Sales Funnel Short Guide: The Why, What and How behind Optimising your Sales

Marketing sales funnels in the B2B sector

A well-defined sales funnel is the ace up your business sleeve. Key to helping you understand your customer journeys and optimise the sales process, your sales funnel is a vital strategic component that feeds both revenue and business efficacy.

Despite the above benefits, a staggering 68% of B2B enterprises have yet to identify their marketing sales funnel [1]. Yes, over two thirds of businesses are missing out on vital sales insights and opportunities, risking their bottom line.

That’s why the Think Beyond marketers have put together the following short guide outlining exactly what a sales funnel is and how your business can make the most out of this powerful tool.

If you’d prefer to discuss your sales strategy with a member of the Think Beyond team direct, call 01625 682110 for a friendly, no obligation chat.

What is a sales funnel and how does it work?

A sales funnel is a visual representation of the journey a prospect takes from first awareness of your brand towards purchase.

Resembling an inverted pyramid, sales funnels are frequently divided into three ever decreasing stages of top, middle and bottom with only the most engaged prospects moving to close:

● Top-of-the-funnel (ToFu): The awareness phase – prospects have identified a problem and are researching solutions. Sales efforts at this stage are centred around education and often include cold touches with material such as blog posts or infographics.
● Middle-of-the-funnel (MoFu): The qualifying stage – buyers are actively considering your solution and engage with sellers. Marketing material such as e-books or in-depth guides combined with sales demos and meetings help to qualify prospects and push them to convert.
● Bottom-of-the-funnel: (BoFu): Decision and close – your lead has made the decision to purchase. Sales teams produce proposals or terms of contracts backed up with content such as feature comparisons and product videos. Win rates can vary dramatically here depending upon how engaged a prospect is and external factors such as budgetary concerns.

A sales funnel allows you to strategically plan marketing and sales activities to direct and nurture prospects closer towards a buying decision with each stage containing more meaningful interactions than the last.

The importance of sales funnel management

The importance of a well-constructed sales funnel goes beyond planning activity – sales funnel analysis can reveal areas of leakage to protect that all important bottom line.

Do you know what your most profitable customer acquisition channel is? What is your MQL to SQL conversion rate? Why are you winning or losing deals?

By continually analysing your sales funnel for areas of drop-off and examining pipeline velocity you can take action to help prevent misalignment and ultimately, loss of revenue. In this sense, a marketing sales funnel is a work in progress; it is subject to constant tweaks and A/B testing as marketers seek to optimise interaction through the creation of new calls to action, landing pages, drip e-mail campaigns, nurture programmes and more.

Accurate data and tracking always remain a constant in your sales funnel. When you consider that the average B2B purchase cycle takes place over a number of months and involves multiple decision makers, an accurate, optimised sales funnel is essential to ensure that no opportunities are lost – your funnel is only ever as good as the data you put in.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems can take your funnel management one step further, providing both greater visibility across the prospect cycle as well as being able to automatically touch and nurture leads and prioritise based on lead scoring.

How Think Beyond can help improve your sales

Think Beyond is marketing management consultancy committed to helping businesses realise their sales potential. Guided by a philosophy of partnership and a data-driven approach to marketing, Think Beyond’s CIM qualified marketers work with and alongside senior management teams to develop bespoke sales solutions.

Based on data analysis and research, our dedicated consultants provide full sales strategy support. We can help you identify where your leads come from, create and optimise your sales funnel, provide tailored sales enablement workshops and help you understand customer life cycles and patterns of buying. Coupled with deep domain expertise in marketing automation and CRM, Think Beyond provides a holistic end-to-end improving sales service.

Contact the Think Beyond sales specialists today

To discover how we can work together on your revenue growth call 01625 682110 or e-mail hello@think-beyond.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can request a free one-hour initial consultation by completing our 60 second contact form.

Take a look at our company news to find out how we have already helped North West business take control of their sales strategy.

 


  1. Marketing Sherpa 

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