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The All New Marketing – Sales Funnel

Posted on 14/08/2015, 09:42

Attract, Nurture & Convert For many companies the sales process is changing. The old method of cold calling prospects to interest them in your product or service is becoming less responsive. In the new world the goal is to attract and nurture prospects so that they self-qualify and ask for a sales intervention! The Changing Roles of Marketing & Sales In the new process the respective roles of marketing and sales have changed as the simple bar graphic indicates; marketing is now far more accountable for delivering hot prospects. Prospects that have followed a well-designed path that has raised awareness and peaked interest; received rich content that has established your credibility until finally the prospect has requested contact. With such self-qualification, Sales can now focus on closing out the deal; understanding the specific requirement, tailoring the solution, re-enforcing the value proposition and handling any final objections … and developing highly responsive, repeat customers!  The Free or Pay Line Over the last decade the emergence of digital or internet marketing has seen the delivery of more and more content that once was charged for, or used as a deal clincher, being made freely available. The concept of the Free Line was born; the line in the funnel at which your offer starts to be monetised. The Free (or Pay) line is moving ever further down the Marketing – Sales Funnel. What was once a paid for product, has now become a front end give-away as you seek to build credibility, engagement and value with potential new clients. Blog Pic 2 The Top of the Funnel: Lead Generation So how do you progress prospects down the Marketing – Sales Funnel until they ultimately self- qualify and cross the Free Line? Blog Pic 3 There is no single answer, but a myriad of options; some on-line, some off-line and the answer lies in choosing what suits your business. Pro-actions use many of the on-line options, including blogs, newsletters, self-assessments, case studies and social media. However an important part of our mix is free to attend, content rich business Briefings and Masterclasses. These give us a valuable opportunity to physically meet business owners. It is important to realise that the top of the funnel is there to convince prospects that you and your business is worth forming a relationship with … however without the next stage your business will quickly go bust! Monetising the Bottom of the Funnel Given that so much is given away free at the top of the Funnel, there needs to be an intense focus at the base. The goal is to secure a high conversion rate from the self-qualifying prospects to paying customers … and then to transport as many of those clients as possible into the highly responsive group of loyal customers who are convinced by your offer and want everything you have. Structuring your offer and pricing is therefore critical; a stable and profitable back end allows you the freedom to strategically outmanoeuvre competition at the front end and lead the market. It’s all about Numbers Ultimately the new Marketing – Sales Funnel is a numbers game. Using the process builds an understanding of the number of new prospects needed and the typical nurture period required to convert sufficient customers and give you a profitable business. The process will need testing and optimising and is not a quick fix. However it is worth developing and done well can create a strategic advantage! About the author: Simon Tempest is a director of the Pro-actions group of companies. For more thoughts from the Pro-actions team go to http://www.pro-actions.com/blog/

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