In the previous post we completed Setting up the Funnel
To build out a sales funnel, the right strategy is largely dependent upon the size and position of the firm. Sales Insights is a small firm with a new product requiring a complex sale. Building a high amount of trust is often a prerequisite for complex sales — no one is going to buy from us without trusting us. Focusing on areas where we can quickly build trust is therefore going to have the highest impact on generating qualified leads.
The areas of highest trust tend to be the lowest volume channels, so to start, we are going to work three broad channels that have a higher level of trust from the beginning: People we Know, Partnerships, and Networking.
Later on, when we have filled the funnel, we can branch out into higher volume channels that start at lower trust.
We start by introducing Sales Insights to every person we know that may have a need for Sales Insights, or may know someone who does. In setting up the funnel, this resulted in about 90 people. However, these are not people we’re going to hard pitch. A complex product like Sales Insights is sold when the client is ready — when they have reached a bottleneck or pain in their sales process.
To start, we follow up with everyone in our network and let them know about Sales Insights. The feedback we receive helps us refine the product and pitch, while bringing people up to speed with what we’re working on.
Some may find the product very interesting, but tangential to their business — we think of these as allies. These are people that may have an interest in promoting Sales Insights to others when we launch.
The next major task for our funnel building strategy is to find partners that provide related services. The goal is to be able to provide every lead in our funnel with the resources they need to get their company to the next level, even if that resource is not us. By generating these leads for partners, we maintain goodwill in our funnel, have a reason to follow up with leads, and build mutually beneficial relationships with our partners.
The third task for our basic funnel building is Networking, including avenues like Lunch Club (an online Networking site), conferences, and local meetups. Though networking is not high volume, it is high trust. Networking allows us to identify high quality individuals that may be a potential partner, lead, or connection to another partner or lead.
For the first few months, we want to fill the funnel from these three channels. When we are no longer growing the number of Engaged leads, then we move onto higher volume channels.
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