Learn to Unclog Your Sales Funnel

Table of Contents

Problems with the Sales Pipeline


Does your company frequently suffer from clogged sales funnel syndrome (CSFS) – congratulations, you at least have a sales funnel defined!


Make Your Sales and Marketing Efforts Effective by Design


Discover how to design and use a sales funnel coupled with your marketing funnel using these key proven best practice techniques.  It's the key to filling your Sales Pipeline with potential customers.  It's also how you ensure that each of your Sales Funnel Stages are, in fact, real and form part of an effective sales funnel.

Integrated Sales and Marketing Funnel

For many companies, even very large companies, a fully defined and functioning sales funnel remains elusive, yet is a critical element in successfully implementing an Inbound Marketing and Sales system, especially those wishing to implement a new sales paradigm based on integrated sales and marketing platforms, such as the Hubspot Marketing and Sales platform.


Inbound Sales Funnel

A Fully Integrated Marketing and Sales Funnel 


Why is a Sales Funnel Important?


Why should you worry about the sales funnel?


Primarily, but not exclusively, it is because it is tough out there.  Paying customers are ever harder to come by.  Prospective customers are ever more demanding.  It also means the customer journey is both more convoluted, likely to take longer and must be more persuasive.


Just How Tough Is It?  


Well, if you are familiar with the idea of the velocity of money, you will have noticed that the velocity rate has fallen to lows not seen in decades, which means you have to not just be better than your competition, you have to give your customers a good reason to do something right now, never an easy task, but more so now.

Velocity of Money


Which Types of Marketing and Sales Funnels Does This Advice Apply To?

Though you can apply these techniques to many different funnel models, these apply particularly to:

Most of these funnels have many similarities while some have specific characteristics that you need to manage somewhat differently.


10 Steps To Unclogging Your Sales Funnel


So how do you unclog your sales funnel:


  1. Develop a clearly defined value proposition.  

    This is far more difficult for service providers versus product providers, but it can be done.  

    One key concept here is that value has to be as defined by the customer and can be either financial or operational or both in nature.  

    Does your system reduce cost or increase revenue?  

    Specific numbers here are critical.  

    Perhaps your value is more ‘soft touch’, for instance, an executive dashboard could be used to drive changes in behavior which ultimately leads to either the increase in sales or reduction in cost.

  2. Learn who your customers really are and what sort of problems they are trying to solve, and whether those problems are addressable by your solution or service.

  3. Develop a vast library of Educational Sales Enablement content that supports the sales process from the top of the Marketing Funnel to the bottom of the Sales Funnel.

  4. Determine how your customers both prefer to buy and are technically capable of buying.

    For instance, for many large companies, they may not be able to pull out a credit card to buy in a touchless sales mode.

    Some may be able to, but in most cases, it will be very complicated for your customers within large clients to buy from you.  

    Even when they are large customers that actually sell that way.  This is why you will most likely use Target Account Selling and Account Based Sales for these larger, complex customers.

  5. For high touch sales, particularly field sales led sales processes; ensure you have equipped your sales team with readily accessible sales enablement content deliverable in a variety of means and formats.

  6. If your sales process requires the services of pre-sales engineers (or whoever you call the demo team), ensure that if they have to do ‘Discovery’, they are following a very precise process with agreed upon deliverables that actually support the sales process.  

    An excellent paradigm here is to stick within the “issues’, ‘implications’, ‘recommendations’ framework that tells the story.  

    This takes practice by skilled personnel and is exceptionally expensive compared to touchless sales.

  7. Provide different ways to buy for different flavors of buyer personas.  

    For some buyers, perhaps they will have to have a trial before they can make a decision.

    For others, a trial may not be necessary, but a relationship will.  For yet others, both a trial and a relationship will be absolutely essential.

    If you want to create a high-volume, yet multi-speed sales funnel, you will need to have defined a buyers journey that responds to these different types of buyers.  

    Remember: According to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer, 63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they’ll actually believe them.

  8. Friction.

    For most applications, friction is a bad thing.  

