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The “Fun” in your funnel
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The “Fun” in your funnel

The “Fun” in your funnel

Guest post by Ryan Rives, VP of Business Development at Centerpost Media

Winning is fun. For the majority of organizations, a service or product provides the foundation for their profitability. “No money. No mission,” I learned early in working for a not-for-profit healthcare organization. Simply put, we could serve more people in our community when more funding was present. Where does the “Winning is fun” come in? Your SALES Funnel. You win enough deals, your funnel becomes fun and more ICP (ideal client prospects) needs are met.

The Most Common Mistakes Keeping Fun at Bay…
Disclaimer: I work with majority small- to medium-size business leaders, typically in a startup, growth, or early scale phase of business. These are the mistakes I see most prevalent:

  • Expectations – If it goes in the top of the funnel, it will come out the bottom.
  • I can delegate my funnel stage strategies and simply watch conversion roll in.
  • Manual vs Automated.
    What Should I Expect to Convert?
    Convert a large volume of ICP from one phase of the sales funnel to the next, at the fastest, highest rate possible and win sales often. It really isn’t a complicated concept. It isn’t that many great business leaders have forgotten that product exposure frequency and consistency are REQUIREMENTS to convert larger numbers of ICP from traffic to awareness, awareness to interest, interest to decision and decision to action.

    When you NEED business to convert financially to survive, I find teams get away quickly from the process in their sales funnel.

    The complication occurs when you are on a tight budget or short staffed. Now can you relate? When you NEED business to convert financially to survive, I find teams get away quickly from the process in their sales funnel. At times, they begin believing their company or product will defy the odds of funnel conversions – According to Adobe Digital Index 2020 report into consumer electronics, an overall average funnel conversion of most industries is around 3%. Leaders on a tight budget might profess with their lips, they understand conversion rates, but in their next budget meeting often expect a $1 spent will be $1-$2 earned in their funnel efforts, immediately. When that ideal is not met, they are tempted to pull back investment dollars in one phase or another, causing a stall in the funnel altogether. Operate your funnel and business on average or slightly above average conversion rates when there is evidence to support you can. Raise capital if necessary, STAY THE COURSE, evaluate what strategies offer higher conversions and seek to learn and duplicate.

    Delegate, and let the FUN begin?
    In the early phases of business, the leader is often also the marketing team, sales team, admin, financial officer, janitor etc. As the business scales it is crucial for the organization to delegate aspects of the sales funnel. Delegation may come in the form of virtual assistants or services, white label, or in-house contract labor. While offloading the creation and daily execution of the functions in your sales funnel to delegated personnel is a smart use of resources, the PLAN, PREP, INSPECTION and EXECUTION of the funnel remains most productive in the hands of the CEO or Head of Business Development. Over-releasing these aspects will yield frustrating results and drain the fun from your sales funnel.

    To Automate or Not Automate? That is the question.
    Time is money. Filtering unqualified leads or even moving from purchase to onboarding quickly, impacts profitability. Any delay in engagement can certainly equate to a lack of conversion, and missed sales. Automating is a key strategy helping industry leading companies dominate their competitors. In fact, according to HubSpot, 61% of businesses leveraging automation reported exceeding revenue targets in 2020. What does automation in your sales funnel look like? Automation can be scheduling software, like Calendly, Acuity or Schedule Once; auto-responders like Mailchimp, Kartra, and Convert Kit help in lag time to response; landing page automations like Kajabi and Click Funnels; or automation to check out via Stripe and PayPal. Can you imagine your sales team speaking live to complete every invoice or credit card for purchase?

    According to McKinsey & Company, more than 30% of sales-related activities can be automated. Many business leaders and entrepreneurs participate in pieces of automation. The question is, are your automations DESIGNED to work together, feeding the next traffic prompt or stage of your sales funnel? Prepping a sales funnel takes me back to the simplicity of my 7th grade computer class (think IBM, black screen, green boxed cue and floppy disk), mastering the art of “If, then” Computer Science (if a + b = c, then…).

  • If a prospect in the current stage of the funnel does not convert down to the next stage, then what is my next best action/next highest probability for conversion in this phase for this ICP (data driven)?
  • If a prospect does convert down into the next stage of my funnel, given the prospect’s characteristics, what is their highest probability to convert quickly to the next stage in the funnel?
  • Now, does the “next best step” to either of those scenarios lose or gain value when automated?
    Winning Is a Fun Habit
    Winning is fun. You will not win 100% of the time; in fact, odds are you will win sales funnel conversions at about a 3-5% average conversion rate. Expect it. $1 in will not equate to $2 out tomorrow. Delegate swiftly, but spearhead the PLAN, PREP, INSPECTION and EXECUTION of your sales funnel to win more and often. Automate to dominate — every chance value is not lost. Win often in your sale funnel! “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, losing is too,” says Lombardi. Create a winning habit in your sales FUNnel.

    Ryan Rives is the VP of Business Development at Centerpost Media, Owner of consulting firm Agility to Elevate, Inc., and a top performing leader in global direct sales. You can find Ryan on Facebook via “@ryanrivesmk,” Instagram and Twitter via “@agility2elevate,” or on LinkedIn via “@ryanrives.” Centerpost Media is a content marketing agency with a vision to help every business they encounter with their media needs by providing outstanding quality, service and value. Centerpost Media is the parent company to BizTV, BizTalkRadio, BizTalkPodcasts and Bizvod.