Tuesday, May 15, 2012
The Sales Funnel…the what?
Why would you want to use this process? Because you would have a well thought-out process that would include management of both the seller and buyer, standardized customer interactions, and measurable revenue generation. One of the major advantages of approaching Sales as a process; there are a multitude of tested design and improvement tools available from other successful process-oriented businesses. Applying the familiar principles of quality and process engineering should also work for a sales process.
The steps or stages in a sales process will vary for each business, but they would usually follow the following elements;
Application of Initial Fit Criteria
Or perhaps some alternative steps could be the following;
Approach-planning of the sale
In general these are the typical steps taken in traditional sales, but they may vary depending upon the situation. Mapping your process provides a starting point for analysis and continued improvement. The elements in the list above have been described and flow-charted in published literature. In at least one example they depicted a cross-functional approach that integrated areas such as sales, marketing, customer service, and information systems.
A sales process can reduce risk by controlling the flow of deals based upon information or execution of procedures that move you to the next step. These steps walk a sales person from meeting the client to closing the deal. An unpleasant sales experience can be analyzed and, in some cases, shown to have skipped essential steps. A solid process can also dramatically impact forecasting accuracy and predictability in revenue results.
Some additional sources of information on this topic include;
Mind Tools, Essential skills for an excellent career
Entrepreneurs-Journey.com, The Sales Funnel Explained
Math Marketing, Sales Funnel Calculator
Sales Management Insight, Sales Funnel
The Funnel Principle: What Every Salesperson Must Know About Selling , by Mark Sellers
Success Secrets of the Sales Funnel: The Proven, Scientific Selling Method of Going from "Hello" to the Contract , by Ray Leone
Keeping the Funnel Full: The Definitive Authority on Solution Selling, by Don Thomson
Use one of the sales processes described in the publications above, or develop and tailor a Sales Funnel for your organization.