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Tuesday, 21 January 2014 08:46

5 Causes of Sales-Funnel Failure

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Your sales people ask you for well-qualified leads to help in customer acquisition. They want buyers with bucks, who’re authorized to buy, need what you offer, have a sense of urgency, and can benefit from one of your solutions or products.

It sounds simple. So why does your sales funnel fail in producing qualified leads? There are several common reasons.

  • Your Website Is a Lone Warrior
  • Your website can’t do the job alone. It’s just a cog in the sales and marketing machine. Your website may be optimized and starring on Google’s rankings. Your blog posts could be being shared frequently on LinkedIn, Twitter and across the Web.

But search engines and social media platforms don’t buy. People do. And you need to connect with people one on one. That means you should add some outbound calls into the mix.

  • There’s a Gap Between Sales and Marketing
  • Your marketing manager is attracting followers and connections, creating white papers and e-books to attract leads, and optimizing the latest blog post. Your sales manager is assuring that every sales representative has the training to do what he or she does best—sell to a qualified buyer.

    But if no one is qualifying leads, there’s no bridge between these valiant sales and marketing efforts and the synergies are lost.

  • You’re Scoring Leads, Not Qualifying Them
  • Just because a Web visitor is copiously consuming your online content, it doesn’t mean they’re interested in buying. Perhaps they’re a competitor snooping around, or a student doing research for report they have to write. The only way you can judge someone’s interest for sure is through a good old-fashioned conversation.

    Yes—we’re back to the people thing.

  • You Expect Sales to Qualify Leads
  • Sales people are happy to sort through the leads, but in their own special way. Here’s how they do it: You send them a bucket load of leads and they sample a few of them. They get on the phone and try to engage in a conversation with some people who clearly want to cut the conversation short. They aren’t interested. So your sales person decides the rest of the leads are guilty by association. They chuck them out.

    It’s a fact: According to a survey by Marketing Sherpa, sales reps admit to not following up on 70% of their leads.

  • Sales People are Lousy at Lead Qualification
  • Besides the fact that you don’t want to waste your sales reps’ valuable time, there’s another reason you don’t want them to sort through the leads. A good sales rep is like a lion going for the kill. They want results now. They often lead with a pitch and the relationship comes second.

    So leave the lead qualification job to the inside sales rep who works more like a Labrador retriever—always there when prospects need them, ready to support them.

    Say no to sales funnel failure. Build a bridge between marketing and field sales with inside sales. Put some people on the phone, or outsource the task, and qualify your leads before sharing them with your sales people. Make sure it’s blatantly obvious the lead is ready for a face-to-face conversation with a sales rep before you pass the baton. When you handle things this way, customer acquisition will be easier than ever.

    For more information about boosting your customer acquisition success rate, download our FREE e-book: Bridge the Divide Between Sales and Marketing.”

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