What’s Leaking from Your Sales Funnel?
Andrew Deutsch, CEO of Fangled Tech, was a recent guest on AdVic’s “Salesforce Simplified” podcast and talked about converting sales no’s into yes’ by analyzing important data he says may be “leaking” within your sales funnels. Then we dug into transforming sales teams into selling machines, and more. Here are some highlights from that conversation.
What changes are we witnessing in the sales world today when it comes to generating, nurturing, and converting leads into customers?
“I don’t know if I would call it a change as much as a maturity. Many people are starting to recognize that they don’t know what a lead is. And if you asked a bunch of different salespeople, even those in the CRM world, there’s a piece of lead that’s missing that really it’s become valuable. The difference between a suspect and a lead. So suspects are people who you don’t know, but very possibly could do business with you. Once they become a lead, there’s at least a clue that says that this is somebody who could do business with you as you start to narrow those things down. I think that the maturity now is that people are recognizing that the sales funnel leaks. And it’s good that it leaks. And it has more stages in it. Although, many times the sales process allows stages to be in microseconds rather than having to actually, physically in your mind, go through each stage. So, those are some of the concepts that I’m seeing that are different as folks are maturing and really understanding that process.”
- Lead vs. Suspect.
- Suspect: unknown, however can possibly become a customer.
- Lead: provides greater detail on who the suspect is.
- Maturity: understanding leaks in the sales funnel.
- Maturity in the sales funnel allows for greater understanding of “leaks” and the expansion of phases throughout the sales journey.
It was interesting that you used the term “leaks” when referring to sales funnels. What would be leaking?
“I’m speaking in generalizations because it’s not everyone, but there’s always been what I’ve called the ‘kiss or kill’ mentality… As you’re going through the leads in your funnel, if you get a ‘no,’ they’re gone. They’re not viable. There’s no future for them. And now with tech that’s out there, those no’s have value. When you rule out a lead, you may discover that if you’re paying attention to those pieces of it, it may lead to the need for a new product development. Maybe the reason that all of those people left your funnel is because there’s a need that you’re not meeting, or they don’t recognize that you do meet the need that they’re looking for. In the old days of the sales funnel, you would see a chart where the first two steps are sales. I mean the first two steps are marketing and then they turn it over to the sales team. And of course, I always call that throwing a turd over the wall. ‘Here it is guys, go sell it.’
“A true sales funnel is an hourglass. You’re collecting customers at the bottom of the hourglass and continuing to nurture them.”
“In the maturity of the sales funnel, now marketing needs to go further down the funnel before sales. Marketing has learned that they need to be involved at every level to check the leaks, the stuff that’s leaking out of the funnel that didn’t make it. And also at that point of sale, because if marketing is not involved at that point, how are you going to convert all those people who just bought your product into voracious advocates for your brand? They’re going to go out and shout from the hilltops, how wonderful it was to do business with you. So, a true sales funnel is an hourglass. And you’re collecting those customers at the bottom of the hourglass and continuing to nurture them. Not just because you expect them to buy again, because you expect them to love your brand so much that they’re going to convince the world that there’s no other business out there you should be doing business with.”
- A “leak” is no longer a lead.
- Leaks provide valuable insight to a company’s future development, as their needs can become a new product.
- Marketing is more involved in the sales funnel from checking ‘leaks’, to point-of-purchase.
- Sales funnels are comparable to hourglasses, as customers are continuously nurtured even after purchase to become ambassadors for the brand.
How do we turn sales teams into selling machines?
“The mistake that people have made in the past is thinking that salespeople are only motivated by commissions. So, one of the things that we do is we actually look at our salespeople as human beings, not as selling machines, as we convert them into that. Because when you really understand what are the personalities, and motivation structures, and the attributes of the human, and compare those to high-performing salespeople, what you find are the true motivation strategies of your sales folks.
“The way to create monstrous sales teams that go out is to actually understand and know the personas and every detail of your people. And treat them as individuals in ways that get them to work together as a team.”
- By understanding that sales people are human and not machines, enables a relationship that influences them to perform at their best.
- Understanding what motivates salespeople.
- Design training and development in a way that people can connect and identify with.
(Written by the Ad Victoriam Staff)