This is the second in a series of blog posts to present a proven method for improving your Funnelnomics by accelerating the conversion of qualified buyers into profitable customer relationships. It provides a framework for integrating your marketing lead generation programs with sales execution processes to drive growth and profitability. Be sure to read Step 1: Mapping Your Marketing and Sales Funnel
Step 2: Filling Your Funnel with Qualified Buyers
The early stages of the funnel are the most critical and can make the biggest difference in the length of your sales cycle and the survival of your business. Yet, they are also the most difficult to optimize. The top 6 pain points of B2B Marketers surveyed by Forrester Research were:
- Reaching decision-makers
- Retaining customers, developing loyalty
- Improving lead quality
- Generating more leads
- Understanding prospect behavior
- Working within budget constraints
The Right Approach
There are many approaches Marketers use to fill their funnel. At the most basic level, delivering qualified buyers to Sales is dependent upon starting with clean records—ie. Correct names, titles, contact information and role information that is needed to target communications and follow-up activities.
Key Data to Capture
In addition to clean data and role information, it is vital to capture information on customer’s pain points, decision drivers. It is becoming more and more challenging to get in front of the customer and when you do, you’d better know your stuff. Know enough about the customer to target your conversation, tailor the value proposition to the prospect and capture their interest in a matter of seconds. You don’t get a second chance.
Always Verify Data by Phone
Before leads move into the funnel they should be phone verified and surveyed to identify customer’s decision drivers and determine their stage in the buy cycle. This helps both Sales and Marketing, as Sales can prioritize their efforts to engage with buyers who are qualified and ready to purchase. And, Marketing is better able to develop predictable and repeatable Deliberate Marketing programs that deliver the right messages to the right buyer at the right time.