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  • Derek Hairston

The Root Cause of Your Leads NOT Converting

Is the sales performance for your business poor? Are you having a hard time marketing and getting qualified leads? In this article, we are going to share with you the root cause of your problem so that you can fix it and begin to see sales improvement for your business.


Uncovering the issue


You’ve probably spent hours and even weeks exploring or testing new strategies for optimizing Facebook ads, improving SEO, determining the velocity at which you should jump out of a plane with a banner to increase the number of people that see it...you get the point.


Here’s what you need to hear.


Get out of the weeds!


We have found that many of our clients spend so much time trying to fine tune the micro details (ad optimization, content mix, etc.) while neglecting the big picture. The big picture is your marketing & sales strategy, the foundation of which is your marketing & sales funnel. Your marketing & sales funnel is essentially a map, mapping out the journey it takes for a random person to become a paying customer/client.


That’s it! The solution to your poor sales performance is developing an effective marketing & sales funnel. Take a look below at how marketing and sales come together in the marketing & sales funnel.





Creating a Marketing & Sales Funnel


A marketing & sales funnel is important because without it there is no standardized process for converting a person to a lead, then a customer. In fact, we encounter many clients who struggle to convert the dozens and even hundreds of leads we send them because they lack a standardized process provided through a marketing & sales funnel.


Take a look at the traditional marketing funnel and how its fundamentals align with the more detailed marketing and sales funnel.





Marketing Mechanisms (inputs)


Marketing is nothing more than the inputs of your sales funnel. The marketing inputs are the mechanisms through which people are made aware of your product.


Let’s start from the top of the marketing & sales funnel.


1. List your Marketing Mechanisms

  1. list ALL of the ways in which you market or advertise to spread awareness of your brand.

  2. For example: A coffee shop might use the following: brochures, social media posts, social media ads, SEO, event sponsoring, retargeting, etc.


Yep, that’s it. Not rocket science but an integral part of the funnel. Marketing is the input, or raw material for the sales process.


Sales Funnel


The engine is to a car as the sales funnel is to your sales performance. The sales funnel is a guide for mapping out your sales processes.


Remember, the key is to identify which sales processes correspond to each stage of the funnel.




The sole purpose of the processes within each stage is to transition a person (potential customer) to the next stage of the funnel. Take a look below at the questions you should ask yourself to complete your sales processes.




So here are the questions you must answer to list the sales processes for your business’s funnel:


1. What does it take to transition a person to prospect?

In most cases, this involves contacting the lead for the first time by phone or email. Without a formal way to track communication with a lead things could get lost or forgotten. A CRM like HubSpot is great for tracking when a lead has been contacted and even notating if they are unqualified. HubSpot remains valuable as you can continue to track a lead’s journey by updating the label for “lead status.”


2. What does it take to transition a person to purchase?

For a service business this might involve and initial discovery call followed by a proposal meeting. The goal is to get the decision maker to buy-in. Then, if the decision maker is bought-in the prospect becomes an opportunity, waiting to be converted into a purchase.


3. How do we quickly and efficiently receive payment?

The purchase is the stage you’ve worked so hard to get to. You do not want to lose a sale because of poor efficiency during this stage. It should be easy and effortless for a person to pay you.


For a service business this might include a contract followed by an invoice. But for most ecommerce or physical stores this is simply the checkout experience.


The key takeaway is to understand the fundamental flow of the marketing & sales funnel: Marketing Mechanisms → Lead → Prospect → Purchase. Then, list the processes corresponding to each stage of the sales funnel which are unique to your business. The processes within each step of the funnel are solely dedicated to moving the person to the next stage within the funnel.


Conclusion


Without a well written marketing & sales funnel that clearly lists the sales processes it takes to transition a person to the next stage of the sales funnel, your sales performance will suffer. You might find yourself getting hundreds of leads, but converting very few of them.


Many businesses spend tons of resources trying to perfect their top-level, marketing strategy. While marketing is important, it is just the input for your sales funnel. Poor sales performance may not be the result of poor marketing strategy, but rather the result of a broken or nonexistent sales funnel.


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