Moving a prospect through your IT sales funnel is a fairly complex process, one that requires strategic lead generation and nurturing to bring the prospect from the front-end stage of the software buy-in process to the end goal of a closed deal. Without lead generation and nurturing, you’re likely trying to close deals with too many unqualified candidates and failing to attract traffic to your website.
The following are three signs that your current software sales process isn’t generating the right leads (and how to rectify this issue):
Sign #1: You aren’t offering a free trial or demo of your software.
With today’s online buyer behavior, you must start by generating the right web traffic into your sales funnel. Most people are researching online and looking around before they ever come to you. You need to offer them a robust website that provides relevant guidance and information.
However, while you might be offering online marketing content that directs a prospect to your software company’s website, you also need to offer a sales-appropriate point of entry. If you don’t have a point of entry for a lead, typically in the form of a free trial or demo of your software, prospects are likely to leave and engage with a competitor who does.
Targeted lead generation for software sales requires a digital engine. But, in terms of the IT sales funnel, nurturing from a sales standpoint is different than nurturing from a marketing standpoint. That’s why a trial or demo of your software is a hot qualifier for your sales funnel.
Sign #2: You aren’t drawing sales prospects through the funnel.
There are stages of the buyer journey – awareness, interest, desire and conversion – which inform the sales funnel and how your software company qualifies prospects. The “awareness” and “interest” stages are where marketing is useful in educating prospects on the best way to solve their problems. During the “desire” and “conversion” stages, sales needs to step in with content and conversations that demonstrate how your company provides the solution.
While you may have a ton of marketing content that drives the front end of your IT sales funnel, if you don’t have sales-usable content, you likely are not attracting qualified leads. The content that works for the Business Development Representative (BDR) is different than the content that draws prospects to your company initially.
For lead nurturing to work, you have to provide the most appropriate content corresponding to where a prospect is within the buyer journey.
During the “desire” and “conversion” stages, sales-ready prospects want more compelling content that shows actual proof before they put their money down. You need content that shows you have expertise in the industry, in the form of a client success story exemplifying ROI or how a business problem was solved with your software.
Sign #3: You don’t rely on sales metrics to measure success and remove potential barriers within your sales funnel.
The success of your software sales efforts is directly correlated to the quality of your data. Ideally, you want metrics for the whole sales funnel, from “desire” to “conversion.” Some examples of sales metrics to monitor are:
- Which decision-maker is the best sales fit
- Which lead lists are or aren’t worth purchasing
- Which level of contact frequency results in the most closed deals
While your sales funnel reflects your software sales lifecycle, the funnel doesn’t end with the sales close. Customer happiness is cyclical, so you need metrics that encourage a feedback loop to tie together your entire sales cycle.
A happy customer is a repeat customer, and their ongoing needs truly inform your sales process. Sales metrics help identify those ongoing needs and the solutions your software tool provides.
Ready to learn more about improving your software sales funnel by attracting and nurturing highly qualified leads?