Funnel the is evaluating sales

Evaluating Your Sales Funnel – The Questions You Must Ask

The sales funnel. It’s been around since the dawn of selling and it’s a great tool for sales managers to analyze their potential closed sales revenue.

But too often we clog our sales funnel with dead leads, or we don’t fill it at all because we get complacent. As the owner of an outsourced sales company, I find myself analyzing and evaluating our sales funnels constantly, and I’ve pinpointed several misconceptions that could taint how you evaluate your sales funnel.

MISCONCEPTIONS OF THE SALES FUNNEL

Sales Results Don’t Magically Appear – It Starts with Activity

Many sales managers manage strictly off of what is in the sales funnel (with a heavy concentration on the bottom third). What they fail to consider is that every sales funnel starts with activity!

If you are not making the calls and having quality conversations, then the funnel remains the same or it shrinks. Your sales teams should have clearly defined activity metrics (number of calls, conversations, demos set and held, etc.) that they are held accountable to hitting on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Don’t Concentrate Strictly on What Comes Out of the Funnel

Concentrate on both the top and bottom of the funnel. Too many sales managers concentrate on closing and not opening opportunities. Many companies need 4 qualified opportunities to be opened for every close they receive. Knowing your ratio and monitoring the opening of new opportunities is key to sales success.

Are Ideal Potential Clients Filling Your Funnel?

There is a great book written by Jeff Koser and Chad Koser called “Selling To Zebras”. This book’s premise is about having sales teams focus all their time, effort and energy selling to their “Zebras”. A “Zebra” is a their term for an ideal potential customer, one that your product or solution is absolutely perfect for. For example if your company’s solution is perfect for VP’s of HR at companies with 1,000 to 5,000 employees with multiple locations, don’t spend your time selling to a company with 100 employees at one location.

Are Decision Makers Or Influencers Filling Your Funnel?

Your funnel is not all about quantity. Yes, you want a lot of leads, but you want them to be quality leads. We easily fixate on how many opportunities our sales teams have in their funnels, but fail to dig deeper at the quality of the contacts we have. Analytics expert James Ellis likes to say of website traffic numbers that “aggregate numbers are lies!” and that applies to sales as well.

Many sales professionals get caught selling to an influencer. But if the influencer can’t articulate or sell your company’s value proposition or are afraid to run it up the flagpole. This is death of many deals. Your team must focus not just on selling to the right companies, but to the right people within those companies. Remember that when evaluating your sales funnel.

Happy Selling!!