In this article, we’ll discuss how to cruise through a sales funnel designed to be fast, efficient, and effective.
A well-constructed sales funnel generates more and better prospects than any other method–but that’s only when used properly. A sales funnel clogged with people who will never buy from you does you little good. The goal, then, is not to get as many people as possible captured in an impossibly broad net, but to create a focused group of high-potential buyers moving inexorably towards a purchase. In this article, we’ll discuss how to cruise through a sales funnel designed to be fast, efficient, and effective, and close more sales than you ever have before.
Before you take the first step in constructing your sales funnel, you need to understand what your ideal prospect looks like. Have you been using analytics solutions to track the most vital metrics of your buyers? Do you have a strong image of this ‘ideal lead’? Once you have that, you can begin figuring out how to appeal to that group–you can cut time wasters and inherent delays from the system if they don’t work on that group, speeding the entire process up.
A sales funnel that doesn’t give someone who wants to buy RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW the opportunity to do produces sales slower than it could at best, and loses those sales to competitors at worst. There’s also the matter of developing a reputation as ‘hard to buy from’, a factor that can have a bigger impact on your bottom line than you would ever expect. This plays into customer satisfaction in a big way. Speaking of customer satisfaction…
There are certain tactics you can utilize, depending on industry that might make you more sales at the expense of long-term customer satisfaction. Get those out of your sales funnel ASAP. Eventually, you’ll end up with word of mouth poisoning your well of prospects, no repeat customers keeping you stable through the dry periods, and returns destabilizing your bottom line.
There’s little long-term benefit to be had from these tactics, even when perfectly applied–you’re just moving your failures down the road. On the other hand, if customers feel pampered and personally appreciated from beginning to end, you’ll see that boosting sales in the long term. Satisfied repeat customers keep your business afloat when the competition gets something better out ahead of you, or when you mess up and release a flop.
You need to be tracking the path of every person to enter or exit your sales funnel, from beginning to end, with software that provides the information most relevant to your sales model. Information is power in sales, and nothing gives you more actionable information than a properly calibrated and monitored metrics solution. You just can’t beat that level of hard data when making decisions on what to cut, what to emphasize, and what to study.
Remember, a sales funnel is only the means to an end–don’t think that shortening your sales funnel or speeding up every stage will result in better sales. You need to be working on potent, high quality leads with as much of your time as possible–a sales funnel helps that happen. Let your funnel get too sloppy, and you’ll waste more time applying the ‘finishing touches’ to mediocre leads than you’ll ever manage to save yourself. All those underqualified leads do nothing unless you have a trick up your sleeve for closing them.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.