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If you aren’t getting the leads, sales, or revenue you’re hoping for, your B2B sales funnel might be the best place to look. After all, virtually no business has perfected every step in their sales process; there’s always a “weakest” point at which prospects are most likely to jump ship.
On top of that, there are many constantly changing variables. Market trends, customer desires, and your company’s products or services (among other factors) aren’t necessarily static. Sales methods that worked three years ago may no longer apply.
Auditing your sales funnel helps you target vulnerabilities in your sales methods for improvement and remain nimble in a constantly changing business environment.
Sales Funnel vs. Sales Pipeline
Sales funnels and pipelines aren’t too different. In fact, they’re complementary.
Your sales pipeline describes each stage your prospect moves through as they progress from brand new lead to happy repeat customer.
On the other hand, your sales funnel measures the conversion rate at each sales pipeline stage. That’s why it’s called a funnel — you have a large number of leads at the top, but some of them drop off at each stage of the funnel.
With this difference in mind, let’s go over some critical metrics to analyze when auditing your sales funnel.
Areas of Your Sale Funnel to Evaluate
The first metric to appraise would be how many leads you receive — an easy enough number to find. Lead quantity is most relevant to the top of your funnel, where you’re making that initial contact with prospects.
Consequently, this metric primarily shows you which marketing channels work best for you. For instance, if you observe that you’re receiving a large majority of leads from social media efforts, you might double down on that strategy.
Lead quantity also reflects the effectiveness of your marketing messages. If you aren’t hitting your goals each month, perhaps your marketing campaigns aren’t connecting with your target market.
Speaking of goals, lead quantity doesn’t mean much if you can’t compare the number of leads you receive between periods. Compare lead quantity against historic data to discern seasonal influences outside of your control.
Next, you must make sure the leads are well-suited for your business, which means analyzing lead quality.
First, there are Marketing Qualified Leads, or MQLs.
MQLs are leads that have expressed interest in your brand and are more likely to become customers than other leads but may not be ready to talk with a sales rep.
How many initial leads become MQLs tells you a lot about whether you’re targeting the right market. You may have a high lead quantity, but if only a few of those leads have the problem your product solves or can afford your asking price, they won’t turn into an MQL.
Now, MQLs may eventually turn into Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), which are sales-ready leads that are likely to convert. This KPI reflects how effective your marketing team is at engaging with your MQLs and providing them with the right information.
Lead velocity measures how quickly leads move from initial contact to closed sale. It’s a great metric for measuring your sales process efficiency. A higher lead velocity increases revenues and cash flows by allowing for more deals in less time. Meanwhile, it reduces the chances of deals going under.
Some software solutions calculate lead velocity for you. However, you can do it by hand, too. Simply sum the time leads spend in your funnel and divide by the number of leads you get.
– With lead velocity information, you can uncover several insights:
– Stages where leads stall or get stuck
– Effectiveness of communication with leads
– Your sales team’s capacity
Conversion rate reflects the proportion of all your leads that end up buying from you. To calculate it, divide the number of closed deals by the total number of deals.
For example, closing five deals out of 50 total deals gives you a 10% conversion rate.
You can calculate the conversion rate across the entire funnel to see if your organization is closing enough sales. However, figuring it at each step of the funnel provides further insight into each stage of your process.
Sales and Marketing Content Engagement and Assisted Conversions
Using the right sales and marketing content goes a long way in pushing leads through the funnel and turning them into customers. For example, a solid welcome email sequence can improve conversion rates among leads that sign up for your email list. A strong product demonstration video can convince (or confuse) prospects. A case study that appeals to CTOs may alienate marketing managers.
Audit your library of sales and marketing content to see if there are ways you can improve. This could entail:
– Customer research with the aim of revamping your lead magnet so it better addresses prospects’ key problems
– Customers’ open and engagement rates with content marketing
– Tracked content utilization by Direct and Channel Sales teams
– The number of assisted conversions of materials, particularly as it relates to audience sects
Tools like Allbound’s Channel Insights feature let partner managers review how content supports sales cycles and related outcomes. Plus, they can generate reports which identify how content themes resonate with specific types of sales partners and customers, such as those hailing from a particular region or industry.
The Bottom Line About Sales Funnel Auditing
Continuous optimization is the reality of sales and marketing. You can never stop tweaking, testing, and improving because your business and your target customers constantly change.
Therefore, make sure you audit your sales funnel regularly to make sure you stay ahead of competitors.
For additional learning, check out 5 Partner Program Metrics to Measure Channel Performance or 5 Components of an Effective Sales Enablement Strategy: Channel + Direct.
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