How To Remove Bottlenecks From Your Sales Funnel: Key Takeaways From Our LabOctober 1st, 2020
We invited three B2B tech startups in the Venture Lane community to participate in our Sales Funnel Lab. Participants worked directly with a Mentor Committee of seasoned sales leaders in Boston tech to remove friction from their sales funnel and increase conversion from end to end.
On the Committee, we had Brian Manning (Head of Growth @ PatientPing), Chris Combs (Co-Founder & SVP, Business Development @ LinkSquares), and Sandra Rowe (Fractional CRO for Emerging Tech). Check out their key insights below!
How to shorten your sales cycle through lead qualification...
- Prospects' actions define funnel stages. An action taken by a prospect should always be the criteria for entering a funnel stage and converting to the next stage. This is the surest way to shorten your sales cycle, because you will have clear vision on the prospect's motivation and timeline.
- Qualification is most important before the pilot stage. The more novel your tech is, the more leads you're likely to attract that just want to see 'the next best thing' without having any intention to buy. If pilots require implementation work from your team, make sure that prospects entering the pilot stage are heavily qualified.
- Search for the no. Create a power dynamic whereby you are not chasing the customer. It's okay to ask a prospect if this deal is a 'no', because there's a lot of addressable market for you to get after. Make it easy for a prospect to tell the truth.
How to use the pilot stage effectively...
- Add a trial or pilot stage after the demo. Asking a prospect if they're ready to buy directly following a demo leaves too many questions unanswered. Trialing gives the prospect an opportunity to continue their evaluation.
- Offer paid pilots if implementation is a heavy lift. Prospects will be less proactive in making a pilot successful if there is no financial cost. If implementing the pilot is a heavy lift for your team, doing it at no cost creates a double-edged sword of demotivating the prospect and tying up your team's resources unnecessarily.
- Social proof is your next best option. If setting up pilots for your prospects requires too much implementation work, use case studies with hard ROI figures to demonstrate success with your product.
How to pair marketing content with your funnel stages...
- Use content to get to prospects on a call. If your win rate is high once you get prospects on a call but have difficulty driving leads to that call in the first place, invest in a content marketing strategy to generate more inbound leads.
- Top-of-funnel content raises problem awareness. In order to generate and convert leads at the top of your funnel, create content that helps prospects define their problems, become more aware of how much pain those problems cause, and start to seek out solutions.
- Bottom-of-funnel content helps prospects evaluate solutions. Once your prospects start scouting solutions, generate content that positions your product as their best possible option. Materials like e-books and case studies are top content for this stage.
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