The traditional sales funnel is viewed as linear and one way.
- This can lead to a lot of wastage as prospects and leads fall by the way-side if they don’t progress to the next stage.
- It also misses huge opportunities to tap into the potential to leverage progression to feed back into the sales funnel.
Recent developments mean neither of these apply to the same extent as preciously.
The availability and access to information via the internet means the buyer can pick and choose the information that suits them, so the linear process that the vendor could previously control is becoming quite random. In addition, since the buyer is now more in control they may chose to move forwards and backwards through the buying process, especially if there are several people in the buying team, with different needs and responsibilities.
The good news is that by updating the sales funnel model, marketing and sales processes and by using technology as a supporting tool, there are ways that vendor organisations can redress the balance, and reclaim some of the initiative. traditional
Sales Funnel recycling
The wastage of leads and opportunities falling by the way-side can be addressed by updating the marketing and sales activities internally. There are many ways that contacts could be recycled through the marketing and sales process that is under some control of the sales organisation, through internal systems, such as email marketing and customer relationship management. For example:
- a prospect who is contacted by sales for an initial qualification call but is not yet ready to buy can be added back into a marketing campaign to raise their awareness.
- a lost sale situation can be added back into a low key contact program as there may be a subsequent sales opportunity.
- a customer who has made an initial purchase can be re-marketed to for upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
Social Business recycling
The missed opportunities is really about recognising the potential that Social Media and Social Business provides, as a very powerful means to address the latter and to harness and facilitate the leverage that is increasingly available. For example:
- experience gained with a customer and their usage of your product or service could be fed into the lead nurture activity, posted of the FAQ, Blog, and highlighted through Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and so on.
- customer testimonials, especially by video, could be added to landing pages, home pages etc to increase the social proof and reduce perceived risk to a new prospect.
- customers, prospect, contacts and even people who you don’t yet know about could ‘Like’ the content you create and publish on your website, blog etc. and highlight it to people who they know and are connected to.
Recycling strategies for marketing and sales
Identifying potential for recycling within existing marketing, sales and delivery areas and processes and developing strategies and implementing operational or tactical solutions can be extremely beneficial. They have the potential to increase the revenue per customer and their life-time value, to increase conversion at each stage in the marketing and sales process, and to reduce the cost of sale through reduction in marketing and sales spend and through increased productivity, to highlight just some of the potential return on investment areas.
How much recycling do you do at the moment?
You may already be thinking about ideas and areas where you could improve marketig and sales, but how about:
- how effective is your re-marketing to existing customers?
- how easy do you make it for them to endorse what you do for and with your current customers?
- do you review lost business and use it as a learning and improvement trigger and re-marketing opportunity?
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