One of the Sales Manager's challenges is to effectively manage the sales funnel (or pipeline), which indicates the actual conversion of prospects into sales. It is called as such because it includes the conversion ratio at each stage of the sales cycle, which has a funneling effect (compare it to a waterfall). Leads are theoretically fed into the top of the funnel, and converted sales drop out at the bottom.
Prospecting and qualifying occurs at the top of the funnel. By putting the right opportunities at the top of your funnel, you are setting yourself up to pursuing only those that have the best chance of closing. Of course, managing a swift funnel also requires a rigorous understanding of your customer’s decision-making process. This means that you’ve got to get inside your prospects’ head to understand their underlying needs and interests in the sale. You could start your sales process by defining the ideal prospect, allowing you to segment your leads, which essentially means that you are splitting the list of names into smaller lists.
Tags (or Labels) in Odoo's CRM app can be applied to leads and prospects in order to do such a segmentation. Create a Google Document (template) including the key characteristics of your ideal customer profile and share it with your sales team by making it available through the Leads / Opportunity form. Segment each lead by applying the corresponding Sales Tags. Make sure to assign the correct priority to your leads or prospects by determining a lead's compliance with what you expect from a potential customer.
This will help you determine which accounts to add to the top of your funnel. The result is that you’ll be pursuing only those opportunities that have the best chance of closing. Isn’t that time well spent?
At the very top of the funnel, you have leads. This is where you cast a wide net, trying to find as many leads as possible to bring into the sales funnel. You could very well use a contact form on your website, through which leads will automatically be created into Odoo's CRM app. Or import a large database of leads.
A small percentage of those leads will be prospects, people who are actually interested in your product or service and who are qualified to buy. It’s a numbers game; the more good leads you bring into the sales funnel, the more prospects you’ll have. And this is important because the more prospects you have, the more customers you have!
And so we get to the last piece of our simple sales funnel: the customer. A small percentage of people who are interested will actually make a purchase and become a customer. You can (and should) know what percentage of people move down the sales funnel.
When working on your sales funnel, you want to have two goals:
- Find more good leads, to funnel a larger number of people into the process;
- Increase the percentage of people who move one level to the next down the pipeline.
For better results, it is often beneficial to add more levels to your sales funnel. By adding a few more steps, you can more easily encourage a sale. You’ll still lose people every level along the way, but it’s much easier to move people further down the funnel when you are taking baby steps that don’t seem so scary. By adding your company's Sales Stages to Odoo CRM, this can easily be accomplished.
In review, here’s the who, what, when, why of sales funnels:
- Who: All businesses should have a sales funnel in place to help them turn leads into customers.
- What: A sales funnel is a plan to allow a person to become aware of your company, learn about it, and make a decision on whether or not to buy.
- When: Start funneling people into this process from day one, so you can slowly move them toward a sale.
- Why: Sales funnels allow you to track your ROI and work on better customer retention practices.
* the Best of Miller Heiman Sales Performance Tips Funnel Management Best Practices
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|Asked: 6/11/14, 3:49 AM|
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|Last updated: 3/16/15, 8:10 AM|