Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is a representation of the processes involved in converting a lead to a sale. Part of growing your business and increasing your revenue involves making your sales funnel not only larger, but also more efficient. One of the simplest ways to improve your sales funnel involves starting with better quality leads, and it isn’t as difficult as you might think. 

Understanding the Sales Funnel

If you picture a standard funnel – such as the one you might use in the kitchen – you can apply that vision to the sales process. The very top of the funnel where the substance enters represents your company’s first contact with a lead and the very bottom of the funnel where the substance exits represent a sale. There are numerous stages occurring inside the funnel, too. There are many ways to improve the funnel and everything that goes on inside it, too. Sometimes, though, improving the funnel is all about pouring the right substance into it in the first place. 

What is a “Good” Lead?

If you think about it, virtually anyone can be labeled a lead, but not everyone is a good lead. To put this into perspective, assume that your company sells a bookkeeping and budgeting service for people who are self-employed and work out of their home. A prominent CEO of a big corporation may have the authority and budget to purchase your product, but she doesn’t need it because she isn’t self-employed, so she isn’t a good lead. Conversely, a young freelance graphic designer who is looking to make the processes behind bookkeeping, budgeting, and taxes simpler and easier is a great lead who is far more likely to buy your service. 

How Does Improving Lead Quality Improve the Sales Funnel?

Though it may seem like a no-brainer to reach out to as many people as possible in hopes that you’ll snag buyers, this practice isn’t efficient for converting leads to sales for the following reasons:  

  • It takes resources away from the good leads. If your team is cold-calling every number they have rather than focusing on a list of self-employed individuals, this is a waste of your resources. Improving the quality of your leads allows your team to focus their attention on the people who are more likely to buy. 
  • It waters down your marketing efforts. Marketing to the world at large may net you some sales, but it isn’t as efficient as marketing specifically to your target audience. Figure out where the self-employed individuals are most likely to spend their time and focus your marketing efforts there, instead. 
  • It clogs your sales funnel. If you’re spending all your time on bad leads somewhere in the middle of the funnel, you’re missing out on opportunities to guide the good leads through to the narrower side of the sale. 

The best and simplest way to improve your company’s sales funnel right now is to be mindful of what goes in. The better the leads going into the top of the funnel, the smoother the entire process through the funnel will be, and the more sales you’ll make on the other side.