Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

The sales funnel is a way to visually depict your sales process from initial contact to final sale. There are plenty of generic sales funnel templates out there, but in order for it to truly have an impact on your team’s ability to analyze and manage a portfolio of sales opportunities, it needs to accurately represent your company’s specific buying process and stages. Follow these steps to learn how to build and analyze a sales funnel that is unique to your team.

Step 1: How Many?

When Sales VPs and managers set out to design their sales process, a common question is how many sales funnel stages they should have. As with most aspects of your businesses’ sales process, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are industry standards and best practices that can help guide your decision. Learn what those benchmarks are and how to apply them to your team.

Step 2: What Kind?

In addition to having the right number of stages, it’s also equally important to have the right type of stages. This means laying out very clear and specific guidelines as to what the criteria is for each one. If your stages are misaligned to your sales teams’ activities, it will negatively impact your prospect’s decision-making process. You should look at your sales funnels stages as both mile markers and building blocks. This post will explain how to go about defining each stage and choosing which ones are right for your team.

Step 3: What Does It All Mean?

Now that you have the perfect sales funnel that sets your team up for success, you’ll be able to clearly measure where your team is succeeding and where they might be falling behind. Knowing the in’s and out’s of your sales funnel and having a clear picture of how opportunities are moving through it is a game-changer. That is, if you know how to analyze it. This article will give you a roadmap to analyze the data in a sales funnel report so you can put it to good use.

As your business evolves, it’s important to reevaluate your sales funnel using these steps to make sure it continues to accurately depict your sales process. When your product and deals become more complex, so might the qualifying criteria for each stage. They should be frequently measured and monitored in order to fully understand their efficacy within the process. By doing so, you will be able to easily identify elements of your sales process that need improvement and ultimately drive more sales.

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Comments
  • Caroline Cronk

    I really appreciate how the steps you have outlined let businesses develop their own, custom sales funnel. While it may be easier to use a generic model funnel, each business has its own unique goals and needs. So it only makes sense that their sales funnel should be specific to their products and/or services as well as their sales cycle.

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