Forget the Sales Funnel. You Need a Sales Sniper Scope.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The sales funnel is a classic marketing tool used by marketers everywhere. It is also used incorrectly, causing wasted marketing dollars, lost potential sales and (most importantly) lost time.

So what is the sales funnel? It is a strategy for breaking down the sales process into a series of steps, each focused on a smaller number of sales prospects.

While details vary from marketer, to marketer, here is a simplistic example:

  1. Attract potential customers
  2. Perform a sales pitch to available, potential customers
  3. Provide detailed price quotes to interested, available, potential customers
  4. Negotiate detailed sales quote with wealthy, interested, available, potential customers
  5. Sell the services at agreed price

A certain percentage of potential customers at each level will filter down to the following level.

Therefore, naive marketers will try to stuff as many people at the top of the funnel as they can. More equals better, right? Wrong!

Unfortunately, the funnel theory breaks down in the real world. It makes an assumption that all people are the same -- that one potential customer is exactly like another.

The trick is to figure out who your ideal customers are before you start building your sales process. Don't figure out who would probably buy, but figure out who would certainly buy. Who are the folks who would literally throw money at you and demand to buy your products? If you were selling priceless works of art, would you rather have a room full of firemen, or would you rather have a private audience with the billionaire Bill Gates?

The more you can narrow the top of your funnel, the more you can tailor your pitch to fit his needs. Don't think in terms of creating a funnel with a wide top and a narrow bottom. Create a sniper scope and make your sales process tailored to your ideal customers.