Go back to get forwards: A Guide to Reverse Engineering your Sales Funnel

I got leads and they need multiplying

Leads – any business inevitably wants more and according to research by B2B Marketing and the Telemarketing Company, 59% of marketers receive “significant pressure” to generate more leads [1].

But what number of leads constitutes “good”; and how can senior management set the right goals and KPIs for their teams? The answer: reverse funnel science.

So grab your lab coat and keep reading to discover the what, the why and how your business can benefit from taking a step back through your sales funnel to drive revenue forward.

Prefer to discuss your marketing strategy with a member of the Think Beyond team? Call 01625 682110 for a no obligation consultation.

What is a reverse sales funnel and why does it matter?

In its simplest form, a reverse sales funnel tells you what number of leads your business needs to generate at the top, middle and bottom of the sales marketing pipeline to reach revenue forecasts.

By forecasting required sales and marketing leads, a reverse sales funnel helps senior teams to set the right goals and KPIs for every stage in the sales process. More than this, a reverse funnel approach can quickly determine if your target market is too small or whether there are drop-offs in your sales cycle. In this sense, a reverse sales funnel should be seen as a strategic optimisation tool that ultimately serves to protect a company’s bottom line.

How to reverse engineer your sales marketing funnel

Reverse funnel science requires a business to have first identified their sales and marketing funnel.

The importance of an accurate sales funnel really cannot be stressed enough as it is from this schema that close ratios between pipeline stages can be calculated. Knowing what percentage of your leads convert and progress through enquiry, MQL, SQL, opportunity to sales won forms the basis of reverse engineering your sales funnel.

Take the following basic example: You are a B2B technology company with a SME proposition. Analysis of your SME sales marketing funnel reveals the below conversion ratios:

Enquiry – Marketing Qualified Lead = 50%
Marketing Qualified Lead – Sales Qualified Lead = 50%
Sales Qualified lead – opportunity = 20%
Opportunity – Sales won = 5%

If every sales won deal is worth £10,000, to generate revenue of £1 million, you would require 100 sales won deals annually. Working backwards through the conversion rates you can calculate that a total of 40,000 enquiries need to be generated if this target is to be met.

If 40,000 leads exceeds your target market, it’s time to explore secondary markets. However, be cautious with your approach as expanding your target market is not always the answer if your close ratio is too low. This is where partnering with a qualified consultant can add value. As an outside expert, a marketing consultant can help to identify gaps in your process and drive your sales forward.

Let Think Beyond help you get to grips with funnel science

Think Beyond is a Cheshire-based marketing management consultancy that serves the North West region and beyond. Our CIM qualified marketers partner with senior teams on every aspect of their sales strategy to create measured, managed business solutions that are rooted in marketing science.

From identifying your sales marketing funnel through to optimising your sales process; aligning your teams to providing marketing dashboards to track KPIs and bespoke training workshops, Think Beyond have a singular aim: to accelerate your sales performance.

Contact the Think Beyond marketers today

Find out how Think Beyond can help fuel your business growth by getting in touch today.

Call 01625 682110 to speak with one of our Chartered Marketers or email hello@think-beyond.co.uk with your enquiry.

You can also book a free one-hour initial consultation by submitting your contact details online.

Keep up-to-date with the latest news and developments from Think Beyond by subscribing to our blog.


  1. Funnelwise.com

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