What is happening at the top of the funnel?

Sales Funnel

Top of the Funnel data should be concrete and reliable. It should be filled with well qualified opportunities that will enable future sales success. Unfortunately, too often this is not the case.

Chances are you’ve got a good handle on the bottom of your funnel (BOFU).  For opportunities more than 60% probability, you can accurately forecast revenue.  These are the opportunities you can taste.  Your managers and reps focus on them and you track progress weekly.

But would you say the same about the top of the funnel? Are your sales managers tracking progress from the time the lead converts into an opportunity?  Are account executives reporting accurately or entering opportunities when they know they’ll close?  As Sales Ops leaders, you need to trust your data in order to make crucial decisions.  So is your funnel accurate?

What’s the impact of poor lead nurturing at the top of the funnel?

In order to know how many opportunities are actually closing supported by accurate conversion ratios, an organisation needs to be clear at what stage sales opportunities being logged? Are they logged once the inquiry arrives or once the prospect has indicated that they are likely to purchase from your organisation and are in the BOFU. How well have the reps done in aiding the buyer on their journey? At what stage are the sales reps focusing their energy, is it on those opportunities at the BOFU as well as nurturing the top of the funnel opportunities effectively. If they fail to nurture top of the funnel opportunities less opportunities will progress through to the BOFU.

What’s the impact of incorrect Opportunity recording?

  1. Inaccurate reporting and forecasting – Manager use the sales pipeline data to evaluate and coach their teams.  Inaccurate data can cause false assumptions.
  2. Wasted investment – Sales Force Automation platforms can cost an organization a lot of money.  A large portion of that investment is wasted if the inputs can’t be trusted.
  3. Headaches and sleepless nights – Sales Ops expects Sales managers to give reasonable expectations of their future performance.  Sales managers obviously want the same.  Nothing is worse than missing a number due to faulty forecasting.

Appropriate sales pipeline management is critical to the success of an organisations long term sales success. If opportunities are not recorded and nurtured at the top of the funnel, less opportunities will progress through to the Bottom of the funnel.

How a CRM can help

A CRM system benefits an organisation through the visibility of its sales activities. This visibility is fundamental to managing sales performance and control of the sales process. This visibility enables management to understand why, when, who and how opportunities are being won, stalled, or being lost.  If it cannot be monitored, it cannot be managed. The visibility offered on pipeline reports by the CRM system also allows management to make educated business decisions based on hard data. A CRM system will enable structured data to be used to access performance. This assessment should indicate which sales person is out performing others.

ProAptivity are an independent CRM solutions provider. We focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software supported by our sales training provide customers with the tools needed to deliver successful sales process management.

Fundamentally, we help organisations embed CRM best practice throughout their organisation. This helps organisations become more competitive, customer focused and ultimately more profitable. Maybe you’d like to read our recent blog article on Managing Sales Performance.

If you need help in understanding why my business needs CRM, maybe some of our  eBooks could help! Alternatively visit Maximizer CRM for more information. Contact us today on 028 9099 6388 or via info@proaptivity.com. Contact us today for a free CRM consultation that will assess if your business is CRM ready.

Source: Sales Benchmark Index

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