If the goal of marketing is to guide people from discovering your brand for the first time to becoming a qualified potential customer, then understanding every part of that journey is essential. Most people refer to that process as the marketing funnel.
In most of the conversations I have, it’s easy for business leaders and marketing professionals to know if their marketing funnel is broken. The more difficult task is identifying which part is broken and how to fix it.
Your sales team might think you have a lead generation problem, but what is actually preventing them from hitting business development goals is that the leads they’re following aren’t ready to buy. This would be more of a lead nurturing issue.
In this post, we highlight a few areas of the marketing funnel, share specific ways you can identify the problem area, and, more importantly, tell you how to fix it.
How to Identify & Fix the Broken Parts of Your Marketing Funnel
How can you tell if your “top of the funnel” marketing efforts aren’t working? The signs of a brand awareness problem are easy to see—if you’re looking. Most awareness problems fall into this category: Your brand can’t capture its target audience. Analyzing metrics such as website traffic or foot traffic (if you’re a local shop or retail store) can be a great way to determine if enough people know who you are. Fixing this issue could include more digitally-oriented marketing tactics such as social media, SEO, or SEM.
Maybe you’re getting a decent amount of traffic to your website, but you have a hard time identifying who is visiting and if they could be a potential customer. Many factors make generating leads difficult. Are you offering a lead generation that people care about? Are you asking for the right information? Are you making it easy for people to find your lead generation resources and take action? Never underestimate the power of addressing your lead generation challenge; leads are the lifeblood of your marketing funnel.
The biggest challenge I hear from business leaders isn’t about lead quantity; it’s lead quality. To convert marketing leads to customers, you need to make sure you’re talking with the right people. Alongside your sales team, you should make sure you understand who you’re trying to reach. If you’re struggling to generate quality leads, it’s important to define buyer personas. This strategy helps you establish a compelling value proposition that educates people about how you can help them right now.
What do we do with the leads that might be qualified but aren’t ready to buy?
Many business development professionals toss these leads to the side—neglecting them until the person raises their hand again and expresses interest. If you’re struggling to convert qualified marketing leads (those with the power to make a purchase decision), then you might rethink how you’re nurturing them throughout the buying process. Many potential customers are exploring your brand, but they might not be ready to buy. This doesn’t mean you should ignore them.
Lead Hand-Off to Sales
The hand-off between marketing and sales is one of the easiest tasks to ruin in the demand generation process. As in a relay race, the lead hand-off should be an actual hand-off, not a toss.
If you feel like your sales team isn’t following up with quality leads, it’s crucial to have a documented process that is agreed upon by both sales and marketing.
Just as a doctor diagnoses which system in your body is causing illness, it’s vital to determine which areas of your marketing funnel are causing your lead issue. Without identifying the specific area that needs attention, you can’t create a truly healthy funnel.