Do your funnels leak or filter?

Sales and marketing often use the concept of a funnel to describe the process by which opportunities turn into customers. The shape of the funnel represents the numerical relationship between the quantity of opportunities, leads and enquiries and the number of actual orders they turn into. The proportion (sometimes called conversion rate) of opportunities to orders will vary from one business to another, but all will lose some along the way.
The question I would like you to think about is how those initial opportunities are ‘thinned out’ as they progress through the funnel. Does your funnel have effective filters that remove off-profile opportunities and avoid wasted time and money pursuing them, or does your funnel have leaks that allow opportunities to escape without knowing whether they are potentially valuable to you or not?
Filters are designed to be part of the qualification process, monitoring behaviour so that future investment directed against them (marketing materials, sales calls etc.) is more targeted and efficient. A carefully designed marketing programme records the responses of your prospects and reacts in a pre-determined way that benefits you and them. For example, over time you can build an understanding of what content are they interested in, what they have downloaded, which events they attended… At some point in the process, we might decide that they don’t really fit our ideal customer profile and disqualify them (nicely of course!) or they might disqualify themselves. A good funnel with well thought-out filters will remove off-profile prospects as early as possible.
By contrast, a funnel that leaks loses prospects unintentionally, regardless of whether they are on profile or not. It is just as likely to lose a fantastic opportunity as an off-profile prospect. Generally, funnels leak because the programme fails to hold the interest of the prospect and they ‘move on’.
A well designed sales generator not only has good filters, but also has the right measures and reporting to enable us to spot leaks and repair the programme quickly and effectively. If you would like to find out more about how to design and implement the best marketing funnel for your business, please give us a call.
Happy filtering,