Stop talking about a sales funnel and think of it as a chain instead

old school sales process bad for businessOld school sales guys will tell you sales is just a numbers game. Get enough prospects into the funnel and they’ll dump out X% of customers at the bottom. Easy.

News flash, Herb Tarlek: your lack of a system is as outdated as your plaid polyester coat.

Here are 3 problems we see on a regular basis. Are you guilty?

you're OK with "spray and pray"
Not clearly defining the target audience, their demographics, wants and needs—and how your product helps them—results in wasting a lot of time chasing people who don’t care, can’t afford your brand or are simply not a good fit.

Think of your audience as an individual, rather than a faceless group. What does she care about? Where is she? What’s her daily life like? When you know those things, you have a better chance for a real conversation and a solution.

your chain has broken links
Everyone in your organization is part of the sales process, whether you realize it or not. If your sales people are turning prospects over to tech support or customer service or another department without staying in the conversation, there’s a potentially huge pitfall.

Do support and service people know the correct answers to your prospect’s concerns? Do they know how to position your brand against the competition? If you don’t know what they’re saying, stop right now and find out. They could be a weak or dangerously broken link.

you don't have a real system
I got pulled through a really good sales system recently. It was impressive. I didn’t feel like I was being “sold,” but rather felt like they 1) respected my time, 2) cared about my needs and 3) were speaking to me with a unified voice.

There was a 1-2-3 series of emails, an easy “click to schedule a phone call” and fast response when I asked for references. My later conversation with someone in another department yielded consistent answers to my concerns.

And, there was good, friendly follow up a week later when I hadn’t yet made a decision.

I’m going to assume you have a CRM. If you don’t, then get that on your list. First.

If you’re not bringing in the new clients you’d hoped, it’s time to reevaluate what you're doing.

Many organizations focus on their sales funnel and how much they can dump in at the top. But they fail to think about the entire process. Get a branded protocol in place, educate all your employees throughout the entire organization and watch your sales results flourish.

If you need help developing a sales protocol that works, call Martha Bartlett Piland direct at 785.969.6203.


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