Sales Funnel vs. Flywheel Model

flywheel model

What’s The Difference Between A Sales Funnel And A Flywheel Model

Flywheel Model is taking marketing salons by storm. What is flying wheel marketing, how to implement it and who will win the flywheel vs. funnel final match? Why it’s essential to know the difference?

Read on to find out the answers to these questions!

Flywheel is a model of the customer’s shopping path proposed by HubSpot. It shows how to use the momentum you gain by focusing your activities on providing the best customer service.

The original flywheel model invented by James Watt was based on alternating energy storage and release scheme. Its amount depends on how fast the wheel spins, its size, and how much friction it encounters.

Funnel Vs. Flywheel: Which model is right for your business?

Flywheel Model marketing stands in opposition to the traditional approach, in which all energy is spent on customer acquisition, which is then wasted. As a result, the process slows down instead of continuing to work effectively.

Unlike a funnel that shows customers as the result of a marketing and sales strategy, the flywheel model puts them at the center.

 The main jobs of this approach are to ensure customer satisfaction, give them more control over the purchasing process, and include them in sales.

The flywheel model is a concept developed in Jim Collins‘ book “Good to Great.”

He originally coined the phrase “flywheel effect” as a strategic business tool. According to Collins, “there is no one ultimate innovation, no single happy occasion, no wonder moment; instead, the process is more like the relentless push of a gigantic, heavy flywheel, building momentum to breakthrough and beyond.

Flywheel marketing will evolve to focus on the customer experience as you progress in defining your purchasing path and refining your changing strategic goals. 

How is the Flywheel model built?

The flywheel model consists of three parts:


The Attract phase attracts visitors with useful content and makes it easier for them to learn about your business.

The key is getting people’s attention, not forcing them to make a purchase. In this phase, you intensively use inbound tools such as content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing. You can also include targeted ads and conversion rate optimization.


Customers shop from you during the engagement phase, and you have to make it easy for them.

You are at their disposal on the other side of the phone, online chat, or e-mail.

It is the time to finalize the transaction but also build relationships.

At this stage, HubSpot recommends using the website and e-mail personalization, database segmentation, marketing automation, lead nurturing, and omnichannel communication.


The Delight phase is the time when you help, support, and give clients the opportunity to achieve their goals.

Thanks to your products or services, they fulfill their needs on various levels. Content for self-use, proactive customer service, multi-channel availability (chat, messages, telephone, e-mail), opinion polls, and loyalty programs will be particularly useful here.

Benefits of the flywheel model

One of the most significant benefits of using the flywheel is that it helps to focus on improving the consumer’s shopping journey, even after they have already completed the transaction.

In this way, the model mechanism helps you to build a relationship and take care of customers from the very first moment until they become subject matter experts and brand advocates.

The model also effectively identifies the causes of friction in marketing, sales, services, and the overall process.

It allows you to see which activities are driving the flywheel faster and slowing it down, making it difficult to achieve your goals. Another advantage is that the flywheel model details the impact of customer satisfaction on the success of your marketing strategy. It shows its importance in generating new business opportunities and attracting new customers.

For some time now, marketers have found that the loyalty phase found at the end of the funnel needs to be developed here.

How to approach the following stages of the cycle?


This phase is pretty well known to marketers. It’s about finding potential customers organically and bringing them to the next phase.

The key to success is to make the acquisition run smoothly and naturally. Consumers pay attention to helpful content and free materials that meet their needs.


For some time now, marketers have found that the loyalty phase found at the end of the Funnel model needs improvement and further development.

It often turns out to be the gateway to an entirely new quality of customer relations. The Engage stage can be treated as an extension of the traditional buying funnel, where you focus on building long-term relationships.

When a potential customer decides to interact with a brand, you deliver a personalized experience where consumers feel you listen to their problems and offer solutions.


Influencing customers goes far beyond the marketing path. Once you have their loyalty, consider how to turn your audience into brand ambassadors.

Think about what you do every day to inspire and delight your customers. Details are everything.

Differences between Flywheel and Funnels Models

“Start and End” vs. “All Around” approach

One of the biggest differences between a funnel and a handwheel is the concept of continuity.

The sales funnel has very clearly marked starting and ending points. The customer can go through the marketing funnel, the sales channel, and then the customer service funnel.

Flywheel eliminates this friction by changing how consumers view their shopping journey into an ongoing, cyclical process.

Winning a client vs. building long-term relationships

The marketing funnel model is more focused on acquiring one-time buyers. You can also call it a user acquisition path. This is evident in its very structure, where the top of the funnel is wide, and all effort and energy is invested in finding new customers rather than caring for repeat buyers.

On the other hand, Flywheel marketing focuses on purchases from existing customers. It is a long-term strategy.

It uses marketing tactics that allow you to cultivate relationships with brand recipients in the long run.

Commitment keeps consumers coming back for new products and services. It increases your flywheel momentum and customer base.

Customers are your sales power.

Buying power and choice have made your customers better sellers than you are.

Word of mouth is highly trusted and greatly influences purchasing decisions. While the sales funnel focuses on selling the product to the consumer, the flywheel puts it at the center of the action and supports partnership.

A happy, pampered client will issue a recommendation to your company that works!

In Defense of the Funnel

The sales funnel doesn’t need to be completely replaced. Some parts may not work anymore and what is necessary is an update. 

Many businesses prefer to follow the linear path and still succeed big.

The well-defined stages that describe a customer’s relationship with your business are an advantage of the funnel.

Funnel is the perfect tool for businesses that sell across multiple platforms or countries.

It enables you to manage your multi-country or multi-channel customer data across all sales channels.

It’s sometimes better to think of which strategies should go to which stage of the Funnel. If you’re still gaining ground, consider allocating more resources to your top-of-funnel activities to build awareness and buzz and generate demand.

If you’re ready for a more effective sales strategy, this is the place to start. You’ll learn how to capture more qualified leads by creating your campaign earlier.

You’ll also learn that the more qualified the leads are, the better chance you have of closing them.

The sales Funnel should be seen more like a step-by-step process as part of the rinse and repeat framework. It’s not an end-to-end framework.

It makes sense because, really, we are human beings. Even your most loyal customers will forget about you from time to time, meaning that you need to bring them back to the top of the Funnel when you introduce new products or updates.

Is Flywheel Model the future of the industry?

The Flywheel Model is a framework for growing your business by investing in a user experience. It is designed to generate higher user satisfaction and increased advocacy, which in turn drives compounding growth of new user acquisition.

Building long-term relationships undoubtedly help you build a strong and recognizable brand.

Investing in customer loyalty may result in the selection of brand ambassadors from among them, who will support sales with their recommendations provided by word of mouth.

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