A sales funnel is the marketing term for the journey potential customers go through on the way to purchase. There are several steps to a sales funnel, usually known as the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel, although these steps may vary depending on a company's sales model.
Any business owner knows the pain of just missing a sale. After weeks of pitches and demos, chatter and charm, the prospect drops out of the sales funnel without buying.
It happens. But it happens less often when you have the right sales funnel management help. Many small business sales funnels are more like sieves, with holes left by patched-together spreadsheets, sticky notes, missed appointments and forgotten follow-ups.
There's a better way. Sales and marketing automation software can plug those sales funnel holes and turn near-misses into sales.
Read on, or start a demo to learn how Keap can help you with your sales funnel.
Leaks in the sales funnel process often spring from three basic causes. The good news is that sales funnel management can help with each.
In sales, a "no" can often mean “not until later.” For example, a common objection for customer relationship management (CRM) software is this: “I don’t have time to get my content together to make the platform useful.” This prospect is actually saying, “I’m interested, I see the value, but I can't take advantage of it at this moment.”
It’s tempting to dump this lead and move on to the next.
There’s a better solution: Build out an automated email follow-up campaign that speaks directly to this objection. Any time you encounter this problem, you can send that prospect information that seems designed just for them. A multi-month educational campaign may reduce their content anxiety and nurture them toward a sale. Yes, it’s work up front, but once finished, this campaign will work for you always.
Action item: Look at the most common objections from your prospects, and think about which can be turned around with helpful education and automated follow-up. Where in your sales funnel are you dismissing prospects too quickly?
Are you following up as much as you should be? Probably not, says Sales Handy:
That's a lot of follow-up fails. The challenge is easy to understand: Do I call new leads, or follow up with an old one for the sixth time? Persistence can feel like a waste of time, but the numbers prove otherwise.
But there’s a better solution: Small businesses may find help lies in a marketing automation funnel. Instead of an either/or game, automation software offers a both/and game. All your prospects get consistent and friendly emails and contacts at all stages of the sales funnel, so you can save your personal attention for the day's hottest leads.
Action item: Analyze your last 20 leads and count how many times, on average, you contacted a prospect. If you see follow-up fails, a marketing automation funnel can help.
Did you know that new leads are nine times more likely to convert if you follow up within the first five minutes after they express interest? Wait 30+ minutes, and your lead is 21 times less likely to turn into a sale.
You may be asking, “How the heck am I supposed to contact a lead within the first five minutes? That seems impossible.”
There’s a better solution: It's not impossible with sales funnel management automation. Set up your system with the response you want, and it will be ready to send it immediately to any interested prospect—even the one who contacts you on Saturday at 3 am. As captured leads pass down the funnel, your sales automation platform can send added personalized emails that are just right for each moment.
Action item: Figure out how quickly you normally respond to a brand-new prospect right now. Then craft your first mass personalized email to send to future prospects.