Over the last few weeks, I’ve become a bit obsessed over a basic sales principle: Filling the Funnel. This notion that all prospective deals exist in an invisible funnel, that starts wide at the top — where all the deals start — and slowly whittle down to the mouth of the spout — where actual contracts are signed — is a great metaphor for modern business.
Not that long ago, our available channels for sales where strictly tactile — be it spray and pray direct mail, expensive trade advertising, cold calling, or face-to-face prospecting at expos and conferences. We live in the digital age now… meaning in addition to those old school methods, we now have digital ads, social media, remarketing, geo-targeting, and in the not-too-distant future… augmented reality and virtual reality ad spaces to consider. The mouth of the funnel continues to widen, but always recedes into the same singular spout; in short: it still comes down to landing that sale.
Because the mouth of the funnel continues to expand as it does, the need to consider how best to tackle our businesses’ limited resources — both in time and actual dollars and cents — matters more now than it ever did before. Your business, and its specific target audience(s) are marketed to in a litany of ways by every competitor in your space. The attention spans of the influencers and decision makers is finite, and if you’ve guessed incorrectly at the specific medium that cuts through the treacle? Well, you’ve just flushed your time and money down the drain in vain. Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be.
You see, I could have written this exact same blog 10 years ago, or 20, or even 30. Change a few terms (“Oh my! How much money should you be investing in your fax and listserv advertisement campaigns!”), and the principle would remain the same:
How do I fill my funnel the most for the least amount of money?
The answer then is the same as it is now: Balance, Testing, Data, and Action.
Balance your resources to test in as many channels as you can, adhering to collecting and analyzing the data to ultimately choose the course of action that the data points you to.
Strip that adage of its buzz words, and what you get, truly, is basic conservatism with a little dash of excitement. There is no mystery to filling the top of the funnel; simply balance your available resources to sample every channel that makes sense to within your given field (i.e. if you’re B2B, advertising on Twitter probably isn’t a great use of resources). Then, test ads in those chosen fields, and analyze every ounce of data you can from each of those channels. Which ads got you the most desirable engagement reaching the most potential customers for the least amount of money? Let the data tell you the answer, and then? Act on that data appropriately by allocating the funds for your next round of prospecting to do what the data told you to do. Again: it’s not rocket science, so much as it’s a grind that requires creativity, vigilance, and focus.
And if the task of keeping that sales funnel filled with high quality, data-driven leads feels too daunting given your business’s current state? Well, I guess I’d be remiss if I didn’t nod my head up that that beautiful lil’ logo in the top left corner of this site and smiled. Keeping the funnel filled is DreamCSX’s specialty; one honed over time by balance, testing, data, and action. Whether you choose to fill that funnel on your own, or ask us for a little help? I’ll end on our CEO’s mantra:
To your success and prosperity!