Filling your sales funnel is a 24/7 imperative. Without a steady stream of leads in the pipeline, your sales cycle is inconsistent and unreliable. Optimizing your sales pipeline mitigates the risk of having lulls in new business. With consistency, your firm is better positioned for efficient and sustainable growth.
Improving your sales funnel isn’t simply a matter of flooding it with prospects. Be scientific and strategic in your sales approach. Implement these five best practices to increase the flow of qualified leads and grow your funnel.
- Segment Your Customers
Identify your average and best customers. Thoroughly understand who they are, what they need from you and what you provide to them. But, more important than determining who your customers are today, identify who you want your average and best customers to be tomorrow. In order to appropriately qualify leads, you have to know what those leads (and eventual customers) look like.
- Assess Your Offerings To Your Customers
Along the same line of thinking as the first best practice, you must revisit your points of product and service differentiation. Ask why your customers continue to choose you over your competition. If you’re not speaking to these differences in your sales process, quality leads might not make it down your sales funnel.
- Apply What You Learn To Lead Qualification
What triggers within your pool of prospects have you identified? What set of questions comprehensively identifies your next sale? What set of questions disqualifies poor prospects within your sales pipeline? The better you’re able to qualify and disqualify your leads, the more efficiently your sales funnel flows.
- Be Ready To Adjust
The only way to maximize the effectiveness of your sales efforts is to constantly adjust to your prospects’ and customers’ needs. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to make drastic changes. As any scientist knows, the difference between a good experiment and a great one is often a simple tweak to the hypothesis.
- Take Advantage Of The Power Of Sales Metrics
If there’s only one best practice you remember, it should be that your sales metrics are critical to your efforts. Generating a substantial return on your investment in your pipeline requires a specialized approach. Only your sales database and CRM tells you what’s going on with your prospects – and boils it down to an exact science. As much as conversations with customers and prospects inform you about your efforts, only your data tells you the real truth about what is and isn’t working.
Of course, there are important metrics and indicators that you should be tracking and analyzing on a consistent basis. These include:
- Total number of contacts currently available
- Number of contacts needed now and in the future, based on the absorption rate of your contact list
- Average length of your current sales cycle versus your desired cycle
- Frequency of desired communication (including type of correspondence)
Current and desired close rate in converting prospects to leads, and leads to customers
With these best practices, your strategy has more direction and a calculated approach. It is the formula to improving your sales funnel and generating more consistent leads and sales.
Interested in learning more ways to improve your sales pipeline, lead generation or overall sales efforts? Click below for a free consultation from a Sales Scientist at Invenio Solutions® and discover how to position your lead generation process for better sales cycle ROI.