Four Sales Funnel Misconceptions
The sales funnel is the lifeline of your business, representing future revenue that will allow your business to grow and be profitable. It is the intersection of the responsibilities of the marketing organization and those of sales. It can be a vehicle for effective business development, or a battleground between marketing and sales personnel. Too often it is the latter. Here are four common misconceptions that contribute to this unfortunate situation.
Misconception #1: A rented list is a good starting point for developing or enhancing a sales funnel.
This simply is not true. While the rented list is the most common information source marketers use when trying to enhance a sales funnel, using a rented list as a primary source of data for a direct marketing program guarantees mediocre results, at best. The list supplier cannot guarantee the list contains only those companies your sales force seeks. Worse, up to 50 percent of a list can be individuals with out-of-date contact information.
What the list actually provides is lost revenue. Every moment spent following up on a substandard lead is money wasted, raising the cost and lowering the value of the list.
The correct starting point for a successful direct marketing campaign is a marketing database that integrates current sources of prospects from company records that are specific to the company’s target market. Selected records, culled from rented lists based on specific pre-established criteria, can then be used to supplement the database.
Misconception #2: Marketing can come up with the sales-funnel strategy independent of sales.
Wrong. The danger here is not wasting company resources by targeting the wrong sites and individuals, but rather damaging the sales efforts already in progress. The last thing a sales person needs is for marketing to send a message to a current prospect that is inappropriate in content, target or timing.