Managing your prospects in sales is hard!
A salesperson will be contacting multiple potential clients at the same time. Cold calling, emailing and trying to reach them in various ways. In such a situation, there are chances that the salesperson is following up on a lead who might not be very much interested in your product while missing on a qualified lead.
To resolve and avoid such mishaps, the sales have come up with various techniques and tools, including a powerful B2B SaaS marketing guide. The most effective among them is the sales funnel.
The most effective among them is the sales funnel.
This article gives you a complete brief about sales funnel management, its various stages, effective ways to manage your sales funnel, the benefits of it and mistakes to avoid while managing sales funnel.
Sales funnel management tracks the journey of a customer from becoming aware of the brand to becoming a trusted customer. It helps the sales team to effectively strategize their plan according to the customer’s journey and successfully increase the conversion rates of qualified leads.
The sales funnel is represented as an inverted pyramid divided into various stages. The four stages include awareness, interest, decision, and action.
The inverted structure results from the fact that when potential leads progress through the stages, the number of interested parties also declines relative to those who become aware of the company.
Creating such a representation of the customer journey helps salesforce focus on the potential customers who will be genuinely interested in their products or services.
Let’s better understand this customer journey through a sales funnel. Scroll down!
As mentioned, the customer travels through four stages before finally signing the contract and closing the deal with your company. It is crucial for the salesforce to have attention to detail in the sales funnel process to improve the conversion rate.
So here are the four stages.
Awareness is the first stage in the sales funnel management where the potential customer comes to know of the company or the product/ service you offer. The sales and marketing team takes various steps to ensure that the lead comes across the brand. It can be through cold calling, cold emailing, digital marketing techniques in social media, and various other online platforms where the client is expected to often visit.
When the customer enters the second stage, they already know a brief about you - the brand and the product/service, aligning with your B2B marketing OKRs. Now the challenge is to tap into the curiosity of the lead and make them interested in you. Use of Customer Relations Management solutions, incorporating data-driven decisions, sending personalized emails, and other marketing techniques will lead to companies scheduling a demo or meeting with you.
The decision stage is where the client weighs the pros and cons of incorporating your solutions into their operations. The demos and meetings with the sales team have a huge influence on their decisions. Salesforce must be prepared to impress the lead and make them believe that your product/service is an integral requirement to their operations. Having room for a good negotiation also leads them in making a positive choice for you.
The last stage of the sales funnel is the starting point of a long and successful relationship between two companies. When the customer enters the Action stage of the funnel, the aim of the sales team has been accomplished. But it is not the end of the customer journey. It can be said that it is from this point that the organization must streamline its efforts to ensure a smooth and satisfactory service to the customer for whom you fought a long fight.
The customer journey from awareness to action is a long process. It requires consistent effort and patience from the salesperson’s side to maintain a cordial relationship with the potential customer.
Let's look at what it requires to effectively manage your sales funnel.
The salesforce is your army when traversing through the sales funnel. Hence it is crucial to keep them motivated to achieve their quotas and targets. Organizations must ensure that their salespeople stay competent and are aware of the changes in the market.
Providing them with regular training and upskilling them will ensure that the sales team knows the latest tools and techniques and strategize innovative ways to effectively manage their sales funnel.
Customer conversion is not as easy as a cake. Following a potential lead, effectively managing their funnel journeys, and successfully converting them to customers can be faced with many challenges. Hence, the salesperson must realize where the potential lies and sow the seed there.
They must strategize on those qualified leads with a higher chance of conversion, have the resources to incorporate your solutions in their operations, and where your efforts have higher positive rates.
A data-driven strategizing of sales and marketing efforts is proven to give better results than trial-and-error methods. Using Customer Relations Management solutions will give you a focused idea about targeting qualified leads using personalized techniques.
Incorporating digital solutions will optimize your operations and improve the effectiveness of the sales team in making better decisions and seamlessly moving through the sales funnel.
Despite the effectiveness of the sales funnel, there are places where the tool falls back mainly owing to the mistakes the sales and marketing team makes in managing it.
So here are a few mistakes you can avoid to ensure successful sales funnel management.
The first and best way to catch the attention of a potential customer is with a good offer. Sometimes more than selling your product/service to potential leads, a good offer like a discount or trial chance can gain their attention and in converting them to become loyal customers.
When there are too many leads in your funnel, salespeople can easily lose focus on their potential customers. Hence they must take in a manageable number of leads, keep track of their positions and follow up consistently for a successful action.
Organizations often forget the importance of providing regular training sessions and upskilling their salesforce. Understanding the market, and the status of the competitors, and improving knowledge and skills help salespeople understand who is a potential lead and on whom not to put extra effort.
A personalized email or marketing campaign addressed to the client or containing specific details that are of preference to them can better attract the attention of your potential client and generate prospectus leads.
Most sales teams do not realize the power a data-driven marketing strategy possesses. It has a higher potential of bringing in effective results than randomly applying tools and techniques in your sales operations. Having an analytical-based study on your sales and marketing will help better understand the effectiveness of your efforts and come up with innovative ones as well. Incorporating a data-driven approach, along with practical sales campaigns examples, can significantly enhance the success of your sales funnel management.
Sales teams must always be encouraged to incorporate tools and techniques that ease their efforts and improve efficiency. And basic sales funnels are one of those best strategies.
With a multitude of benefits, the right use of the sales funnel will optimize sales operations and help increase conversion rates.
Just as digital incorporations are encouraged in sales teamwork, organizations must also be prompt in ensuring their incentives and commissions are automated to provide transparency and clarity. Steps like incentive compensation management and sales performance management will motivate the salesforce to upskill for better results.
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