The sales funnel is a fundamental tool that can be used to illustrate your sales cycle. Notice how the funnel starts wide and narrows. That’s because leads are more plentiful in the beginning at the top of your Salesforce sales funnel. As the sales team sifts through those leads and identifies the ones that they believe will result in a sale, fewer leads trickle down into the narrower funnel space. By the bottom of the funnel, your sales team finally has targeted sales opportunities to pursue, and generate into customers. Sounds easy enough. But in reality, the sales funnel doesn’t always flow that smoothly. There are often gaps in the funnel. To see how we may bridge those gaps, let’s look closer at each of the stages of a sales cycle.
THE PROSPECT STAGEFirst, you’ll need to effectively prospect to drive those people to your funnel. You may get your prospects into the funnel through a variety of means such as web forms, inbound marketing, paid and non-paid advertising, and referrals. Although they are in your Salesforce sales funnel, they are not yet qualified leads. This is the first opportunity to stop gaps. At this point, your reps should be tracking and recording conversations and interactions (which is easier when you use a sales engagement platform like Salesvue). In fact, in Salesvue, task resolution screens make it easy for a sales representative to log calls with one click, plus they can add details about the outcome of the call without having to navigate away from the page. After qualifying the prospect, he or she will move into the Lead stage of your funnel.
THE LEAD STAGELeads need consistent and timely communication to move down the funnel, but because your Leads are often in different phases of their customer journey, this can be logistically difficult. Gaps in the Lead stage often occur when your sales reps are sporadic with their communication. Salesvue’s Conversation Recency Report allows you to compare performance for different segments of Leads (or customers) to identify areas needing more consistent and improved communication.
THE OPPORTUNITY STAGEWhen you have Opportunities, you should be closing deals. Sometimes your marketing content is interesting, but your leads aren’t interested in your product or service. Perhaps your sales reps aren’t following the process or they simply aren’t selling your products and services well. Your sales reps may not be aggressive or responsive enough or your value proposition, good enough. Maybe you aren’t different enough from your competition. Or, you may simply have a long sales cycle. Without insight into the sales pipeline, it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s going on. Salesvue’s Ultimate Sales Pipeline Report can show you where in your sales cycle the gaps are. It lets you look throughout your sales pipeline, from beginning to end, to identify where the conversion rates are highest and lowest, so you can make adjustments to your marketing and sales processes and strategies to close more deals. Here are some additional tips on how to identify sales opportunities.
THE CUSTOMER STAGEOnce you have converted Opportunities into Customers, it’s essential to maintain communication and keep providing value. In a post about customer retention, G2 cites that “a 5% increase in customer retention correlates with at least a 25% increase in profit.” Gaps in the Customer stage often arise when sales reps’ focus shifts to a new group of prospects or there is a poor onboarding process. Salesvue can run cadences to all Salesforce objects (Lead, Contact, Opportunity, Account) so that no one falls through the cracks. Plus, with Salesvue’s automated triggers, one-click dialer and voicemail, email templates, call scripts, telephony suite and mobile app, teams have the ideal sales engagement tool to improve customer retention.
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