Building Highly Qualified Sales Funnels…
Building highly qualified sales funnels is the single most important task in building any growth model, scaling your sales team, and therefor, building your business.
Anything else is just risky, costly, as well as unpredictable.
Is that what you want?
How Would You Describe the Health of your Sales Funnel?
Spot on…it’s my guiding business tool?
Getting there – still some lingering prospects in there but they’ll be sorted soon?
It works on paper but it’s not producing the sales results I want?
The metrics are there but I don’t know what to do about improving them?
What sales funnel?
Or any variation of the above!
Why Should I Even Bother Building Highly Qualified Sales Funnels?
This is something I typically hear from people, sales leaders, business owners who have never known the absolute joy and certainty of having a smooth-running sales funnel, producing, managing and closing highly qualified sales leads, as often as they need, with the margin they need, at the frequency they need.
And that’s ok.
Trust me when I tell you I’ve seen all sorts of sales funnels. The great news is once you’ve got a working sales funnel…it’s like having your own ATM machine where you hit and it pumps out cash.
There’s a degree of certainty about the results it produces, what part your sales function needs to play, you can tell the marketing team what they need to produce in detail, account management becomes a breeze and the money keeps rolling in.
As long as you don’t get lazy, complacent and comfortable…you’ll only have to set your sales funnel up once then refine it until it becomes the highly qualified sales funnel you and your business needs.
Building Highly Qualified Sales Funnels – What Does That Mean?
Well, first of all, lets look at what a Sales Funnel is.
A sales funnel houses your sales process.
At the top of your sales funnel you have a wide entry – this is where the sales prospect is first identified as a potential target, worthy of engagement and spend, so it might be a list purchased against strict criteria, it might be twitter followers, LinkedIn contacts….
This follows though, post a level of suitable marketing activity, then the prospect acknowledges they have ‘seen’ you.
A prospect at this stage has migrated from the marketing stage of the sales funnel to a more directed stage in the funnel, it may be someone who has downloaded your white paper or your lead magnet. It might be someone who’s contacted you for further information, asked for details or spoken with you proactively via some form of social media.
The key to all this is the vital work QUALIFIED Sales Funnel. If you want to get your prospects in to this stage of your sales funnel and you want to watch what they do and how they interact with your business then check this out
Anyway, back to the structure…Rubbish in the top…rubbish quality or no business out the other end…you look busy BUT nothing’s happening.
This is why having strict go/no-go criteria about what level and type of prospect enters the top of the sales funnel is key. Too broad is as bad as too skinny. Likewise you’ll need some go/no go criteria at every stage if you want your sales funnel to stay healthy and producing
So, potential prospect enters at the top and as the sales process progresses, with very tight go/no-go criteria at each stage, so the funnel gets more selective regarding the quality of the prospects it lets through.
There is a go/no go set of criteria here at the top of this page – you’re version might look different.
What Building Highly Qualified Sales Funnels Means for Your Business
Each one of these stages in the sales funnel has a metric. For example:
How many prospects passed from one level to the next? Higher than expected? Lower?
Why did you reject? What are the remedial actions at this stage that could convert a dead prospect to a live prospect again?
Knowing your metrics at each stage and your conversion options at this stage has many huge benefits:
Lost business is minimised – this can save you fortunes, and keep your competitors running hard
You are able to act in a timely manner to any deal that’s falling off the expected path
For more insights into what metrics to use – you can start by downloading – 7 Sales Metrics To Measure, Manage and Monitor
Sales Forecasting Using Highly Qualified Sales Funnels
You can identify weeks, months, maybe even years (depending on the sales cycle duration) what your sales figures will be…which means you can make corrective action to boost sales when you still have the time.
You will be able to continuously monitor the quality, profit, value of the business you’re chasing
No deal falls through the net
In fact, a strategic and robust highly qualified sales funnel answers all the management information questions you need to run your sales function like clockwork…of course you need a motivated sales team who honestly report activity and a sales methodology that’s robust enough to train sales teams to ask the tough questions, and this is where having the go/no-go gates really pays dividends.
Types of Sales Funnels
Building high quality sales funnels is not always a one off…in some instances you’ll need a sales funnel for different products and services because the sales process for those products and services is different.
This is where it’s worth considering how you are selling each of your products and services – some sales funnels maybe based on different sales methods – some of your products/services may respond better to Challenger sales methods, some will be SPIN based, some more strategically focused and often sales funnels need to be tailored to encompass various methodologies at different stages.
Note: this is reflected in the sales structure of the pitch, the reporting metrics and the no/no-go gates.
The Single Most Common Flaw with Building High Quality Sales Funnels Today…
Is this; firms forget that even though it’s called a sales funnel. It’s actually a Sales and Marketing Funnel!
If you start building your high quality sales funnels at the point where the sales process formally starts, you’re actually starting it half way through the process…and missing a vital, key stage in the sales funnel.
Other common flaws are:
- Over filling the sales funnel
- Not being quick enough to cut away or spend time re-qualifying prospects that have stalled
- Using discounting to attempt to flush solid sales prospects through the sales funnel at a faster rate
- Not focusing enough on filling the top of the sales funnel
- Putting any sales prospect in there, rather than focusing on high quality
If you’re looking to at how you should be building highly qualified sales funnels in your business, you can call for a confidential chat 0779 002 1885
Alternatively, if you are looking for some insight into how your current sales funnel could be improved to further improve the sales results of you business, you can book your Sales Audit and get the results back within 10 days. Find out more here – Sales Insight and Fast Action Pack
0779 002 1885
p.s. One of the other real benefits of a highly qualified sales funnel is that it makes recruitment of sales people and onboarding a breeze…call me to find out more