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Rethinking The Sales Funnel

The classic sales funnel

We are all used to seeing the sales funnel as a wide amount of visitors at the top , who then get converted to prospects and eventually a narrower element become clients.

The quote from William Townsend Bond Salesmanship in 1924 summarises this dated approach nicely ” Salesmen should visulaise sales steps as forcing facts through a funnel which produces favourable consideration. Funnels helped many a salesmen… ”

So the short term challenge of “Revenue Now” becomes how to keep the quantity of visitors and prospects churning through the sales sausage machine.

Rethinking The Sales Funnel blue dolphin business development ltd

Buyers Journey and Stages of Awareness

1: Awareness – someone in this stage 

  • has a problem or goal and a sense of urgency
  • wants to learn more about that problem or goal
  • whats to know what sort of options are available

2: Consideration – someone in this stage

  • knows the sorts of options or solutions available
  • wants to learn more about the pros and cons of each
  • wants to know which one suits them best

3: Decision – someone in this stage

  • has picked a type of solution
  • knows the most suitable service providers
  • wants to know which one is the best match

BUT – this model still just aims for the immediate sale

Extending the model

Awareness – Consideration – Decision

4: Retention someone in this stage 

  • may want to make the most out of the first purchase
  • might not be entirely happy and isn’t sure what to do
  • may be interested in additional services / products

5: Loyalty someone in this stage 

  • has used / purchased from you more than once and is mostly happy
  • might need a nudge to make them purchase again
  • would often love some toke of appreciation

6: Advocacy someone in this stage 

  • actively sends you referrals or recommends your product / service
  • will stand up for you in online discussions
  • should be spoiled rotten and treated in a very special way  ( not the new customer gets all the goodies approach and loyal customers get mis treated)

BUT – this development of a longer term client relationship is not linear – because people do business with people they know, like and trust. We can only grow closer over time.

How To Improve The Movement From Awareness to Advocacy

  1. Systemise all routine projects – this will improve overall quality and help in scaling / growth.
    • Note ~ 50% of businesses fail within the first 5 years
      • Why do businesses fail
        • In simplistic terms because they are not able to
          • Attract enough leads
          • Convert enough clients
          • Generate sufficient revenue
          • Deliver a consistent level of quality
  2. Treat your best clients in a special way – often 20% of customers generate 80% of your income
  3. When you create something new – whether its a product , a process or system
    • Document it in details so that it’s easier to reproduce / replicate and explain
  4. If you are identifying and creating new “products / Services”communicate (and if possible sell) these existing customers first
    • Remember keep track of results / findings / feedback so that you can optimise the process
  5. If these “products / services” look like they have mileage “BRAND” them  in order to clearly establish there brand position
  6. Engage with all and share your knowledge freely. Invite feedback and constructive criticism

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