B2B Sales Funnel Monitoring – Removing the Blocks

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The numbers game has long been an affliction that plagues sales and marketing. Now, with the increasing attractiveness of social media marketing, this hunger for “more” has only been compounded. More likes, more fans, more Tweets, more link sharing…but are there more sales happening as a result of this number addiction? Unfortunately, and most definitely, no.

There can be several blockages in your sales funnel and what filters through is thus, not necessarily, the most productive list. If your sales team just gets fed more and more data which is not mapped or segmented properly, you are not going to see corresponding higher sales numbers. I wrote late last year on my blog about why your sales people aren’t following up on leads provided by marketing. Too often we see B2B sales funnels being fed with inquiries that are not properly qualified. In the absence of a good lead scoring model, this flooding of the sales database inevitably ends up with blockages.

What are some of the most common blocks you may see in your sales funnel?

  • You do not have key decision makers on your contact list—hence longer cycles and more “gatekeepers” to get past before the promise of a sale becomes even faintly visible
  • Your online properties—website, blog, Facebook page, etc. see a lot of “hits”, but not enough conversion
  • The volume of qualified leads coming in to your sales funnel is quite low and of poor quality
  • Plenty of hand-raisers—asking for a demo, requesting a free trial, downloading a whitepaper, asking for details on a discount offer or promotion—but again, only short-burst, or one-time interaction and no willingness to engage further
  • Limited growth in an account—initial conversion to a small sale is great, but you can’t seem to upgrade the customer to invest and engage more in your products and services
  • Lack of repeat or renewed sales—first-time buyers don’t come back to you for more or to renew orders

There’s no denying that there is immense pressure to deliver instant results. But you need to ensure a steady flow of quality leads through your funnel. Senior executives don’t have the patience to stay with a lead generation play long enough to reap the better long term results. Instead, the typical knee jerk reaction is to switch to a different play which will likely add more volume to the funnel—buy more lists, send out another email using “batch and blast” or try another direct mail campaign. This MAY result in a small, quick sales spike but as I have said before, spike marketing can only help you in a short sprint, not with the marathon you need to stay in.

The key is to observe and analyze customer concerns at every stage of the sales cycle and think of ways to motivate them into positive action. It’s important to remove any possible areas of friction so that the sales funnel will experience a steady flow and quality leads will be nurtured to progress well and convert. I’ll talk more about some useful strategies for sales funnel optimization in a future post.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, I’ll be happy to discuss on this blog.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.

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