Sales Funnel Management Tips and Tools
1. Your sales funnel is a process
If you look at your sales funnel as a process, meaning consecutive stages and steps, you will realize that the strength of your overall process depends on its weakest link (step in the sales and marketing process). For example, you might be very good at generating leads but later on your conversion rate is very low. Or you might have a good conversion but you generate poor leads or your lead generation is very expensive.
2. Are you measuring the right KPIs
Fill-in-the blank Excel KPI templates, dashboards, scorecards:
In the above example of generating poor leads for your sales, showing improved lead generation numbers on your marketing dashboard or sales dashboard will signal an improvement. Everyone will agree on this one. However this is the science view (focused on numbers, analytical data analysis, etc.). The art view of your sales performance is different (think in terms of left brain and right brain logic) – the creative or art approach will reveal the real areas of improving your sales and marketing performance. For example, looking for a better quality lead generation source may improve the conversion rate later in your sales pipeline drastically. In such a case, your lead generation numbers on your dashboard will go down (showing negative trend) but you are improving your sales.
This thinking should lead us to be more creative when analyzing our sales processes. Now, you may think what is the purpose of tracking KPIs if they don’t always show the right picture – what really matters for my business.
This leads us to the following conclusion: choosing the right metrics is critical. What you measure in your sales funnel will have an impact of your results – it is that simple.
When planning your sales funnel and marketing dashboard you need to focus on the following 3 major stages in your funnel:
1. Lead Generation
Every business is different and unique somehow in terms of sales and marketing. This is because every company offers different solutions, products and services and it is managed by different set of resources and competencies. As a result their sales and marketing processes are different in many areas.
What is common for every marketing process or sales process (different terms are used by different organizations but the bottomline is that both are or should be integrated into one process and managed as a whole) is that regardless of its differences there are always three major stages: every organization
generates leads, every company has some conversion process and all businesses needs good revenue management.
When selecting your marketing and sales KPIs you need to cover all the three areas in your funnel. There is no single best metric for them but they are areas where you need to focus and come up with the most relevant and important metrics for your business. The examples above show the importance of taking both the science view and the creative view of your processes. In each of the three stages you need to step back and ask yourself what is the most important aspect here. How this step can be improved? By doing this you are making sure that once you start using your dashboard and look at your numbers you are focusing and managing what really drives your sales performance.
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