It seems an appropriate time to look at an actual example sales funnel that we recently analyzed. Let’s call our salesman Sam since Sam the Salesman has such a nice ring to it.
A quick glance at Sam’s funnel reveals several observations, some good, some not so good.
- Sam’s New Opportunities layer stands strong at 15. So Sam either has a fantastic marketing department that is feeding him a lot of leads, or Sam is great at uncovering his own leads. What we don’t know yet is the quality of those leads.
- There is a large step down from New Opportunities (15) to Initial Communication (3). Something doesn’t smell right here. We need to talk with Sam. He either needs retrained on how to get in touch with his prospects or we need to help him get better leads.
- The relatively low values for Fact Finding through Purchase Orders continues to point to a problem of converting prospects into customers. Is it Sam’s fault? We can’t really tell without talking with him. But we sure can tell that something is wrong somewhere.
- Ah, ha – look at the high Account Maintenance number (12), that’s downright fantastic! Right? Look closer. With the large number of current clients, why doesn’t Sam have much more repeat sales in the upper layers? We’ve hit on a problem. Even if his new leads are garbage, he should be able to churn his current clients back through the sales process at a much greater rate than he currently is. This is where his efforts need to be focused.
This is the type of process you should go through on a monthly basis to make sure you have deals at all levels in the funnel and you don’t go hungry. In practice, Sam would couple his funnel with a brief document detailing each company in his sales funnel.