If you’ve noticed a sales slump, it may be time to clean up your funnel. With the New Year, it’s the perfect time to make adjustments to your processes to foster growth and customer loyalty.
Step One: Clean Out Old Leads
Go through your current system to clean out any old leads. Find the leads you believe are still worth contacting, and keep those separate from the leads you are purging.
Step Two: Reestablish Follow Up Timeframes
Chances are, you’re going to find some leads that are overdue for follow-up. Here’s your chance to establish the right timeframe to reach out to those leads while they are still warm. Prioritize your timeframe to act quickly, as 50% of customers will choose the vendor that responds first. Your odds of reaching a lead increase 100 times if you call them within five minutes rather than waiting 30 minutes. The odds of qualifying and converting a lead increase by 21 times if called within 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes.
Step Three: Enter New Leads
Go through your contacts and enter any new leads you have that haven’t been entered into your system. Categorize them based on whether or not they’ve been contacted, and whether or not they’re interested, so you know how to move along the rest of the funnel to help them convert. Remove any leads that are not qualified, or not interested.
Step Four: Establish Better Pipeline Processes
Now that you’re basically at a clean slate, consider how leads are moving through your pipeline. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an excellent tool to help you maintain your pipeline and improve customer service.
When leads come in from various sources, where do they go? How much time do you have to enter them? Who or what qualifies them? Who or what moves them along in the funnel? How much time do sales agents have to follow up with the leads? Determine what makes the lead an opportunity, and move forward accordingly.
Step Five: Evaluate Your Current Funnel
Every business wants to move a lead to a converted customer and a converted customer into a repeat buyer. Every business has a different approach for getting customers from one stage of the funnel to the other.
Does your current funnel work as well as you’d like? What could you do to improve it? Are leads coming in and getting stuck in the process? Or, are you having trouble with lead generation? Find out where your problem spots are.
Step Six: Make Adjustments to Your Marketing Strategy
Based on what you determine about your current funnel, you’ll need to make adjustments to your marketing strategy.
If you’re having trouble with lead generation, it’s time to amp up email, social media and content marketing efforts to help build brand awareness and bring in new leads.
If on the other the hand, the number of leads isn’t the problem, and you’re instead finding the leads in your system aren’t as qualified as you’d like, you’ll need to adjust marketing efforts to better target your ideal buyer.
And, if you have plenty of qualified leads, but they’re not converting – you’ll need to take a look at where they’re dropping off. What is your competition doing? Is your pricing too high? Your process too complex? Consider asking for feedback to help you find and solve the problem.
Step Seven: Start Funneling New Leads
Once you’ve worked out all the kinks and have your new funnel and marketing strategy in place, test your adjustments. When new leads come in, follow the established follow up timeline and pipeline guidelines to see if the funnel starts moving again.
Step Eight: Nurture the Leads Through the Funnel
Use lead nurturing techniques such as follow-up phone calls and emails to move leads through the funnel. Take note of where leads fall off in the funnel to identify weak areas. When the data points to a pattern, you know it’s time to adjust yet again.
Step Nine: Rinse and Repeat
When you’ve found what works—keep it going. Keep marketing efforts bringing in the new leads, follow your established pipeline practices to qualify your leads, move them through the funnel, and convert them into customers.
Step 10: Regularly Purge Old Leads
Even when your funnel is overflowing with prospects and the marketing machine is working to bring in profit, take time to purge old leads as you go, so you don’t end up with a buildup of clutter.
Getting your sales funnel right won’t happen overnight, but by keeping yourself organized and paying attention to the data and analytics from your CRM and website, you can focus your efforts on the key areas that will promote change.