Last week, we talked about flipping the Sales Funnel upside down so that more selective prospects are attracted to you, generating more sales with less effort. Prospects, however, are only one part of building a durable and sustainable pipeline.
Current clients and referral sources are more critical than prospects to establish a strong foundation for your Sales Funnel and together they make up one’s future sales. Focus on your clients and referral source first and you will expand sales more quickly and at less cost than pursuing your next hot prospect.
Look at your client base – What problem do you solve for your clients? Why do they buy from you? If you sell multiple products, what percentage of your clients purchase multiple products from you? What are the common characteristics shared by these clients? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can identify leads within and beyond your client base that have these characteristics.
Clients are bottom of the Sales Funnel opportunities. They are your easiest and least costly sales to make. Spend time with your clients when you are not delivering service to cement your relationships.
Referral sources that send 4 to 5 clients to you per year are incredibly valuable and need to be cultivated. Referrals from reliable sources are middle of the Sales Funnel opportunities and are less costly than the expense of converting a new prospect to a sale. Referring business to your referral sources is important so choose your referral sources with that in mind. Build social relationships with your referral sources and they will send more business.
Many salespeople spend their most time finding and qualifying new prospects. It is very time consuming and inefficient and generates Follow Up Fatigue (FUF). FUF is common among salespeople who spend too much time following up on prospects without knowing whether they are qualified. The effort generates only top of funnel activity and its cost to convert a prospect is much higher than receiving a referral or from expanding services to a current client.
As prospecting is the most expensive sale to make, being selective becomes critical. So how do you know if a lead is qualified? Some signs of unqualified leads are:
- Follow calls are short or go unanswered.
- You sense immediate resistance.
- Your contact will not bring in the decision makers.
- Your website generates initial interest and then visitors exit quickly.
These are but a few symptoms that, when unheeded, lead to FUF.
In each case, targeted follow up places you in the position to generate new sales. Automating 80% of your outreach expands the time you have for “Hi Touch” engagement with your top clients, referrers and prospects. The combination of “High Touch and Hi Tech” is powerful so you can focus on clients, referrers and 20% of your prospects. Automated outreach to clients, referrers and prospects keeps you “Front of Mind.” As people hate to be sold but love to buy, it is our role to educate, be available and reduce the fear of the buying decision.
Please click here to discuss sales strategies focused on clients, referrers and prospects. We will be excited to share how to build your durable Sales Funnel.