The answer depends greatly on your particular sales process. What works great for one business, might not work at all for another.
The only way to find the best way to move a prospect down your sales funnel is to experiment. If you’ve already got customer data, it serves to look at where those customers came from. What’s their lead source? What happened? Did they download something? Were they contacted by you? And then what happened?
Once you’ve got these phases down, you can start looking at how you might help prospects move down the funnel. Ask yourself in every phase: what does this prospect need right now? What are they thinking of?
And so you might use marketing automation to deliver the right content to prospects in every stage of the sales funnel. If you’ve got your CRM tied into your marketing automation system (which you should have) then changes in the prospect’s sales stage can trigger content delivery from the marketing side.
Look at your current data, or experiment until you have data – and find out what works best for you, in your situation and market.