Sales funnel optimization works best from the bottom up

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Most organizations, when they want more sales, immediately look to the top of the pipeline. The answer, they figure, is more leads.

But if you need more sales, the fastest path is at the bottom of the funnel. Free up deals there and you’re far closer to putting cash in your pocket.

Look at your current funnel, especially your Opportunity stages, and you’ll see what I mean. For example:

Proposal/Negotiation Stages

  • Are final objections isolated? Do you know what 1-2 obstacles are holding up the deal?
  • Is budget an issue? If so, is it lack of budget, current commitment of budget, lack of cash? Depending on the answer to this question, can you get creative to get the deal done?

Presentation Stage

  • Are the right stakeholders in the room? Have they all signed off that this is a priority (not only to take a meeting but to commit resources to explore further?)
  • What objections did you know about going in? What new objections are you having trouble answering? Which current customers had those same objections and how can their answers inspire your current prospects?

Qualified Opportunities

  • Are they really qualified? Do they meet your multi-point criteria for moving forward?
  • Is there urgency or a compelling event? If so, does the buyer know it and/or believe it?
  • Are you talking to the right person – someone who can not only agree with our pitch but free up the budget and make a purchase decision?

Qualified Leads

  • What buying signals are you hearing or missing?
  • Which prospects are telling you (explicitly, implicitly, via their social networks, wherever) that they now have an urgent problem, pain or opportunity you can help them address (even if they don’t realize it explicitly themselves)?
  • What tools or processes do you have in place to ensure you’re identifying and acting on these buying signals?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.

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