Optimizing the way in which your customers move through you’re sales process to being a customer is of the utmost importance. There are many ways that potential customers may get lost while moving through the Sales process. These are often referred to as cracks in the funnel. Learning how to plug these cracks will get you the highest return on your marketing dollars.
- Don’t Discount the “No” Responses
The biggest mistake you can make with your sales funnel is throwing away the no’s to quickly. For many sales associates, particularly less experienced ones; being told no can be difficult to process and makes them want to move quickly on to a new fresher lead. Often times a no actually means “not right now but later”. There is a lot of information to provide when delivering a pitch and a lot of reasons for a potential customer to say no. Many times those moments kill the deal at that time, but that doesn’t mean they won’t buy later.
For instance, a common objection to not wanting to move forward with a website project is that the client doesn’t have enough time right now to get the requested information together and move forward with the project. Now it may be enticing to forget and move on to a new hotter lead. There is a better practice to implement than simply giving up. Create an email campaign to follow up over the next couple of months. With this campaign you can educate the potential client with information that directly relates to their objection. This will move them closer to the sale while keeping your name up front and out there when the buying time hits. Finding what objections you consistently hear and creating email campaigns around education for those objections will greatly minimize this crack in your funnel.
- Make Sure You Respond to Leads Quickly
Another reason that you may be losing business through a crack in your sales funnel can be not responding to new leads quick enough. Studies have shown that a lead is nine times more likely to close if you follow up within 5 minutes. This is often referred to as “speed to lead”. When a potential customer express’ interest in a product or service they are looking for information at that time and are ready to interact. Waiting can provide a wide array of obstacles like moving on to competition or just losing interest. By automating this process with a personalized email you are able to follow up immediately electronically. Another solution is staggering your associates appropriately to respond with a call based on peak lead generation times. Analyzing the data on when leads typically come through and creating a personalized email is key to helping plug this crack in the funnel. A good CRM can help with the automation process when new leads come through and the follow up on old leads.
- Followup, Followup, Followup!
Lack of consistent follow up with new and old leads will often times let potential clients slip away. Particularly on higher ticket products and services potential clients will not want to close right away. It is important for sales reps to build and maintain relationships, earning trust over time. Over time checking in and really getting to know your potential clients pain points will keep sales consistent and moving in the right direction. It is nice to close the sale right away and move on, but just doing this will allow sales to slip away that need more information. Closing sales right away and still nurturing the relationships that need time is a proven way to keep the needle moving in the right direction.
To keep the follow up consistent there should be at least 5 – 12 follow up points within the first 2 months. Automating an email campaign along with scheduled follow up phone calls will help with this. By analyzing your follow up patterns and creating a follow up template you can greatly increase the close ratio on old business. After every phone call try to set a follow up a time for your next phone call and keep educating with your email campaign. Often potential clients need to be nurtured until they are ready to pull the trigger, as they wouldn’t have asked for info if there weren’t some interest.
By implementing these processes you will be able to minimize the gaps in your sales funnel. It is of the utmost importance to getting the most out of your new and old contacts and drives the most sales.