Last time we talked about the first two of the 4 sales pillars. They were Persona and Buyer’s Journey. We share with you practical tips and insights when defining half of your sales pillars. Now, let’s go to part 2, which talks about the remaining two pillars, the sales funnel and the qualification matrix.
If the first part was about the use of well-defined tools, the use of the last two sales pillars requires more depth on the market you are in and also on the experience you gain by dealing directly with your lead.
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- Sales Pillars: Sales Funnel
- Sales Pillars: Qualification Matrix
Sales Pillars: Sales Funnel
If the buyer’s journey is used to understand your lead’s behavior from the moment he doesn’t know he has pain and doesn’t know your company’s solution until the stage he becomes a customer, the third of the sales pillars known as Sales Funnel is there to show and make you understand when the conversion actually happens.
It is a very close parallel to the buyer’s journey where there is at the top a very large volume of leads without any qualification, the so-called suspects, and, in the end, few leads that were qualified by profile and maturity. If you still don’t know what qualification by profile and maturity is, don’t worry, we’ll talk about the last of the sales pillars called Qualification Matrix in the next topic.
The first job you’ll have in structuring the Sales Funnel is to think about what actions the lead should take or you should take to make them a customer. From a list of activities, you should choose the one that generates the best return for both of you and make a sale that satisfies everyone involved. This can range from an action by the lead about the difficulty of reaching the sales goal stipulated by the board and you have this answer or you take this action when you invite him to a product presentation call.
Imagine that you have just pre-qualified a contact using the Business Intelligence concept. The next activity that was delimited by this sales pillar is to put all the leads in a cadence flow and only after a conversion of a part of them should you move on to a custom contact.
Note that the sales funnel is always delimited by activities that must be performed either by the Lead or by you. For the funnel, you must think in specific which phase the lead is to nourish it until it reaches the next step.
Always be well organized and methodical when structuring the activities to be carried out under the third of the 4 sales pillars. If you don’t have experience with structuring the Sales Funnel or the pillars in general, it is very likely that you will make some mistakes until you reach the time to reap results. Without experience, you’ll have to experiment several times before you reach the Sales Funnel that optimizes company resources and SDRs’ time.
Consider that the activities must lead to a funnel shape at the end. That is, leads must be discarded. A tip is not to structure a funnel too long or too small.
As the name implies, the third of the sales pillars has a funnel shape. You know what that means, don’t you?
When the sales funnel is too short, it is almost impossible to show which behavior led to conversion. Imagine a funnel that only has the following conversion: lead to customer. This may even work for a physical clothing store, which may not even need a sales to funnel, but in the vast majority of cases without defining other stages, it is difficult to organize what leads to conversion.
When the sales funnel is very long, greater than 6 steps, for example, the progression between the stages is very subtle and it is difficult to objectively understand what led to the conversion. A tip is to always think of an exit criterion for each step. And check in a disciplined way if this exit criterion is really happening and if not, you must find out if it is a failure of the process or the execution of the activity.
As the last of the 4 sales pillars, let’s talk about the qualification matrix.
Sales Pillars: Qualification Matrix
We can celebrate, we have just reached the last of the 4 sales pillars, known as the Qualification Matrix. The qualification matrix is composed of 4 categories that lead to understanding the quality of a lead.
The first parameter that the qualification matrix must contain is the concept of what MQL is.
The focus of this article is on the concept of MQL. If you want to know about SQL qualification, I indicate the following texts:
- Qualification of Leads: When to submit a proposal
- GPCT how to sell more and better
It is the composition of two situations that the lead may or may not fit and are delimited by interest and by fitting the reality of what you offer. Explaining the 4 categories.
- Unfit and uninterested
By fit, there is a lack of fitting the reality of what you offer. Maybe it’s not at the time of purchase due to lack of budget, for example. And the lack of interest could be because the lead doesn’t have the problem you are addressing or is from a completely different situation.
Bringing my experience with attracting non-governmental organizations and private companies, I came across situations where the lead was not interested in my solution. And sometimes because I didn’t establish the personas I met with leads that in no way fit my solution.
- Fit and uninterested
Initially, many leads may fall into this situation. This is more common in active prospecting but nothing that a well-established sales process, 4 well-structured sales pillars and good SDRs taking advantage of it cannot solve with mastery.
The purpose of this category is to nurture the lead to the point of taking it into a phase of interest.
- Unfit and interested
Despite not having fit with your solution this category is extremely interesting. It is a category that, despite not having a fit, is extremely engaged with your company.
A practical case is what happens with our blog.
Because we post quality content we have several people interacting through options like, share and retweet our content. This is extremely rewarding. In addition, they are people who can become future employees in the company.
It was my case. I was already very interested in the content that is produced here and as soon as the vacancy for the consultancy was opened, I ended up signing up. I remember that moment very well because of the text, Economists and Engineers.
What you should consider in this category from the last of the Sales Pillars is that leads at this point in the qualification matrix can serve to open doors to other opportunities.
- Fit and interested
If you’ve done your job right, structuring the 4 pillars of sales well, having a well-defined persona, understanding the buyer’s journey, a sales funnel with well-defined activities and also following this process in a structured way, you’ll see your efficiency increase. sales and leads will quickly fall into that last category.
It’s the leads that are in this big X that are most interesting because they have Fit and Interest in the solution. Thus, with this sales pillar, we can seek and focus on leads that contain these two factors.
In this step, the lead is known as Hot Lead and you should follow up as soon as possible.
One insight we can take is that we should not always deepen a sales conversation with the lead simply because it is engaged. For example: if he falls into the unfit but interesting category, trying to sell to him is a big waste of time as it doesn’t fit our product or service.
We now close our two articles on Sales Pillars with practical tips and insights on how to structure your pillars to have a more effective sales process and not just based on the feeling of your top performers.
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