Many companies need help structuring the business sector. It sounds simple, but sales is the heart of the business, which can take it to another level. To do a sales consultancy, you must start by mastering the concept of sales funnel. See below.
Understanding the Sales Process as a Whole
If you want to make a sales funnel, the first step is to understand all the steps by which the clients of the business in which you will act go through your conversion. This information will not always be given to you with a kiss, and even if it is, be careful not to believe that the way the process is done today is the best it can be.
Obviously the sales funnel will vary dramatically from online companies to physical companies, but regardless of that it is possible to assemble a funnel if it does not exist. Just talk to the person responsible for the marketing or commercial area. Usually a sales funnel has a format similar to this:
How To Make Sales Funnel Analysis
First of all, one of the most valuable things a consultant can do is to understand the company's situation and then suggest well-founded improvements. For this, I suggest you make a diagnosis of the current funnel. If the business has nothing organized, it will be your role to raise this information.
Let's assume that sales funnel consulting is going to be done in a company that sells refrigeration appliances to industries and because it has a minimally structured sales area, it already controls its commercial stages and already has charts for you to analyze.
What kind of observations would you make for the graphs taken from our customer prospecting worksheet below? Try to think of them before reading mine (which are just after the pictures):
In this first case, my diagnosis would be:
- Too many connections without filter none
- Excessive scheduled meetings (perceive this by the very low index of who passes for negotiation)
- Who trades has a good chance of closing
I came across these comments because I believe that calling 100% of the prospects that are captured is an exaggeration. Imagine that there will be industries in this group that are outside the geographic reach of the company. Also, I also noticed an excess of scheduled meetings.
This may show us lack of understanding of the moment of the client, since few cases have passed for negotiation. In the case of industries already with closed contracts and that can not become our clients. Lastly, we were able to see a conversion of more than 30% from trading to closed deal, indicating good conditions of sale (good quality, good price, good overall condition or a combination of these items).
Let's see another analysis of this same company in another graph generated by our customer prospecting worksheet:
In this second case, if I were doing this sales funnel consulting, I would raise the following items:
- Apparently he's picking up bad prospects
- Of the leads that remain, a good portion is interested in negotiating
- Serious problem at meeting
Now these observations were motivated by the loss of 30% of prospects who have not seen calls. This may show us a very open capture process that is not bringing people with the desired profile (for example, you can capture deals that do not require refrigeration).
On the other hand, the pre-sale process seems to be well done, since a good portion of the companies that receive a call want to negotiate and schedule a meeting. Lastly, the meetings are at very poor rates, indicating very poor sellers, products or prices.
If you are able to do this first step of analyzing and diagnosing the sales funnel, you can follow two paths, reshape the funnel steps, or follow the steps. As these steps are very business specific to business, I will focus below on how to optimize what may not be working.
How To Make a Sales Funnel Consulting
If you already know the essential steps of the sales funnel, you need to think about how to optimize each of them. Generally speaking, regardless of the type of business (online or physical), you will always go through these macro steps:
- Lead Capture
- Pre sale
- After sales
So from now on I'll show you how to improve each one of them, noting that not all the suggestions are applicable to every business:
1. Capture of Leads
Usually there are two problems that can be identified here:
- Few leads captured
- Many "bad" leads picked up
In the first case, you will need to get more sources of people interested in your business and in the second you need to have more specific offers to get more specific leads. Anyway, there are two ways you can use it to capture:
- Inbound Marketing (the lead comes to you) - landing pages with specific offers for your target audience (ebooks, videos, infographics, etc.), email marketing, SEO optimization, blogging, social networking and marketing automation. Read more about inbound marketing.
- Outbound Marketing (you go to the lead) - Search for interest groups, meeting scheduling, flyers, billboards, telemarketing, TV, radio or magazine advertising, adwords and active prospecting.
2. Pre-Owned (Leads Filter)
You must be thinking that, in your work as a consultant, if you can increase the capture of leads that are part of your client's target audience everything is alright, right? Not necessarily!
You need to understand if this potential customer is in the moment of purchase or not, after all, this may not be the ideal time yet. The main way a sales funnel consultancy helps in pre-sales is by defining characteristics that need to be observed to determine the right moment to act. This can be:
- Explicit - based on the sector of activity, company size, sector of the interested, etc.
- Implicit - activity performed on your site (downloading material, browsing specific pages, etc.)
- Note - action taken (meeting request, new contact entry, frequency of interactions, etc.)
- Chart - hierarchical level of lead and influence on decision making
- Time - number of interactions and quality of interactions since first lead contact
If you understand the kind of momentum that most generates sales, you'll be sure to improve sales funnel conversions and optimize your sales.
The sale itself is one of the most complex factors to analyze when we are talking about sales funnels. I say this because the sale is nothing more than a construction and there are several factors that can influence the final decision of the client:
- Product quality (helps a lot!)
- Product page (in case of online business)
- Sellers (in the case of physical deals)
- Attendance (online chat, contact facility)
- Agility (response, proposal submission, delivery)
- Demonstration of use (which makes the customer like the product or service)
4. After sales
Another thing that is hard enough to do is to retain customers and maintain the quality level even after delivering the product. Just so you have an idea, retaining customers can cost up to 5 times less than getting new ones and moreover, satisfied customers can make leads, while those who are unsatisfied are sure to speak ill of their business when they can.
Overall, in a sales funnel consultancy this step might not even exist, because it is already after the sale itself, but I like to point out some legal actions that can be done here like:
- Monitor customer satisfaction regarding use of the product / service sold
- Ensure support for using your product
- Send custom messages
- Be available to your customer whenever they need it (after sales contact channels)
- Contact 2 at 30 days after purchase to find out how the usage experience is
And of course do not forget to keep all this process as technologically as possible with email marketing tools, e-mail ticket control and satisfaction analysis in online surveys.
Sales Funnel Analysis Tool
As I said at the beginning of the post, if the company you're working in does not have your sales processes well organized, chances are you'll need to organize the sales funnel with a good customer prospecting worksheet, that already organizes all the data in graphs and reports, making your consultancy more focused on the most important, which is the analysis and suggestions.