Every business wants to improve its sales funnel, but not everyone has the time for a complete revamp of their sales process, even if it is beneficial for revenue growth.
Sometimes you just need quick and simple ways to make your sales funnel more efficient – whether it’s through warming up more leads or nurturing latent prospects. If you’re pressed for time or don’t have the bandwidth for bigger improvements, here are three fast, easy ways to make your sales funnel more efficient:
1. Increase Your Rate Of Contact
You already have an extensive database of leads and prospects at your fingertips, but are you leveraging them for all they’re worth? By increasing your rate of contact with leads, you provide a steady influx of sales opportunities for your sales funnel.
If you’re not contacting your entire sales database 1.8 to 2 times per year, you’re missing out on potential revenue. Calling through your database on a predetermined schedule ensures that you eliminate out-of-date contact information and that you unearth any latent leads, which might just become some of your next finalized sales.
2. Evaluate Opportunities In Your Sales Pipeline
Another easy way to increase the efficiency of your sales funnel is for every member of your sales team to regularly evaluate each of his or her leads to establish whether they are schedule opportunities or nurture opportunities. Determining the number of schedule and nurture opportunities is an easy way for salespeople to gauge their sales pipeline for the month – and to know when it’s time to ramp up further lead generation.
Schedule opportunities include any lead or prospect that has been previously contacted but who needs a future contact. Your salespeople should compile data and their personal experience to determine how many more phone calls or touch points are required for a schedule opportunity to become a closed sale. With time, your sales team should be able to look at a given number of schedule opportunities and forecast the expected sales for the month.
Nurture opportunities are more promising as these prospects have at least one element of BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timeframe), yet they do not have all four elements. For example, a company may have the budget, need and timeframe for your product, but when it comes to making a purchase, they might not have the authority to do so – yet. These opportunities require further lead nurturing and they’re much more likely to become a final close; thus, your sales team should focus on these leads so they don’t slip away.
3. Map Out The Buyer’s Journey And Optimize Accordingly
Your sales funnel is always full of uncertainties, but too many sales teams don’t map out what they can be more certain about, namely the buyer’s journey. Start by determining what success looks like for your sales team – be concrete and specific about various sales metrics, timing and dollar amounts. Then, map out which milestones your prospects pass before they become finalized sales.
Taking those milestones, break down the needed steps and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that should be present for each call and contact with a prospect. Next, clearly communicate these new steps and KPIs to your salespeople, as well as eliminate old metrics that don’t measure actual sales success. For example, many sales managers urge frequent dialing, but more dials don’t always translate to more sales (or higher quality sales). The best salespeople make fewer calls because their decisions are more efficient regarding lead quality and prospect milestones.
Once you’ve established your definition of success and have mapped out your buyer’s journey, your sales team forecasts sales and close rates more accurately since you know how many leads have passed particular milestones. With these forecasts and KPIs in hand, your entire team makes better decisions about which opportunities to follow-up with and which to leave behind.
You can’t always completely overhaul your sales funnel, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t improve your sales cycle where possible. With these three fast and easy tips, you’re able to make your sales funnel more efficient than before – giving you more time to generate leads and close deals.
Need more quick tips on how to improve your lead generation or sales funnel? Click below to download a tip sheet from Invenio Solutions® and discover how the Science of Sales™ helps you generate warmer leads and optimize your sales process for maximum profitability.