Welcome to some Halloween-themed posting. Your sales funnel might be a bad episode of The Walking Dead. Here’s why.
People are eating brains in your sales funnel?
No. Well, not quite. Rather, think of another definition of a zombie: not all there, not interested, checked out, um… undead.
A lot of sales funnels have these “zombies” within them. They are somewhere around middle of funnel. They’ve never bought and never really experienced a desire to buy aside from taking a few calls or periodically responding to emails. They seem to drag their feet often (as that’s how zombies walk).
Bad sales reps/principals — or those desperate for/overly evaluated on quota — move these zombies along in the funnel quarter to quarter.
This makes sense: if they are being judged on the quantity of their funnel in any way, it looks good.
They can even drop this old line: “My funnel is FULL of sales opportunities!”
Eh. In that situation your funnel is FULL of something, and that word also starts with a “S,” but it’s not “sales opportunities.”
This research found “the odds of making a successful contact with a lead are 100 times greater when a contact attempt occurs within 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted. Similarly, the odds of the lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.” (Oldroyd, 2007)
That’s about immediate lead contact — more in a second — but similar research has shown that after about 28 days maximum, a lead is essentially becoming worthless.
Speed is often the name of the game, and that’s as true in B2B these days as it always has been in B2C.
So how do you beat the zombies?
Shove a spike in their head.
By that I mean: drop them out of the funnel. They’re not going to buy. Forget ‘em.
But this creates another problem: now your funnel numbers don’t look as good, right?
Well, the logical thing you need to do is refocus on top-of-funnel.
See how healthy your top-of-funnel is. If it looks good, proceed to that quote above — focus more on your contact speed and getting in front of them. Work on your quick research and scripting and adapting from that.
If your top-of-funnel isn’t healthy, it’s time to work with your marketing or sales development/leadgen side. Traditionally marketing has more responsibility for top-of-funnel in terms of “attraction elements.”
If you hate your marketing team, try to kiss and make up.
That’s not possible?
Get ready for cold-calling, cold-emailing, and the trade show circuit.
Either way, kill the zombies and get back to top-of-funnel with a new batch that won’t become undead in under 30 days.