Blog

Sales Funnel Madness

April 13, 2016  /  by  Michael Westafer

The Need for Leads

Have you ever filled out a bracket for March Madness? Basketball brackets are popular, in part because even someone who has no clue about basketball has a chance of winning. The idea is simple: pick a winner for each game until you funnel down to the champions.

The traditional B2B marketing to sales funnel used to be like that too. Simple.

Inquiries come in, some of which become marketing qualified leads.

Some of those leads go on to become sales accepted leads.

Some of those leads go on to become opportunities, and finally, some of those opportunities become sales.

Easy peasy, right?

Except, sadly, the traditional sales funnel is flawed. There are two main challenges with this model that make it difficult for B2B marketers to achieve their goals:

  1. Self-directed research accelerates the buying process. By the time you get an inquiry, the average B2B lead is already 57% of the way towards making a decision, because they do research before buying.
  2. The funnel is actually more like a maze. Once inquiries come in, they do not necessarily continue through the funnel in a straight line. They may not even be entering the funnel at the inquiry stage. It’s possible they’ve learned about your business through their own research and are already close to buying.

So the traditional funnel can be deceiving. Although it might look like a simple 5-step process to move a stranger to a customer, it’s a lot more complicated than that.

And to complicate matters even more, on average, it takes about 12 marketing touches before an inquiry becomes a real opportunity (a touch can be an email, a phone call, a blog post, a form inquiry, etc.). Reaching each and every lead at least 12 times can be quite a challenge if you don’t have the right systems in place.

So, if you’re a B2B marketer, you’ve got a tough job. And you’re probably under a lot of pressure to keep producing more (and better) leads to help drive sales. This requires that you:

  • Engage more prospects.
  • Get faster at identifying qualified leads.
  • Increase close ratio.
  • Leverage and keep existing customers.

The good news is that there’s a proven formula that will allow you to better understand and fill your sales funnel, meet or exceed your lead-gen and revenue goals, and bask in the glory of your company’s success. We'll help walk you through it. Let's Talk.