Sales Funnel Check-Up – 2 Key Indicators

Posted on January 6, 2011. Filed under: Funnel Audits, Lead Generation, Pipeline Measurement, Sales, Sales forecasting, Sales Management, Sales pipeline | Tags: , , , , , |

This week’s blog posts are focused on hitting the ground running in 2011.  Click here to go back to and start at the beginning of the week.   Today’s post wraps the week with two metrics that indicate where leads are coming from, and when in the buying process the lead is discovering you.

Since the global financial crisis that started in late 2008 most salespeople re-evaluated their sources of leads. Their customers and prospects were so slow to buy again that sellers had to rethink how and where to get new business.

This could be the most important part of your review because the source of your leads has likely changed dramatically the past five years.  What percent of last year’s leads came from the same sources that leads came from the year before?  And what about where leads will come from in the new year?  If you don’t know where they will come from then you can only hope that your expensive marketing and selling efforts will magically pay off.

Social networking continues to play a big role in lead generation.  Referrals remain the king of high value lead generation since they reduce the cost of sales significantly.  Win rates for referrals tend to be higher than for leads coming from other sources.  Even trade shows have changed a lot.  The web is where many prospects go to begin their search for a new solution.  I hope your company is easily findable and has an active presence on the web to produce leads for you.  However, without an effective way to process web leads a percentage of those leads lose their value quickly.

Finally, the funnel can help you with one more valuable metric.  This one doesn’t have a convenient name so I’ll just describe it this way:  the funnel stage at which you are finding your leads.

This has to do with the customer’s buying process.   Because of greater access to information and more information available, it’s becoming more common for customers to not seek out salespeople early in the buying process.  This means that salespeople are finding leads later.  This could have a dramatic effect on funnel management and lead generation.  How do you respond?  You either find new ways to get involved earlier in the process, or improve your effectiveness at qualifying and winning leads that are already somewhat developed.

There’s a lot of information here to help you quickly review your results and performance from last year.  Don’t take a lot of time doing it – you’ll be amazed at what you learn in a short time.  This insight will produce a better strategy for tapping the potential of your funnel for 2011.


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