Organizations utilize numerous different methods to provide clients their products and services. The methods chosen are typically driven by a range of influences, from demand to legislation. Sale cycles will vary dependant on the methods chosen, how optimized they are and how well they satisfy the requirements of the influences.
Benefits of optimizing your funnel include:
Better sales forecasting
Simplicity in onboarding new sales people
Visibility across sales initiatives and success rates
Simpler processes for potential clients
Faster, therefore more sale cycles
While increased sales, and simplification of sales are the obvious goals, an improved customer experience should also be targeted.
When making improvements to your funnel, you should consider to following:
What influences your customers to need your products or services
Which methods of engagement align best to your influences
How methods are integrated to form the sale cycle
How changes will be implemented and trained
How will it be managed and measured.
Follow-ups, 80% of sales require at least five follow-ups, yet most sales people do just one.
Follow-ups should also continue through the implementation phase as well to ensure that the clients are satisfied and to check for potential up-sells.
All sale cycles vary, however generally have the following fundamentals:
Lead generation – finding and collecting information on those that may be interested
Qualification – verifying they have a need and that it aligns with your offering
Proposal – your pitch, highlights your value, methodology, rates and scope
Negotiation – contract preparation, issues revision, scope changes
Closure – Signing the deal formally initiates the next stage, implementation.
Funnel optimization is about refining the above. A municipality for example, has legislative requirements influencing products such as permitting, so their main methods for lead generation focus on in-bound leads. This almost provides qualified leads straight away. Optimizing current methods could include offering automated permitting online, integration across systems when collecting permit applicants details or simply leaning the current method.
On the other hand, if we look at a construction company, typically there are numerous methods used for lead generation/qualification, having a combination of in-bound and out-bound. Out-bound methods is an area that has seen significant evolution since the days of cold calls, and with the introduction of the RFP process, contractors are destined to comply with legislative among many other requirements. In this scenario significantly more rigor is placed on sale cycles.
If your business need to optimize your sales process, please contact me or an iota representative to discuss how we can help.