Managing Your Sales Funnel For Consistent Revenue
A Sales Funnel is a tool used to organize and manage a sales process.
It is often thought of as a pipeline, which implies that whatever goes in will eventually come back out as a sale. A more accurate analogy would be that of a sorting machine. A variety of items are placed in the funnel and through a series of activities all those of low quality are removed leaving only the desired items.
Regardless of the complexity of the business, all sales processes contain these basic stages: Introduction, Gaining Favorable Attention, Discovering Wants/Needs, Presenting Benefits/Consequences, Getting Commitment and Follow-up. Depending on the sales cycle, these stages can range from minutes to years in length and may have multiple sub-stages. In order for any sales funnel to be effective, every stage in the sales process must be thoroughly understood and actively managed.
It is often thought that every contact made should enter the top of the funnel. However as you can imagine, this creates an overwhelming situation. While it is important to keep track of all your contacts for networking purposes, ONLY “prospects” should enter the sales funnel. We define “prospects” as those contacts that fall within your defined target markets (i.e. “suspects”) and which meet all three of the following criteria: they have a need you can potentially satisfy, have the ability to pay, and can make the decision to purchase.
Once in the funnel, “prospects” are moved through the system based on their position in the sales process. At each stage they must be continuously worked and managed to move them to the next stage or to remove them from the process. A common mistake is to try to manage each stage of the process in succession. For example, prospecting is done until there seems to be enough in the system. These are then worked through the funnel more or less as a group. While eventually resulting in sales, this stop-go method produces a segmented funnel, which is slower and delivers inconsistent revenue.
The constant input of prospects and the simultaneous, active management of each stage will result in a more consistent and predictable flow of revenue from the bottom of the funnel. Although this requires a higher degree of organization and coordination, once the system is developed, it is simply a matter of following the individual steps and maintaining the appropriate activity levels for each stage.
The most critical component of any sales funnel management system is the accurate reflection of each prospect’s position in the sales process. This helps to ensure that the proper steps are taken at the proper time in order to most effectively and efficiently move the prospect to the sale and position them for future sales.
A well defined system if executed and executed consistently, allows the effectiveness of all activity to be measured. Without proper measurement, there is no way to determine what is and is not working, which makes sustainable improvement and growth virtually impossible. As the sales process and funnel management system develop, the predictability of prospect-client conversion improves resulting in a more consistent revenue stream.
“Sales processes and systems are of no use, unless they are executed consistently.”
To learn more about the Buying-Selling Process and how it can benefit your business, please contact ResTech Solutions, LLC at (484) 883-2707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael J. Cronin founded ResTech Solutions, LLC in 2002 after 15 years in the corporate world. He has hands-on experience in a number of functional areas and has worked with both domestic and international organizations. ResTech Solutions prides itself on the development of practical, cost-effective programs for its clients. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please contact Michael at (484) 883-2707 or email@example.com.