When it comes to operating your business to provide services and products to customers during the hectic holiday season, you want to obtain the highest number of customers who can be converted into sales. This objective requires all of your employees to be on the same page when it comes to following business objectives. You want to eliminate inefficiencies and mistakes that often happen during the holiday sales rush to have operations running at full capacity. In addition, you want your marketing strategies to be more successful as you mitigate risks that can hamper your operations.
Understanding Your Sales Funnel
You may have heard the words, “sales funnel” yet never understood how it applies to your business. Think of your sales funnel as an inverted pyramid or cone that focuses on your employees’ sales efforts and the customers that will do business with you. It is a type of sales process map that shows each stage of when a customer first learns about your business to when they make a purchase. For this reason, a sales funnel is also called a purchase funnel.
At the top, or large end, of the funnel is the first step in having customers learn about your company. More often than not, it will comprise of your marketing and branding efforts. The next phase of the funnel is the opt-in where you may separate customers by their interest level and the likelihood of them becoming a viable lead. The third phase involves turning a lead into a prospect who is more willing to listen to your sales pitch and ask the necessary questions to figure out whether to accept the offer. The bottom of the funnel is when you convert the prospect into a solid sale. They are committed in making the purchase or becoming a loyal customer.
Defining Your Sales Funnel
A defined sales funnel is vital so that your employees understand the process in converting a potential customer into a solid sale. It helps to eliminate inconsistencies in sales motives to eliminate risks and failures in the sales process. Here are several tips to help you define your sales funnel to increase your marketing efforts and help your sales team create more successful sales efforts.
Create Qualified Lead Requirements
Perhaps the top time waster for your company is that the sales team is focused on leads that will never become a viable sale. The employees are wasting their time and resources needlessly while the more qualified leads are slipping away. Creating qualified lead requirements can separate customers by whether they can be turned into leads today, if they require more time and can be converted later, and those who are just asking for more information. Then the sales team can better offer the right support and resources based on each lead category. Working with a call center to qualify leads is one way you can save your staff time so they can focus on the best prospects.
Create Focused Marketing Objectives
Marketing is a versatile strategy that can be implemented throughout the sales funnel. Yet you may notice certain areas that require more marketing efforts to seal the deal with customers. If your advertising is strong to bring in hundreds of customers, yet the final sales pitch is weak as customers become distracted on what they really want as they start to wander off, then you may want to focus your marketing efforts toward the bottom of the sales funnel. Find a point in the process that is the weakest and build it up with your marketing tactics to spur greater success.
Evaluate Potential Risks
The holiday season will be the time when your sales process will be put to the test to see if it can keep up with customer demand. You will also have the opportunity to notice where the problems lie, whether it is a sales team that lacks the skills to make the customer convert or if there is a problem with how you find customers. Evaluating the potential risks and creating the right solutions will help to smooth over issues quickly so the sales process can continue forward.
A sales funnel is rarely set in stone. It should be able to be modified based on your current and future sales operations or objectives. Continually monitor your sales processes and make the required changes to further hone the sales funnel so you can become a competitive force in your market segment.