Keep Your Sales Funnel Flowing

by Jenna Sindle
B2B organizations like yours invest resources to train sales executives on how to prospect and qualify. The goal, of course, is to convert more leads into sales opportunities and closed deals.The majority of enterprise sales training programs coach reps on middle of the funnel lead nurturing and product knowledge to convert known prospects into customers.What about coaching to help reps with top of the funnel lead introduction?  Isn’t that just as important?

According to a SiriusDecisions sales enablement market and trends survey, 71 percent of organizations report that a top business issue is sales rep inability to connect offerings to client business issues. Moreover, 29 percent of companies say their sales reps lack necessary selling skills.How can a sales rep connect with a prospect if they never schedule an introductory meeting or phone call?Marketers often lament about leads sitting unattended in a sales rep’s Email inbox for days…weeks…even months. This lack of action is often attributed to discomfort by the sales team when it comes to initiating dialogue and discussion.

According to Steve Richard, Co-founder and Managing Partner at VorsightBP, “Collectively we are very sophisticated at bottom of the funnel sales training…The problem is that sales process methodologies presume that you have a qualified opportunity in the first place.  By and large there is a massive void when it comes to top of funnel sales training.”

Below are a couple of questions to ask to determine if your sales reps are prospecting rock stars, or if your sales team could benefit from some top of the funnel sales training:

  • Do your reps sound any different from competitors calling on the same prospects?
  • A sales rep has just seconds to gain traction with a prospect. How effective are your reps at quickly piquing curiosity and establishing credibility?
  • How efficient is your team at finding the right contacts at new accounts?
  • How good are your reps at getting past gatekeepers?
  • How successful is your team at converting prospecting activities into genuine next steps?
  • Is your process for prospecting repeatable and scalable across the organization?
Want to learn more?  Check out this replay of “Filling the Sales Funnel: Focus On the Top To Raise Your Bottom Line”, a 30-minute webinar featuring Steve Richard of VorsightBP and hosted by Marc Hausman of Strategic Communication Group.