    Other applications, like brakes, rely on friction to function.  

    It probably goes without saying that you need to reduce the friction throughout your entire sales funnel.   

    Sell services?

    Do you really need that Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) up front?  

    Can it be simplified, eliminated, delayed, or improved in any way to reduce friction?

  9. Automation.

    If you have a sales process that is touchless, a la Amazon, great.  

    For all other types of sales processes, you will need to have a highly aligned, smoothly operating marketing and sales system to assist your customers in making their buying decision.  

    Any question you can find a way to anticipate and answer up front, do!  

    Sell subscription based services; can you accept payments in multiple forms, time periods, currencies?  

    Can you make price adjustments within the subscription management system specific to a particular customer requirement on the fly? 

    25% of marketers who adopt mature lead management processes have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing-generated leads

  10. Responsiveness. 

    This is actually a subset of Automation.

    Besides being fast, consumers expect you to be able to offer them relevant, high-value content on the fly.

    That is why it is absolutely critical that when marketing develops a piece of content, all sales people are made aware of it, understand it, and most importantly, have a way to find and deliver it to the consumer in the appropriate channel preferred by the buyer, for example, using contextually aware and behavioral driven Marketing Automation Emails.

    Some call this lead nurturing.

Nurtured Leads Make 47% Larger Purchases Than Non-Nurtured Leads


There you have it, 10 proven techniques to unclog a sales funnel. 


Define Your Sales Funnel Yet?


If you don’t have a fully defined sales funnel, we can help you define one. If you are thinking about or are already using the Hubspot CRM system, defining a sales funnel fully enriched with relevant sales content is a breeze. 


Hubspot Analytics


You and your team will love the Hubspot Sales Analytics Program, which allows your entire Inbound Sales Team to be rock stars and have the ability to prove it.  Those larger commission checks do wonders for morale.


Hubspot CRM Sales Funnel Consulting

SAP BW Consulting, Inc. is both a Hubspot Customer and Hubspot Certified Marketing and Sales Implementation Partner.  We help companies like yours set up both lead generation marketing machines and define and implement fully functioning Sales Funnels.  


Our business philosophy is simple.  Don't waste leads.  Turn them into highly profitable, referenceable customers.


Our team goes well beyond the ability to help you implement a Customer Relationship System (CRM).  We also provide full technical integration abilities with many Hubspot eco-system applications, and deep integration with SAP ERP systems, including SAP Business byDesign Customers.


Salesforce Integration Services

Many of our Hubspot Customers are also Salesforce users.  Our service capability includes the ability to integrate Salesforce with Hubspot as well as Salesforce Consulting as well.  In addition, for many customers whose business model includes a subscription business model, we provide Zuora implementation services.  Zuora is the leading enterprise class subscription software on the market. 

Every Customer Is Unique

Each Hubspot CRM is unique, but by following proven best practices, we can quickly get you set up and going.  


Help Me Implement  Hubspot CRM!


People who read this also read: 

Beginners Guide to CRM

3 Marketing Routes to Reach Your CRM Goals

12 SAP CRM Content Management System Requirements

3 Ways to Implement CRM Marketing

7 Warning Signs Your CRM Customer Service Processes are Broken




Topics from this blog:
Sales Processes CRM Hubspot CRM Sales Funnel

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Lonnie Ayers

About the Author: Lonnie Ayers is a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing consultant, with additional certifications in Hubspot Content Optimization, Hubspot Contextual Marketing, and is a Hubspot Certified Partner. Specialized in demand generation and sales execution, especially in the SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Partner space, he has unique insight into the tough challenges Service Providers face with generating leads and closing sales using the latest digital tools. With 15 years of SAP Program Management experience, and dozens of complex sales engagements under his belt, he helps partners develop and communicate their unique sales proposition. Frequently sought as a public speaker in various events, he is available for both inhouse engagements and remote coaching.
Balanced Scorecard Consultant

He also recently released a book "How to Dominate Any Market - Turbocharging Your Digital Marketing and Sales Results", which is available on Amazon.

View All Articles by Lonnie Ayers

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