We all think and talk about our sales funnel a lot. We’re always saying things like:
- We need to keep it full.
- We need to stay active with the prospects that have been in it for awhile.
- On average, it takes a prospect X months to move through it.
- And so on….
But consider the statistic to the right. 60% of your sales efforts are what happens before you have actively put someone into the funnel. In other words — it’s not you who is doing the selling.
- Your existing customers
- The customer who left and is working with your competitors
- Your vendors
- Your website
- Review sites
- Your social presence (or lack thereof)
How much do you know about your pre-funnel sales machine? Do you know what’s being said? Maybe the bigger question — how should you be influencing those conscious and accidental sales efforts?
Think about how you shop — whether it’s for work or something for home. Do you beeline for a salesperson or sales collateral? Or do you do a little bit of investigating first?
Get out a piece of paper and do this exercise. Write down the bullet points I have above (starting with your existing customers) and next to each bullet point — describe what you would ideally like a prospect to hear/see/experience from each source.
Then — go to each source and see what’s actually being said/experienced. I’m guessing you’ll identify some areas that require your attention.
After all — your prospects are paying attention to these sources — shouldn’t you?
That’s certainly food for thought Drew. I guess the funnel starts the second someone starts looking for your service…
Or hears about you from someone they know…. before they know they need you!
Thanks for the great information you have shared us here…I know this can be a big help to everyone…
Yet another outstanding post, brother! The sales cycle, we’re all in sales, always be selling is a much more than making calls and meeting with prospects.
The old adage, your reputation is what happens when you’re not in the room, rings truer than ever. And that “room” can be in person, with clients, with colleagues or online.
Networking is crucial but creating leverage is paramount. Help others, ask for help from others and be clear on how you can help are all things we learn the hard way.
If it was about sending out a bunch of proposals and collecting checks, we’d all be retired and living on a beach.
And that old adage is probably more true today than it ever was before — we’re “not in the room” but present in so many more ways today than we ever were before.
As you often remind your readers — it’s about being intentional in every way, every day.
This is an interesting topic. It’s something I’m aware of but never truly thought about. We do try to stay up-to-date to what our clients/prospects are saying about us and our competitors through social media. We also don’t just focus on what they are saying about us but what our clients/prospects are up to so we can help them in any new avenues they are pursuing.
There’s nothing wrong with the paying attention so we can be helpful model. It’s customer centric, which is crucial. But… having your ear to the ground to hear what’s being said about you and being ready to say thanks for praise or make some changes based on negative feedback demonstrates how responsive you are and is an incredible way to get smarter about your own business.