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Setting Up the Sales Opportunity Funnel

If you think of selling and how your previous customers bought, you will likely find that the highest conversion happens after a sales opportunity at the bottom of the funnel. You had a conversation of some sort before they decided to accept your proposal or product order.

Before the high conversion sales opportunity comes, there are a lot of low conversion events that have to take place within your sales funnel such as:

  • Nurturing and follow-up. Keeping relevant information, interest and conversations going consistently on a weekly basis.
  • Attraction and attention. Getting through the noise and allow people to find you online or notice you on social channels.
  • Positioning and branding. Ensuring anyone that lands on your site or pages understands who you are, what you do and why you matter
  • Sales metrics and dashboards. Keeping the relevant digital information front and center so you can act and react to trends and information on a macro scale for engagement.
  • Initial engagement. Reacting with speed to interest on your store front, site or landing pages and persuading people towards a next step.

The setup of a sales funnel has to be done with the customer journey carefully crafted. Then from the initial assumptions, you have to watch carefully and test how the customer travels through the funnel.

At each conversion point, you can do A/B testing to see what makes sense to improve sales conversions.

The goal is to set up the high conversion sales opportunities at the bottom of the funnel. If you can get the opportunity, then the sale becomes a formality. It’s a bit of art and engineering combined with feedback from reality.

Do you have a sales opportunity funnel built? Or are you heavily focused on one part of the sales funnel?

Consider partnering with us to help you build more sales opportunities for ROI.

Sharpen the Axe On Your Sales Funnel

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Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln

You are likely not getting the results you could have for selling. You may have started chopping, working hard and following the crowd hoping that putting up a social media presence and doing what everyone else is doing would open the magic door of sales.

Sharpening the axe can become less appealing because you don’t feel the sweat and toil from trying hard at something. That illusion can be seductive.

When it comes to building a continuous sales funnel that produces visitors, leads and deals, you can certainly guess at what may work. But the wasted money and time can be painful over months and years with a dull axe, an unsharp strategy.

Sharpening the axe requires research, analysis and strategic thinking about how you attract, win and keep your customers in a repeatable fashion. You have to look at the data, make meaning of the traffic and sources that drive your sales funnel, and implement the strategy that takes advantage of how your market is set up.

It’s why large brands spend so much time assimilating the vast amounts of data and sales conversion information that will help them build connections with their prospective customers. User behaviors, demographics, platform activity and density, as well as past customer behavior, can feed into profiling, targeting and strategies that help you connect in a logical and rational way with your buyers.

However, you have to value strategic thinking first. It means thinking more about what will work and ensuring you have the data to support your suppositions instead of simply opening a store or site and doing what you see those around you busy working at. You may have a lot of activity, however, to what end? Are you getting the results you desire?

There are millions of sites, stores and sales venues that are out there. Simply hanging your shingle out there is a losing strategy if you are not found or if you are largely ignored in the midst of the noise.

Can you afford to waste months guessing, especially when the data is out there to help you sharpen your axe?

How about doing the hard work of hard thinking. Do the analysis first. Study the data. Get insights into what is happening and where your highest payoffs will be and design the sales funnel in a way that makes selling easier with less cost and effort.

How is your sales funnel doing?

Qualifying Sales Opportunity Funnel Leads

Trying to talk to the whole world? How about narrowing your sales funnel?

There’s always that dilemma when designing and working your sales funnel. Your pipeline can be artificially fat if you let everyone in without some criteria on who is worth talking to for a sales conversation.

On the other hand if you are too narrow in your qualification criteria, you can miss opportunities that a good salesperson could convert.

Qualification is something that can help throttle the sales funnel so you are efficient and giving your team the highest probability chances to engage with and convert sales prospects.

When designing how to set up your sales opportunity funnel, consider allowing your leads to self-qualify. You can use simple criteria such as the BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timing) method in your questions:

  • What is your budget?
  • Are you or someone else responsible for making a decision on this product?
  • What is your need and how do you see our solution fitting?
  • Are you planning on buying now? If not, then how long before you decide?

Based on the answers you get either in online forms, sales engagement chats or initial discussions, develop a handoff with your sales opportunities to the right closing conversation team member.

They would then be responsible for converting the sale or negotiating and following up with the qualified lead until a “Yes” or a “No” is the outcome.

Not everyone is ready or wanting to buy and your design of the qualification process can keep your sales resources allocated to talking to the right people at the right time. You don’t want to waste cycles talking to unqualified people in your funnel. Allow your nurturing and messaging to do the work of creating interest and extracting their qualification based on their need and timing.

If you look at how efficiently your sales team is working, are you using qualification to set them up with the most optimal sales conversations? Want a better sales strategy?

Building a Money Making Foundation

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What is one of the best ways to grow your customer base? Many people believe that it begins with massive efforts in lead generation to a cold market. Not so.

It’s been proven that it is best to begin with your current customer base. Who values what you do? Even if it’s just a handful of happy clients, start with them. Why do they love you? What are their needs? Where do they hang out – online or locally?

Go there and find more of them. Make it easy for people like them to pick you, keep choosing you, and to share about you with others.

This is how you build a solid foundation for sales. And this is what we love helping build for our clients.

Building the Boring Business

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Many people think “boring” is bad.

But there are several things we do every day that really are considered boring: grooming, driving, washing dishes, etc. Sure, you can find ways to make them interesting, but as tasks, they are just meant to make other opportunities possible.

We can think of a well-run business like that. If it is “boring” – meaning that it’s cash-flowing easily, no drama, no headaches, no stress – it can free you up for other opportunities. Things that are exciting and important to you in life like creative projects, loved ones, adventure and travel.

This article highlights a few different ideas to help you take stock and move towards having that streamlined “boring” business:

– How do materials, information and talent flow?
– Do you have strong leadership?
– How do you manage client relationships?
– Do you have systems that help grow a continuous pipeline and nurture creative innovation?
– Do you have a knowledge base that team members can easily reference?

What would you do if you had a boring business? (hint: many of our clients have one and so have started more!)