3 Reasons Your Sales Funnel is Like Dating
Posted by Bernie Borges on Jul 30 2012
Sales Funnel Analysis Results in More Qualified Leads
The pressure on marketers to fill the sales funnel with sales ready leads is greater than ever, especially in this age of Internet marketing. But, the truth is that the healthiest sales funnel has a diverse mix of leads, not all of which are sales ready. Targeting a mix of leads across all three stages of the sales funnel is a productive way of maintaining a healthy flow of leads that mature into sales ready leads. Here’s a look at the three stages of the sales funnel and some of the marketing plans that can keep your sales funnel healthy.
Top of The Funnel: TOFU
People who enter your sales funnel at the top of the funnel (aka TOFU) are potentially viable prospects, but they may not necessarily be sales ready. Consider the dating analogy. This is a first date. Your goal with TOFU leads is to build a relationship with these people. Effective calls-to-action (CTAs) to attract TOFU leads can include blog posts, webinars and white paper or e-book downloads. Effective ways to nurture TOFU leads is through consistent digital touchpoints, each one offering another opportunity to “get to know you better” through CTAs that invite them to consume more detailed content about your product or service. As people accept your offers to know more about “what” your products do, they can enter the middle of the funnel, aka MOFU.
Middle of The Funnel: MOFU
As in the dating analogy, people in the middle of your sales funnel are interested in getting to know more about you. In this stage, they are more responsive to learning more specifics about what your products can do for them in their situation. They are potentially willing to attend a detailed presentation of what your products do. In the MOFU stage people want to know if you are a serious contender for their situation. They may be building their short list of possible products. Depending on the length of your sales cycle, you may need to engage them in several touch points during the MOFU nurturing process. CTAs for online demos, customer case studies and other forms of reassurance that your product has met the needs of others with similar needs are effective. At this point, one-on-one sales contact may not have occurred. But, through multiple touch points where you qualify sales leads according your qualification process, an invitation to have a sales conversation may be appropriate. When that invitation has been accepted, this prospect has entered the bottom of the funnel, aka BOFU.
Bottom of The Funnel: BOFU
In the bottom of the funnel, aka BOFU, your prospect has been nurtured and courted through effective content marketing and hopefully through a good experience with your multiple touch points. Some relationship has been developed, and likewise some trust has been established. However, the prospect may have not yet decided that your product is right for her. Effective CTAs here can include invitations for a free but limited consultation, a private demo for her entire evaluation team, a configuration discussion to her specific needs, a discussion of your pricing, and for lower priced products a free trial offer.
All sellers know that a relatively small percentage of sales close out of all incoming leads. By segmenting your sales funnel into these three phases, you can hone the CTAs and messaging. Through careful sales funnel analysis you can measure conversions from TOFU, to MOFU to BOFU leads. And, best of all, you can do your sales team a wonderful service by only getting them involved in BOFU leads. Sales professionals who only deal with BOFU prospects have a higher close ratio, not to mention higher morale because they don’t waste time talking with prospects that are not ready to engage in serious sales conversations.
Each seller’s situation is unique, and therefore these guidelines are generalizations. The intended strategy described here is to offer guidelines to efficiently manage your sales funnel through your digital marketing efforts.