How to Fix a Leaky Sales Funnel
Did you know that 79% of leads won't 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, businesses should look for ways to reduce or stop leaks in their sales funnels.
In this post, we'll share several ways to fix your leaky sales funnel. But before we do that, let’s look at a few factors that may make your sales funnel work against you.
What Causes A Leaky Sales Funnel?
A leaky sales funnel means qualified leads drop off and never make it to your sales team. A number of issues can cause a broken sales funnel, including:
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 gathering leads, encouraging every salesperson to use their own strategies to find and convert prospects is a recipe for disaster.
In most cases, it results in poor communication between sales teams and the marketing team.
Without a proper sales process, you'll 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 direct potential customers on to 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 revenue.
Conversion Funnel Bottlenecks
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 automatically get suspicious and drop out of 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. Instead, make sure your marketing strategies and sales strategies are aligned. Use similar language and make sure the teams are working together.
8 Strategies to Optimize 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 Customers
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?
This information helps you evaluate the lead generation process. It also enables you to uncover how often you are unable to progress a customer to the next stage of the conversion funnel.
To attract the right buyers and help them convert, study your website content, landing pages, CTAs, emails, and stages in your sales process that are logged in your CRM.
What pages do your ideal customers spend the most time on? Look for ways to optimize those pages and streamline the buyer's journey.
Other factors to consider are your UX/UI, product features, and creating more robust buyer personas.
Ensure your sales pipeline is straightforward and helps prospects enter (and stay!) in the funnel. These tips will prevent wasting time and money on prospects that don't fit your ideal customer profile.
2. Use Data to Improve and Analyze the Sales Process
Your sales process cannot be successful without proper data usage and analysis. Data exposes where your prospects are dropping off, shows which features they find hard to use, and provides insights into what works and what doesn't.
For example, are webinars very popular? Do templates attrack the right types of leads? This data is crucial to plugging leaks in your funnel.
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 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, rework it or do a complete overhaul. This is the best way to attract potential customers help them convert.
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.
- Conversion rates per stage
- Win rate
- Sales velocity
- Average time to advance
5. Get Organized With the Right 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 Strategies
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 the 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 questions about why they should upgrade. If they receive a poor customer experience before they even convert, they're unlikely to become paying customers!
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
Ready to Fix Your Funnel?
A leaky sales funnel is every business’s nightmare.
It can make you look inept, increase operating costs, and cause revenues to be impacted. It can also make great marketing strategies look like they don't work.
Maintaining a solid sales funnel is an ongoing process that requires continuous 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.