Sharpen the Axe On Your Sales Funnel


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?

Keeping the Sales Opportunity Funnel Continuous

Sales never ends. Your business exists to service customers that find value in what you offer. The challenge of keeping your sales opportunity funnel continuous for deal making has to be a primary strategy that you address.

Ultimately, there are a limited set of strategies to work with new customers. It’s best to analyze your market and how buyers engage similar offerings with competitors in benchmarks.

Furthermore, you can take a look at your existing customers you have won and examine how they became customers. Then invest your budget, resources and attention towards those places that have worked. Refine the approach to attracting new prospects and keep conversion metrics front and center on a monthly basis.

For those prospects that do express interest, you have the task of nurturing, following up and educating them about the benefits of your offering. A system that will touch a person multiple times, perhaps even a dozen times over many months is required. You may start this with people on your team that are service-oriented.

The metrics for sales conversion here have to be gathered and analyzed for continuous improvement as well. Your messaging and efficiency that comes from top performers on your team can be examined for what the key influencing points are and that can be magnified for sales efficiency.

The sales opportunity funnel often has a lot of moving pieces and data builds up over time. To keep the sales conversion working over time and the funnel full, you have to see what truly works and where to emphasize more of your efforts and resources.

Start by establishing a baseline of metrics that you can examine and track over time. From there, watch what is working and what is lagging. Your industry benchmarks will shed light on what is a reasonable goal.

Keeping your sales funnel continuous requires tweaking and upgrading where the data leads you. It’s an exercise in continuous and vigilant management and analysis practices.

How are you tracking your sales conversion metrics for efficiency?