Want to Hit Your Sales Goals? Be Fanatically Focused on Your Funnel
Are you one of those salespeople who have prospect information bouncing around your brain? Reminders on Post-it Notes all over your workspace? Or a forgotten list of follow-ups?
If it feels like chaos, you are not effectively managing your opportunities. You funnel should give you visibility into your sales situation. You get that by keeping your funnel (CRM or Spreadsheet) up to date. If it is accurate and up to date, you can see exactly what you have and what needs to happen next. Unfortunately, that only happens when you are fanatical about your funnel.
What is a sales funnel?
Before we can talk about being fanatical about your funnel, let’s understand what the term funnel means. One way to think of it is a graphic representation of your sales process and opportunities.
More importantly, the funnel is the tool you use to manage your leads/opportunities. It is the single source of truth about all your opportunities. It might be a spreadsheet, or a view/report in your CRM. Whether you keep it in a CRM or spreadsheet, it is a depiction of the status of all your leads. It is also a way to see how well you are positioned to hit your goals.
Some people use the word pipeline, but funnel is more accurate because the shape represents what actually happens as leads move through the sales process.
What does it mean to be “fanatical about your funnel”?
It means that before you open email or go to a meeting, your open your funnel and decide what sales priorities you have for the day. It means that your funnel is the single source of truth about all your opportunities because every time you communicate with a prospect you update your funnel. It is accurate and up to date. The stages and close dates are current reliable. It means you have a next action scheduled for every opportunity.
Why you must be fanatical about your funnel
The more effectively you use the funnel, the more efficiently you can manage your sales work, and the better results you will get. It may seem like a lot of work to keep your funnel updated, but when it is your single source of truth, your funnel helps you do your job better. It helps you prioritize your activities every day. You can prioritize by stage knowing that closing is the priority, prospecting is the second priority and qualifying is third. Everything else comes after that. Build those priorities into your calendar every day. Doing that will help you stay proactive, minimize surprises, keep leads moving through the sales process, and position you to hit your sales goals more consistently.
What information should be in your funnel?
Decide on a naming protocol you are going to use and stick to it. Think about how it will show up in the different views that you use and make sure there is enough information to understand at-a-glance. The naming protocol should tell you what order and what to include. You will probably want to put the company name first and then the product? Remember that there may be multiple opportunities for any one company.
Depending on the program you are using, you will have another space for company name. That is OK. You may also have another place to put the product name. That is also OK depending upon the views that you use.
Once you get past qualify, make sure you have an amount in either volume or dollars or both. Keep that updated as you get new information. Also include stage and close date. These two should be closely tied together and updated as the opportunity moves through the sales process. Finally, include a next action or task for each open opportunity. Don’t let those get out of date.
The results of fanatical focus
It takes a lot of practice to fanatically focus on the funnel, but once you get in practice the results will amaze you. You will have more clarity and control over your sales efforts. You will have better flow of leads through the sale process. You will waste far less time. You will lose fewer leads to inactivity. You will have less distraction in you CRM. And you will close more sales.
Fanatical Funnel Challenge
Here is my challenge to you. For the next 30 days, be fanatical about your funnel.
Go to your funnel first thing every day. Do it before you look at email and map your sales activity for the rest of the day.
Keep your funnel open and update everything you touch.
Make sure you have a task with a due date for every open opportunity and don’t fall behind on your follow-up
For every opportunity you close, add 10 into prospect.
At the end of the week look at the whole funnel and make sure everything is up to date.
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