Some businesses believe that the phrase “sales funnel” is just another business buzzword.  This may be because many of the businesses that use it, aren’t managing it effectively.  When this occurs, critical problems arise such as lost data, lead spamming and poor customer satisfaction.  By using an online CRM to effectively manage your sales funnel, you can turn these problems around.

Why You Need a Sales Funnel

The sales funnel was created as a way for sales and marketing to track leads and contacts through every stage from prospect to buyer.  By using the sales funnel, marketers can sift through prospects and classify them as qualified, or unqualified before passing them on to sales.  This eliminates the “cold-calling” reputation that sales agents were previously known for.  Since the agent knows the contact is already interested, they can use the information gathered on the contact record by marketing to assist them in the sale.  If the buyer isn’t interested at the time that sales calls them, the lead is passed back through the funnel or kicked out of it.  However, in order for the funnel to remain effective, it has to be managed.

Why Your Funnel Has Leaks

Sales funnels that aren’t managed effectively are counterproductive.  They can actually make a bad situation much worse, resulting in lost sales, frustrated leads and a poor brand reputation. If you’re currently experiencing these problems you may have leaks in your sales funnel.

The following items are common precursors to funnel leaks:

  • Not contacting qualified leads from marketing. (According to CRM Search, 80% of marketing generated leads generated are ignored by sales.)
  • Pursuing unqualified leads.
  • Not knowing a lead’s status.
  • Not following up with leads.

How Customer Relationship Management Can Help

What’s clear from the above section, is that most leaks affect leads/contacts.  Whether it’s calling leads that are unqualified or forgetting to follow up, leaks in the sales funnel will drive down sales and could even damage your reputation.  To keep your funnel free of leaks, you need a CRM system. A CRM system, tracks and organizes data through the sales funnel. It gives every team member the same view of the sales funnel, so any updates or notes are immediately visible.

As soon as a contact becomes qualified, the information is passed through the funnel directly to sales to contact the prospective customer. This eliminates the need to look through various systems for information, which is one of the largest precursors to sales funnel leaks.  A successful CRM also providescalendaring systems that allow agents to schedule events, tasks, and important milestones.  The Insightly CRM provides alerts and notifications of new emails and follow-ups, this way you never miss any changes with your leads.

Since web CRMs work in the cloud, you can access your sales funnel from any device with WiFi connection. If you need to update the status of a sale, you can do so from this device without having to update it again at work. All of your team members have access to your changes, allowing you to effectively, track data through the funnel.

Thinking about a CRM to manage your sales funnel?  Try Insightly’s free account or sign up for a 14 day trial to test drive our premium features.