The approach (created by FunnelWise) gives an excellent overview of the revenue funnel holistically, combining marketing and sales perspective. In many cases, marketing is very knowledgeable about marketing part of the funnel, but can not recall sales stages; and sales have the same problem. Organizational alignment can be easily checked based on the understanding of “the other side” of the funnel by functional groups.
Important to define clear business and technical criteria for funnel stages. Interesting, splitting definitions into business and technical seem to be more and more common in the industry.
Though funnel is often perceived as a sequential movement of records, in reality, records move around and do not always follow expected route. Funnel stages definitions are critical to understand the process.
Check definitions and descriptions of each stage:
- Where do records enter the stage from?
- How exactly do I know when they enter?
- Where do they exist?
- How exactly do I know when they exist?
- Are these criteria documented and communicated across the business and everyone that interacts with records in this stage?
The main funnel is the aggregate of a variety of sub-funnels, which can be organized by:
- individual sales rep
- sales team/sales manager
- lead sources/lead source detail
- campaign or program
- geography or region
- industry of vertical
- product or product line
- business unit
Funnels might have different shapes:
“Top heavy” – some stages are not used properly (either skipped or there are no reduction in records going through). Stages definitions might need to be reviewed.
“Upside-down” funnel on top and Closed Won records are entering directly into this stage. Could be related to the internal process issues or stage definitions (records are entering directly into later stages).
“Bulging funnel” – records are entering in a couple of stages – most likely process issue.
Fully “upside-down” funnel. Funnels definitions need revisions, or the process is not being followed properly.
How to handle improvements: one aspect at a time; important to prioritize which improvement will get the most $$.
The book also suggests clear operational steps to keep sales and marketing on the same page, such as meeting schedule below.
Very useful book for anybody in marketing or sales organization – highly recommend.