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Sales reps and marketing teams are well versed in the sales funnel, but that doesn't mean they know how to exploit it.
The sales funnel -- that inverse-pyramid-shaped image that depicts the pool of prospects that marketers are supposed to entice then shunt over to sales -- has become a key tool in nurturing prospects, then converting them into customers.
But the sales funnel isn't turnkey. Companies need to do some heavy lifting to identify, nurture and convert high-value prospects into customers. These efforts require customer analytics, to make the sales funnel more than just a dumping ground for customer prospects. In our latest handbook, The Sales Funnel Takes a New Shape, we explore how companies use these data efforts to create a sales funnel with ROI -- or the impact of failing to do so.
First, I look at why the traditional role for marketing is breaking down: Sales needs better, more targeted and narrowly focused leads, not just junk leads from the sales funnel. Next, Mary Brandel discusses the evolving role of the sales funnel and of customer journeys, which are not as linear as they once were. "What used to be a funnel is now an erratic progression through channels of a customer's own choosing," Brandel writes. Companies have to be prepared to meet customers and their diverse purchasing needs, regardless of where they are.
Next, Steve Robins takes us through some basic blocking-and-tackling tactics to bring sales funnel ROI, using strategies like predictive analytics and lead scoring.
Finally, Mary Brandel fleshes out the critical role of predictive analytics in making the sales funnel not just a place to dump your leads, but also a scientific tool in the endless quest to make sales reps' time more efficient and identify high-value prospects.
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