Marketing automation of the sales process: Key stages

In most cases, the sales process can be presented in the form of a funnel or pipeline. Usually, we have three key stages of the sales process leading your prospects from initial interest and awareness of your offer to the sale or purchase. Marketing automation can help you at each stage of the process, and because iPresso can be based on sales pipelines – it can all be integrated into one, sales-boosting machine.

When you think about a typical sales process, it can be depicted as a funnel or pipeline:

Steps one, two, and three are oftentimes referred to as TOFU (top of the funnel), MOFU (middle of the funnel), and BOFU (bottom of the funnel). We discussed this question thoroughly in this article on the iPresso blog: How can you automate the sales funnel in your company?

While each step differs between companies, one thing is common – the majority of sales-related activities can be automated. In this post, we will show you two typical sales pipelines, along with an explanation of how they can be automated.

  • B2B pipeline example:

‍Registered newsletter recipient → Downloaded document → Filled form about the offer on the website → Bought product/service

  • E-commerce pipeline example:

‍Adding product/service to cart → confirmation of order → order has been paid for → order has been sent → order has been received

Sales process automation: Stage 1

Stage one or TOFU is an initial situation in which your potential client is just finding out about your company and its offer. Perhaps they are researching available options or comparing offers. Regardless of the situation, at some point, they decide to visit your company’s website. This is where the stage one fully begins.


First, let’s analyze a simplified B2B sales pipeline example. In our example, everything starts with signing up for a newsletter. This activity is vital for many B2B companies – it’s a fantastic way to warm up your leads and expand your email marketing base.

At this stage, you can automate pop-ups proposing your potential lead to sign up for a newsletter. It’s a good idea to offer some incentives, too. For instance, you can offer a free lead magnet in exchange for someone’s email address and marketing consent. If you don’t want to use pop-ups, you can just put a banner or a separate section on the main page encouraging potential clients to sign up for your newsletter. 

This is also a moment when a predefined marketing automation scenario can begin. Once someone signs up for your newsletter, you can send them an automated confirmation email as well as your lead magnet or other onboarding materials. From now on, all communication can be automated using our email marketing feature. If you want to stay in touch with your leads, you can also use push notifications (but use them wisely!).


Stage one in the e-commerce example is mostly ‍the moment of adding a selected product to a cart. Of course, in order for that to happen, your potential customers must find the product they need on your store’s website. Here, two functions come in handy:

  • Content automation: This feature allows you to adjust your store’s content to meet the needs of different users. For instance, if you’re selling sporting equipment and there is a potential buyer interested in finding their next bike, that’s what they will see first on your website. 
  • Recommendation frames: This tool is also all about personalization. Personalized product recommendations can encourage many customers to place one or more products in the cart. The key to success lies in understanding each customer’s needs and interests, and then providing them with relevant product recommendations.

Sales process automation: Stage 2

Stage two is frequently a moment when a potential client/user takes first action. They may want to know more about your offer or even place an order in the cart. At this stage, sales don’t yet happen, but it’s close. Your prospect is evidently interested in your company, and they frequently need just a small trigger to move to stage three.


In the B2B world, stage two can mean that your prospective client fills out and sends the form about the offer on your website. Alternatively, this stage can mean they sign up for a free trial (e.g., on your SaaS platform). At this point, each customer has a choice to actually send the request/form or not. If they don’t, you can use another feature on our platform: Responding to abandoned processes.

What’s especially helpful is that our tool allows you to define your own rules, enabling personalization of messages to contacts in the database and anonymous users, depending on the selected conditions, allowing you to reach a specific segment of clients with a tailor-made message.

And speaking about a trigger to finalize the order, it’s a good idea to offer some of those hesitant buyers an additional benefit, e.g., a discount or some free add-on to the ordered service (you can set a time limit, too, and say something like that: “Place your order within 5h and receive a special gift!”


In e-commerce, stage two is very similar. Here, the customer decides (or not) to place the order. If they don’t, you can use the same retargeting mechanism we mention above. However, if they do decide to place an order, you can start a set of automated messages about their order – from confirmation to status updates and shipping information (e.g., you can distribute automated parcel tracking links).

Such automated messages can be sent to your customers via:

  • Email marketing
  • Text messages (SMS)
  • WhatsApp
  • Push notifications

Pick the tools that make the most sense in your situation and ensure all customers are regularly informed about the status of their order. This way you will build an image of a professional store and have multiple occasions to employ upselling and cross-selling to your post-purchase communication.

Sales process automation: Stage 3

Stage three or BOFU is where the sales actually happens and your prospect becomes a client/customer/user. Here, a simple and quick order/sales process is essential – you don’t want to interrupt your leads with needless distractions. Rather concentrate on what’s next – nurturing and growing a good, long-lasting relationship.


In a business-to-business setup, stage three is all about assisting your clients. You may want to prepare a series of automated onboarding emails with useful information or set up an initial workshop with your team to help your brand-new client make the most of your product/service.

Here, email marketing comes in handy but you may also want to consider using one of our newest features – the campaign planner. With it, you can easily schedule the entire client communication, all in the form of an easy-to-read calendar, with quick access to reports on activities conducted in each channel.


In e-commerce, the end of one sales process can mean the beginning of the next one. In order for your online store to thrive, you need as many regular customers as possible. You want to stay in touch with your customers and encourage them to order more products. This is where two tools are very useful:

  • Loyalty tools: With this feature, you can create a simple yet effective loyalty program and allow your customers to gather points for each purchase and use digital coupons for themselves or their friends.
  • Push notifications: While you need to be careful with them, they can be very effective when it comes to rescuing abandoned carts or sending out information about new arrivals or special offers in your e-store.

Wrapping up

While marketing automation will not increase sales on its own, it surely can speed up and streamline the sales process in your company, whether you run a B2B business or an online store. We encourage you to discover all the available features to see how our platform can help you with daily tasks.

And if you want to see iPresso in action, feel free to sign up for a free trial period!

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