Is Your Sales Funnel Leaking? Part 2

During the sales process, there are many ways to lose a lead within the sales funnel. Lost leads represent a large amount of lost revenue so it's important to find and stop the leak.

According to sales expert, Phill Keene, finding the problem requires those in the sales and marketing functions to work together. There are five areas to monitor for potential red flags:

  • The rate of leads to closed deals is low;
  • The rate of opportunities to closed deals is low;
  • Pipeline coverage is too low for your sales team to meet quota;
  • There is a high number of stalled opportunities; and
  • There is a high number of leads that haven't been followed up on.

Yesterday, Promotional Consultant Today examined three ways Keene recommends looking at leads in the sales funnel to determine areas of lost revenue. Today, we share three more.

1. Identify why prospects are disqualified. As you begin to dive deeper into your process to ensure you are making the appropriate amount of effort to reach your leads, start to learn about the leads that aren't working for you. Do they fit your Ideal Customer Profile? If they do, why did those prospects not show interest in your company?

Take time to determine whether your messaging is not resonating with your target audience. It could be price, market immaturity or a too-long product implementation schedule. Get on the phone or listen to call recordings to hear it for yourself. It is the only way you can hear what is actually being said, and how your solution is being presented by your team.

2. Track the effectiveness of the handoff between BDR and AE. One of the easiest places for a lead to get lost in a sales funnel is during the transfer of ownership inside your organization. Talk to your team and make sure they can talk you through the process of how they transfer ownership of the prospect, as well as ownership of their knowledge to the next person.

Work with every team to create a documented process from business development to account executive, and account executive to client success to be certain that each prospect is set up to progress smoothly through the sales funnel. With documented handoffs, redundancy can create a bad customer experience, or cause prospects to get lost altogether.

3. Track the effectiveness of each stage of opportunities. Even if a handoff is smooth, each stage of the process must be effective. Identify how long each opportunity remains in a sales stage, and why they stay there. The team needs to be able to understand how to introduce a compelling event to encourage a prospect to take the next step in the sales process.

By setting clear, action-oriented goals for each stage of the process, you begin to learn about why deals stall. You can then begin to track conversions from one stage to the next. As you optimize each stage, you will be able to slow down and teach your team how to push their deals through to the finish line.

You should also work to discover when and why you lose opportunities. After each closed or lost deal, debrief the account salesperson to learn how and why the loss happened.

Keeping the customer at the center of each change is key to a successful plugging of the sales funnel, and that requires knowledge of customer engagement. Use the data you already have to determine the best process for your team. Every small fix will produce better results, and help you grow your pipeline as well as your revenue.

Source: Phill Keene brings commitment to learning and development to the inside sales space. He currently leads the sales development team at TinderBox, and through his experience he has learned how to be a strategic resource to companies trying to reach their revenue goals and attain quota. He brings best practices around sales productivity, lead generation and technology.

filed under October 2018
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