According to Pardot, 68% of organizations have not identified or attempted to measure a sales funnel. And, the same survey discovered that 79% of leads are never converted into paying customers. It’s safe to say these results go hand in hand. Without an effective sales funnel — sometimes called a conversion funnel — in place, it can be tough for businesses to move leads through the pipeline, make sales and identify where changes need to be made to improve their processes. Sales funnels help businesses speed up the sales process, build better relationships with leads and customers, provide a personalized approach, generate more sales and maximize marketing efforts. What’s not to love?
The sales funnel explained
First, let’s establish the difference between a sales funnel and a sales pipeline. They are often spoken about interchangeably but have some key differences. Your sales pipeline is a visual representation of the stages your prospects have to complete before they become a customer. Your sales funnel, on the other hand, is a visual representation of the conversion-rate between each of those stages. Your primary goal should be to move as many prospects as you can all the way through your funnel, and in turn, achieve a high conversion-rate. According to Marketo, as many as 96% of your website visitors are not ready to make a purchase yet. But, that doesn’t mean they won’t be further down the line. In fact, SalesForce discovered it can take between six and eight touches to generate a viable sales lead. A robust sales pipeline paired with an effective sales funnel can help you transform these visitors into customers over time and manage the process efficiently.
The stages of a sales funnel
Picture an inverted pyramid that is wider at the top than it is at the bottom — this is what your sales funnel will look like. While every organization’s processes will be different, there are three key sales funnel stages to consider. At the top is the awareness stage — where potential customers are getting to know your brand, providing contact details and converting into leads. Here, the funnel is at its widest with the highest number of opportunities. In the middle is the consideration stage, where marketers and sales teams work to qualify leads and nurture them before they move through to the next stage. Remember, not every lead will be right for your business! The bottom of the funnel — the smallest part — is where qualified leads become customers ready to be moved onto retention. The more people that reach the bottom of the funnel, the better your conversion-rate.
Creating a sales funnel fast
Building a high-quality sales funnel takes up time and resources. But, there are a few things you should do to ensure your funnel is accurate and robust. It should be simple — encouraging high-quality leads to stick around, and helping you identify poor-quality leads early to yield the best results and improve efficiency. Start by aligning your teams to work towards common goals. In the B2B world, we often think about marketing and sales departments as being separate — but the sooner they are working as a well-oiled machine, the sooner you’ll see great results from your sales funnel. To see a strong conversion-rate, it is important that every stage of the funnel is considered.
At the top of the funnel, you need to ensure that your team is gaining interest that is relevant to your business. Implement personalized and highly-tailored marketing campaigns to reach your target audiences in the places they spend time online. And, try offering something of value. Don’t be afraid to test different methods to see what works best for your customer base. Then, ensure the lead qualification and nurture stage is effective. Remember, only the highest-quality, most sales-ready leads should be making their way to the bottom of the funnel. A robust nurturing process is key to converting the maximum number of leads to customers — this will require some experimentation in the middle of the pipeline. If deals aren’t being closed at the bottom of the funnel, try reviewing your sales approaches and ensuring nothing stands in the way of your customers making a purchase. Find out more about building a sales funnel here.
Lead Forensics is an innovative IP tracking tool that supercharges B2B sales funnels for maximized results, supporting your strategy every step of the way. It works by tracking your website visitors, revealing their previously anonymous identity and notifying you in real-time. Thanks to a global leading database of business IP addresses, users are provided with the name of the business visiting their site, as well as given access to contact details of key decision-makers and detailed website visitor journeys, so they have everything they need to conduct the ultimate follow-up and design the perfect pitch. Discover a bounty of new leads directly through your B2B website and book your free Lead Forensics demonstration today!