Your sales funnel is the process of how you qualify and filter a wide range of leads into paying customers. It allows you to focus your attention on the people who are most likely to buy. It also adds structure and a degree of predictability to a variable sales process.
Every company has its preferred approach to sales and marketing. But there are some universal tips to sales funnel management that anyone can use. This article breaks down what your sales funnel should generally look like.
Sales Funnel Overview
A sales funnel generally contains three segments, including the Top, Middle, and Bottom.
Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
At the top is where you have the point of entry for potential leads. How a person arrives here is usually the result of an effective marketing strategy (SEO, social media, etc.). The funnel is widest at the top because you aren’t filtering contacts here. This is where you welcome and invite everyone to explore.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
A visitor converts to a lead at the middle section of the funnel. This occurs when someone fills out a form in exchange for relevant, valued content. Because a lead arrives in the middle doesn’t mean she’s qualified. Measure engagement, urgency, and interest to see how to best proceed.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
The bottom of the funnel is the point of conversion from lead to opportunity. You make this assessment based on her level of interest and engagement. Here are some indicators you could look at:
Frequent visits to your site
Many conversations with a sales rep
LinkedIn profile views
At this stage, she’s ready to receive a proposal and make the decision to become a customer.
Qualifying Your Leads
When someone shows enough interest, that person becomes a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). You flag this type of lead in the middle of the funnel. When an MQL progresses even further, you would flag her as a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). These leads are ready for your full pursuit.
Building Your Sales Funnel
A good sales funnel allows you to understand your own sales team and its performance. Use it to see your customers’ behavior and motivations. If you don’t have a sales funnel, here a few guidelines to help you build one.
Know Your Buyer
Understanding your customer is the foundation of your sales funnel. Conduct surveys and reference market studies to learn interests and behavior. This knowledge helps you to differentiate yourself and communicate with your buyers.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Effective sales efforts aren’t about talking to as many people as possible. They’re about focused energy on the leads with the most potential. Your sales funnel should move low-quality contacts out of the flow as soon as possible. Maximize your effort where it counts.
A Happy Sales Team = A Healthy Business
Revenue is the lifeblood of any business. And who brings in the revenue? That’s right. Sales. It’s critical to train and your reps in a way that optimizes the sales motion. Foster a culture of learning, innovation, and customer satisfaction.
Another crucial aspect of your sales team is hiring and training the right people. Hire motivated individuals with diverse experience and abilities.
Prospecting: Where Sales Funnels Begin
You don’t need to wait for inbound marketing leads to getting your funnel moving. Generate activity. You can do this through prospecting tactics like referrals, conferences, and cold calling.
Managing Your Sales Funnel
Identifying and filtering interested leads is a challenge. A successful sales funnel tags potential leads that will convert to paying customers. If your funnel is too complicated, it may actually hurt your business. Read on for ideas on how to keep your sales funnel running buttery smooth.
Give Adequate Training
Your sales organization should always be learning. Regular training applies to all levels, not the newbies. Stay in the know with the latest techniques. Allow your team to share knowledge and experiences.
Focus on Qualified Leads
Passing unqualified leads onto the sales organization is wasteful. Most of these leads will never turn into sales. A smaller, more focused pool of leads offers the sales team a better use of time, energy and resources.
Leverage Your CRM
Your CRM is the sales funnel concept made tangible. It allows you to follow customers along the journey. And it simplifies the sales flow by automating tasks. Your CRM will also help you measure each stage of the funnel.
A CRM should not take attention away from the core sales process. Use it to help execute your sales strategy, measure progress, and automate workflows.
Unclog the Funnel
Identify and cut down the roadblocks that prevent leads from flowing down the funnel. Here are some potential obstacles:
Bad contact info
Poor brand experience
Poor marketing communication
A competitor has the more attractive offering
Use Aktify for Stalled Leads
There are some leads who never make it to that stage, yet they could still qualify. They’ve stalled for some reason, and you don’t know why. Most companies put stalled leads on ice because they don’t know what to do with them. Let Aktify find out why they’ve stalled. Plus, we revive the ones who are still interested. To learn more, click here.