How to fix a leaky sales funnel
Do you know that 79% of your leads will not convert?
For most businesses, we know where the problem lies: a leaky sales funnel.
A leaky sales funnel is a huge stumbling block to increasing revenue and improving your bottom line. For this reason, every business must discover a way to reduce or stop leaks in their sales funnels.
In this post, we will discuss the various ways of fixing a leaky sales funnel. But before we do that, let’s look at a few factors that may make your sales funnel work against you.
How your sales funnel might be broken
Poor value proposition
A value proposition is an important fundamental input to a business as it answers why people should buy your products and not competitors.
This is why it needs to be specific, clear, and relevant to the customer’s needs and priorities. If your value proposition is irrelevant or not conveying the intended purpose of your existence, it will undermine all your efforts to bring leads and even close deals.
When obtaining leads, encouraging every salesperson to use their own means to secure prospects is a recipe for disaster.
In most cases, it results in poor communication between sales teams and the marketing team.
Without a proper process, you will have gaps in your sales funnel. Your initial marketing efforts, such as logging customer interaction, sending follow-ups and reminders, and keeping data up-to-date are likely to be wasted.
CTAs aim to direct the customer on the next course of action after engaging with your content. When they are missing on your website or outreach methods, your customers won’t know what action to take, resulting in loss of leads and eventually revenue.
Every business has conversion bottlenecks that hamper the sales process. These factors include slow response rates, poor UX/UI, a long onboarding process, or a lack of proper pricing methods. These, when not taken care of, stop leads from converting correctly.
Inconsistency in your marketing efforts
Customers will automatically get suspicious and drop along the sales funnel if you send contradicting information about your product and services.
For example, if the information shared on your website or blog posts differs from that on your email newsletters or ad copy, it can be a barrier to conversion.
Ways to fix a leaky sales funnel
As you can see, you probably got an idea now of what is causing low conversion rates, poor leads, missed sales targets, or inaccurate sales forecasts.
Luckily, you can fix this. Here are nine effective ways to help address leaks in your sales funnel.
1. Attract the right customer
Do you know who your customers are? Do you know where they are dropping off in the sales funnel? And why are they dropping off?
Having this information helps you evaluate the prospect and leads your sales pipeline brings. It also enables you to uncover how often you are unable to progress a customer to the next stage of the funnel.
To attract the right buyer and help them convert, study your website content, landing pages, CTAs, emails, and stages in your sales process that are logged in your CRM.
Other factors to consider are your UX/UI, product features, and creating more robust buyer personas.
Ensure your sales pipeline is straightforward and that it assists prospects in getting into the funnel and not making them lose or doubt your services. These tips should help you stop wasting time and money on prospects that are not ideal.
2. Use data to improve and analyze the sales process
Your sales process cannot be successful without proper data usage and analysis. Data expose where your prospects are dropping off, show which features they find hard to use, get business insights, and what strategies are working.
But where can you collect this data? Your CRM tool is the first place to look for data. Google Analytics or behavioral tools can also provide you data for sales analysis.
Harnessing your prospect data helps remove uncertainties in your marketing funnel (especially if you are not sure what is causing the leak). With the right data, you can easily monitor your sales funnels and the metrics you want to hit and improve your lead qualification process.
3. Improve your value proposition
We mentioned before that an irrelevant value proposition is one cause of sales leakage. To fix such leakage, review your value proposition and see if it is still in line with your business goals and customer needs.
One tip is to dig into your marketing and sales messages. Does your business communicate in a way that answers the pain your customer faces? How about your sales pitches? Do they make you look different from the competitors? What reasons do you provide customers to buy from you and not the competitor?
Reevaluate your value proposition and make sure it is aligned with your business goals. Make sure it is still usable, reliable, and convenient. If not, you may review or do a complete overhaul. This is the best way to attract customers and make them buy from you.
Let’s see this example of a solid value proposition from Asana for inspiration.
Photo credit: Really Good Emails
4. Refine your metrics and KPIs
There might be instances when your objectives and KPIs aren’t specific or your sales team doesn’t understand why they matter and even how to use them.
Your sales team is left on its own to figure out what to do, ending up with contradicting data or metrics that don’t help them guide prospects to your sales funnel.
For these reasons, you need to refine your metrics and KPIs to prevent and even address blockage in the funnel.
By refining your metrics and KPIs, you will help sales and marketing teams understand their objectives better, bring them closer to a shared goal or consensus so that they can work towards achieving a common goal.
5. Get organized with a CRM tool
CRM tools have lots of benefits. For a start, they help expose potential leaks in your sales funnel, monitor prospect behavior, data analysis and interpretation, A/B testing, and even competitor analysis.
With the information provided by CRM tools, businesses can settle on ways of improving customer acquisition by cleaning up their database, targeting the right customer, and improving service delivery. The right CRM tool also helps you to be pragmatic in your sales and marketing efforts.
6. Improve your lead nurturing methods
To improve conversion rates, you need a solid lead nurturing strategy at every stage of the funnel. Unfortunately, this is where most businesses make serious mistakes. They fail to nurture leads, with merely 35% of brands boasting a strong lead nurturing strategy.
Forgetting to do a proper follow-up, failing to respond early to customer inquiries, and neglecting to address customer complaints causes leads to drop early in the sales funnel.
For you to have a solid lead nurturing strategy, make good use of automation. Consider also:
- Sharing customer testimonials and reviews
- Using proper call to action
- Using storytelling to convey your message
- Sharing relevant case studies
- Ensuring customers can ask questions with ease and receive answers promptly
7. Experiment and split test
The customer acquisition process is complex, full of distraction, and is constantly changing to adapt to new trends. As a business, you must find how to meet these new demands and changes.
The best way to do so is through testing and experimenting with different strategies and methods throughout your sales funnel.
A few metrics to split test include your shopping cart or pricing page. You may change your features, pricing, or tools to see what is working for you.
Alternatively, you may add free trials or demos to your landing page or CTAs, and see how your visitors react. A few tweaks to your sales pitches, CTAs, or image position may dramatically have a significant impact on your conversion rates.
8. Improve customer onboarding experience
Onboarding new customers is a challenge. No wonder 90% of subscribers still feel businesses aren’t better at it. The result is low conversion rates.
A case example is where your customers sign up for your free trial or newsletters but fail to become paid customers. It might be your sales team didn’t engage properly with them to ensure a conversion or they received no response to queries on why they should upgrade.
In such a scenario, make the process of inquiry seamless for the customer as well as helping them see why they need the product. If the problem is with the sales team, train your team on the best ways to onboard a customer. You may also improve your product pricing page or incorporate customer suggestions in your sales process
A leaky sales funnel is every business’s nightmare.
It can make you look inept, increase operating costs, and cause revenues to be impacted.
Maintaining a solid sales funnel is an ongoing process with lots of monitoring, evaluation, and adaptation. Develop a culture of continual improvement to identify the problem better and correct it as needed.
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.