The Customer Journey Isn’t a Funnel - It’s a Spiral

Pipeline Visionaries

26-03-2024 • 41 mins

This episode features an interview with Sun Lee, CMO at BigPanda, a software company that enables organizations to organize and mobilize the world’s DevOps and ITOps data.

In this episode, Sun shares why she no longer thinks about the customer journey as a traditional funnel, why it's important to "go big or go home on events", and the importance of face-to face human interaction.

Key Takeaways:

  • The traditional funnel may not be the best way to think about the customer journey; it is more like a spiral.
  • It’s better to invest heavily in a few meaningful events, than to do many events each year.
  • As a new CMO, don’t be afraid to be vocal on what could be better across functions.


“One thing that I always tell people is the traditional funnel is dead. When you interview with a startup CEO, they will tell you, we have a pipeline problem, we have a sales funnel problem, or we have a product marketing problem. They have a lot of problems, they're trying to classify that into a certain org or function.

And the one thing that I say is, it's actually all of the above. Because how people buy these days, it's not like you become a stage one prospect, you become two or three, four, and then you're down to, and then one activity will move you through the funnel. Like the concept actually doesn't exist. So if you look at the customer journey that we have from a BigPanda perspective, it's like a giant spiral.”

Episode Timestamps:

  • *(03:41) The Trust Tree: Structuring the team to match the customer journey
  • *(13:17) The Playbook: PMM budget as a priority
  • *(32:54) The Dust Up: Brand tensions moving into new markets
  • *(36:00) Quick Hits: Sun’s Quick Hits


Pipeline Visionaries is brought to you by, the #1 Conversational Marketing platform for companies that use Salesforce and the secret weapon for pipeline pros. The world's leading enterprise brands trust Qualified to instantly meet with buyers, right on their website, and maximize sales pipeline. Visit to learn more.