Does your company have a clear sales funnel? If you answered no, then you are probably losing a lot of sales. According to HubSpot, 68 percent of companies in the B2B industry have not identified the stages of their sales funnel. This is a surprising figure, especially when you realize how important it is to align your marketing efforts with the buyer’s journey.
It is essential to understand that not all leads are created equal. Determining where customers are in the purchasing process allows you to optimize your campaigns and increase your sales closure rates. The following are some compelling reasons why you need to identify your sales funnel stages:
Sort and prioritize sales leads
The primary function of a sales funnel is to enable you to sort and prioritize leads. Basically, you want to determine which leads are deeper into the sales process and which ones need more nurturing to convince them to make a purchase. You’ll stumble upon people who are a perfect fit for what you have to offer, which means they are ready to enter the sales process immediately. On the other hand, some leads do not have an urgent need for your product, and it might take some time for them to do business with you.
This is a simple yet crucial step in increasing your conversions. As you might imagine, you need different strategies for the different stages of your sales funnel. You can’t employ a single approach for all your leads.
Focus on the right marketing and sales techniques
By having a deeper understanding of your potential customers, you can tailor your campaigns according to where they are in the sales process. This makes your business run more efficiently. You can identify which leads must be pushed to the sales department and which ones must be nurtured first through preliminary marketing techniques.
Each step in your funnel gives you an opportunity to learn more about your leads. For instance, asking people to answer surveys, opt-in to your email list or conduct an interview over the phone enables you to push them deeper into the buyer’s journey. This is also a good way to figure out which customers are genuinely interested about your products or services and which ones are not ready to commit.
Develop your long-term lead nurturing process
As mentioned, not all leads are ready to transact with you at the initial point of contact. This is why it’s imperative to establish multiple contact points over time. This is an excellent method of nurturing leads and letting them learn more about your business. This is particularly true for complex B2B sales organizations in which it can take several months before a new client decides to sign on the dotted line and close a deal.
Having a clear understanding of all the sales funnel stages of your business is an absolutely necessity to succeed in today’s business world. Remember that these stages are influenced by several factors including the industry you’re in, the products or services you offer, your target audience and corporate structure. Identify what works best for your business until you come up with an organized funnel that enables you to build long term relationships with leads and close more sales.