Companies are still struggling with the marketing versus sales discussion. It continues to impact the lead generation techniques these companies employ. Marketing works on creating interest by generating new opportunities and new leads. The salespeople then take those leads and try to close them. Then it starts. The leads aren't qualified. The prospects aren't ready to buy. The lead doesn't meet the company's ideal criteria and on and on and on.
It's time to destroy the sales funnel. Throw it out. Separate sales and marketing funnels create an us-versus-them mindset, one that is not conducive to winning business. Marketing wipes their hands clean after the lead is generated. The sales team then has an easy out. After all, the lead isn't good enough. This must change and the opportunity funnel does exactly that. Your lead generation techniques may not need fixing, but your internal processes might need to be improved a bit.
Understanding the Opportunity Funnel
So, what does this new opportunity funnel accomplish exactly?
First, it does away with both the marketing funnel and the sales funnel by combining them into a single funnel, one where marketing and sales must work together and one where they are both responsible for nurturing leads. Second, it ensures that both marketing and sales are constantly in touch with your market and its customers. Third, both marketing and sales manage leads together which means they both need to improve the company's lead generation techniques. Fourth, the opportunity funnel helps to better define your buyer personas because both roles must define who those personas are and how to move them along your buyer's journey.
- One Simple All-Encompassing Funnel to Manage:
A single opportunity funnel eliminates all the confusion, errors, and delays associated with separate marketing and sales funnels. It's no longer about marketing generating a lead, qualifying the lead and then handing it over to sales. That delay is simply too costly. The opportunity funnel forces both marketing and sales to work in unison so that the lead is guided along until a purchase is made.
- Better Understanding of Buyer Personas:
A single funnel will improve how your company pieces together its buyer personas. Marketing and sales will be able to flesh out how these individuals think, what calls-to-actions work best, what offers incentivize these decision makers the most and what content they appreciate the most. A single funnel will improve your understanding of your buyer personas, making them easier to manage and helping you put together better content with more engaging calls-to-action.
- A Stronger Marketing Automation Platform:
Your content marketing will improve with a single funnel because marketing and sales will act as partners. It will no longer be marketing dictating a message to the market and sales trying to convey to marketing that customers don't buy that message. Instead, marketing and sales will benefit from real-time information which means your marketing automation strategies will be much easier to manage and simpler to implement.
Sales will be able to bring back vital information from the field. They'll have invaluable data straight from customers, the kind of data your marketing team can use to improve all your lead generation techniques. Stronger and more reliable data means you're engaging your buyer personas at the right time with the right email campaign and content piece. A single funnel improves the buyer's journey and an improved journey means more customers.
Bring your marketing and sales teams together. Force them to concentrate on the same goals of generating new opportunities and winning new business. A single funnel will improve your lead generation techniques and simplify how you close opportunities.