The From Line
Rants, raves and ramblings about multi-channel marketing.
Don't let your sales funnel slip! Optimize your efforts now.
How do your sales and marketing teams define the sales funnel? If their views aren’t compatible and streamlined, you likely have a problem. Don’t fret though. Your team is just a few important steps away from maximizing their sales opportunities.
Develop the Most Qualified Lead
There seems to be a traditional rift between marketing and sales personnel when it comes to defining the sales funnel. It could be attributed to the number of steps required to qualify a lead or it may be due to the economic friction “generated by the need to divide the total budget.”
Ultimately, one of the biggest roadblocks to alignment is the different view each team has of the sales funnel. Therefore, it is up to the two camps to agree on what defines the most qualified lead.
There are generally four types of leads based on the level to which a customer is a good fit and interested:
- Good fit, interested: This is the ideal customer and requires immediate follow up.
- Good fit, little to no interest: These are the customers that the marketing department needs to nurture.
- Bad fit, interested: These are the customers the sales team should cultivate to determine if there might be an unexplored opportunity.
- Bad fit, little to no interest: You can eliminate these customers from any further contact. There is no point in wasting any more time on a relationship with them.
Defining where each lead is in the sales funnel requires a mutual understanding between teams of what constitutes a qualified lead, along with a well-developed plan of how to move them to the next step in the sales process.
Optimize Your Sales Funnel
Every business sells something. Therefore, in order to optimize your sales funnel, you must:
- Create a process that generates sales leads
- Build relationships with prospective customers
- Convert your prospects into customers
- Turn your customers into life-long fans
These four stages are only as useful as the plan you develop to implement and track your success. Your sales funnel doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s a useful business tool meant to strengthen current and build future sales. Ask questions along the way. Determine what marketing angle works and engages prospects further. Make changes and adjustments when and where appropriate. Identify metrics for each marketing technique and sales funnel stage.
If your sales and marketing teams work toward the same goal and vision, using the same guidelines along the way, you are sure to have a smooth and successful operation.