Have you been to the doctor lately, The Funnel doctor? Do you go to keep your funnel healthy? Or do you wait until your funnel is really sick before you see the doctor? Your funnel has some basic indicators of health. But, we often ignore those indicators.
Today I am going to show you how to assess the health of your funnel and prioritise what to fix. Let’s start with what gets in the way of us seeing what to fix and knowing what to leave alone. Well, the first problem is random acts of marketing – without any framework every idea is a good one, boredom in sales and definitely in marketing – we get fascinated with new toys we just can’t wait to try the latest tactic. We have a seller-centric view of the world particularly when we’re planning. We have no sense of the velocity that we’re actually trying to achieve. So again, and idea is a good idea. So looking forward is a good idea, but do we only ever look forward? The final gap is that we’re always planning and never measuring. We have no sense of the velocity that we’re actually achieving.
Shortly, I’m going to show you how to assess the health your funnel and to work out what to fix. Now a little later I will show you how we do that in funnel plan but before that I want to do two things: I’ll show you how to assess the health of your funnel, without a funnel plan and I am going to invite you to share blogs like this. But, let’s get to that health assessment first. How do we work out what to fix in what priority order? We need three things. Firstly, we need to build a clear view of a perfect future. What do we want the funnel to look like? And make sure that that picture delivers you decent share of the addressed market. A fully utilised sales force, realistic outcomes, and above all a really clear picture. You need a straw-man model so you can do some sense-checking against it – something to measure yourself against. The second thing is we need to identify the gaps. The gaps can come in a couple of guises – gaps in reality when you compare the plan against the actual. So you need your analysts to build a velocity report in your CRM so you can know how many of your target buyers have reached each stage every month so that you can compare that to your velocity model – the perfect model of what we suppose to be going on, but also gap in potential. Compare yourself to benchmarks and get your funnel coach to help you with this. How much better can we be getting at each of these stages? Because there’s no point if we’re already the best in the world at a certain stage there is no point trying to get better whereas there might be other stages that we’re falling behind. The third thing is fix and fixate – agree what to fix and then fixate on fixing it. One of our clients got their pose-to-close ratio down from one in eight to one in four. But it took three years of concerted effort. Every month the leadership team would agree the focus for that month. What can we as a team focus on improving this month in the funnel? And with the progressive kaizen-like focus, they’ve doubled their yield per sales rep, inch by inch not mile by mile.
Well here’s how we assess the health in the funnel plan. Clearly we’re going to be looking at the funnel velocity and the first disconnect I like to look at is Share. For example 1400 sales from 12,000 named targets is only about 12 percent share. Now, some markets 12 percent is the big guy, some markets 12 percent is not. If 12 percent is not enough for that target market to consider you to be the go-to provider to be if you like the gorilla in that market, then consider insisting on lower leakage rates at one or more of the stages so that you need fewer names or reconcile yourself to be in the chip in your chosen market. Now to change your leakage, make sure you go back to your strategy and drop a segment or two so that marketing and sales only invest time with this now reduced market size and make sure you choose tactics that can generate that improvement.
Next, take a look at sales utilisation. You simply can’t run a sales force at over a 100 percent for three years. So, lower your targets or build a bigger team or ask marketing to do more of the grunt work in troubling buyers so that you don’t need as many meetings consumed in those early stages. Let me show you the difference between losing let say half a meeting at an early stage in the funnel to half a meeting in the late stage. Clearly if we’re using fewer meetings at the top of the funnel i.e. we’ve got marketing doing more of the work then we have a less busy sales force. Finally check if it smells right sometimes detailed leakage per stage thinking can mask simple clarity. Do you really think you can close one in two on average? Not a peak. Not on a good month but on average. Adjust your plan as necessary. Now you can look for the gaps. I’ll show you how we can choose tactics to fix those gaps on another day.
Well if you’ve enjoyed this then likely you’d enjoy others. If you haven’t done so already please go to align.me/blog to subscribe to either to our twice a week blog or the once a month catch all. You can also go to YouTube and you can subscribe to our channel there. Now if you already have but you’ve got a colleague who hasn’t now might be the perfect time to send them a quick email and invite them to subscribe.
But for now, may your funnel be full and always flowing.