’ve been on a business dev kick lately. I’m continually making an effort to meet new people, in order to get acquainted with my new community of Atlanta. Eventually those meetings lead to a domino effect of more introductions.

This revolving door of new introductions has made me super aware of how much things have changed with brand onboarding and customer experience over the past several years.

Technology is lightyears away from what was standard 5 years ago, and it has forced a completely different way of brands converting their audiences.

The initial step for onboarding used to be simple brand awareness. How can I expose my brand to as many people as possible in as little time as possible?

The answer was through list buying, direct mail, trade shows, event sponsorships, etc. Then it was email marketing and a great website. Now it’s twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email marketing, a great website… and everything else under the sun that represents your brand.

The marketing and sales funnel used to be:

  1. Brand awareness
  2. Promotions & deals
  3. Consideration
  4. Conversion
  5. Trust + referral

Sales Conversion: Brand Onboarding

But this is no longer just considered a marketing and sales funnel. Now, it’s a matter of brand value and customer experience.

The funnel now includes:

  1. Defined customer persona(s)
  2. Engagement with brand value
  3. Consideration
  4. Conversion
  5. Brand following & ambassadorship

Ben Chestnut, CEO of MailChimp did a great sketch of his version of the sales funnel that is similar to this concept. His version:

Ben Chestnut: Flip The Funnel


  1. Gain website visitors.
  2. Gain potential leads.
  3. “Spam the f*ck out of them.”
  4. Convert and gain customers you love!


  1. Love your customers!
  2. They lead their friends to you.
  3. Their friends want some of the action.
  4. Some try it out, some don’t.

In reality, I think onboarding combines both funnels. The customer journey is every touchpoint in any brand experience, no matter what the entryway is.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts on how all things technology has changed your sales and marketing funnel.

I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave your thoughts, comments, and feedback in the comments below.

~ Christine