How to end the difficulty of pushing qualified leads down the sales funnel?

Leena Fernandes

Leena Fernandes

January 15, 2021 |

How to end the difficulty of pushing qualified leads down the sales funnel?

‘’68% of companies have not identified or attempted to measure a sales funnel, and the same survey showed that a whopping 79% of marketing leads are never converted into sales.’’

Is this you?

Do you also find it difficult in moving leads for sale?

Well not just you, but your fellow peers to experience the same pain.

‘’37% of marketers say the most challenging part of their job is prospecting’’ and with the trends emerging along with the market growing every year, this task becomes more and more difficult. 

The fact is you can get the prospect to move towards a sales funnel in the initial stage, but to bring that same lead deeper down, that is when clashes, mistakes or even the wrong nurturing takes place.

However, this article isn’t written to acknowledge the fact that moving leads for sale is hard. In fact, we wrote it to help sales reps like you get the confidence to conduct efficient sales funnel actions in a quicker time period. 

What to expect in this article that can help guide you?

Let’s start.


Sales Funnel: A simplified meaning

Sales funnel is the process of understanding where your leads or potential prospects stand in your sales process. 

The beginning of the sales funnel starts from the awareness stage and the agenda here is to make a lead who starts from the top to reach the last stage of the sales funnel which is advocacy.

Today, especially in 2021 getting the prospect to just complete a purchase isn’t enough to retain their attention and invest in your brand continuously. After the purchase, there is a loyalty that comes forward and a word-of-mouth promotion which proves that such leads are here to stay.

Despite having this chart, you as a sales rep will still lose leads. They might reach a certain stage but then they would just walk off. At times like this, this is a warning sign that you need to work on your sales funnel and the actions you conduct if you wish to push your leads closer to the last line of the sales funnel.

Let’s understand this better with a closer look at the sales funnel.

Interesting Read : 15 Demand Generation Tools to Drive Traffic, Convert Leads, and Close Deals


Stages of Sales funnel Explained

Stage 1: Awareness

In this stage, you will be dealing with new prospects that are going to be aware of your brand. You will be addressing your prospects with different forms of content marketing such as blogs or ebooks and more, social media campaigns, and more.

This stage is dedicated to helping your prospect understand that your brand exists in the market and that the solution you offer is what will cater to the needs they are on the lookout for.

This is the solution it offers that matches the prospect’s interest. Your prospects understand that there are multiple competitors in the market and for them to find you through this vast crowd, you need to conduct actions that can bring their attention towards your brand. 

Stage 2: Interest

Once you’re successful in conducting the above action, the interest of your prospects is what needs to be retained. This is a crucial factor because if your prospects don’t accept what you’re offering, they can walk away. 

Let’s understand this better with an example:

Say that you’re a marketing company that sells good softwares that can help your prospect conduct convenient online actions such as creating blogs, ebooks, case studies and more. Now for your prospect to understand that convenience, you need to create effective solutions that can make your prospect have the urge to learn more about your product.

The best way to do this is when you make use of the content, ‘’Only 66% of B2B marketers frequently prioritize their audience’s needs over their sales message when creating content. Of the most successful content marketers, 88% do.’’ Content can push your prospects’ interests deeper and get them to explore your brand better.

Getting back to the example, so say that you have posted multiple blogs, created email campaigns that have made your prospects click on them. Upon clicking they are then guided to a blog post that can help them find what they are searching for. If the content they are reading impresses them, your prospect will go on to read more until they decide that it’s time to speak to you directly. 

Stage 3: Decision

In this stage, your prospects whose interests are captured in the above stage needs to be retained for longer. The prospect has come to you but he or she isn’t convinced that they are going to invest in you. They are here to speak to you about your solution and how it can help them in catering to their needs.

Here making use of your current leads testimonials, reviews and more such similar actions can play a huge role for your prospects to convert into a sales lead as it gives better insights on how the brand is being perceived. Also giving your prospects a better view of your products via free trials and demos and also not collecting credit card information is another way to get them to invest in your solution.

For example, say that your prospects are making use of your 14 day trial period, in those days they will be able to understand what your product does, how convenient it is for you, how it’s making your work easier and how it is easy for your brand to grow. When your leads consider and witnessed al this, that is when you have convinced them to make that investment. 

Stage 4: Action

Now that you have convinced your prospects that they can invest in your brand, this doesn’t mean that your work here is done. Remember that your prospects can have second thoughts and the minute they don’t find you around, they are going to walk away.

Your purpose here is to ensure that your prospects continue to invest in you and start being loyal to your brand, this can happen when you continue to engage with your prospects with the following:

  • Email campaigns about your products
  • Sharing information on how to use your products
  • Sending tutorials, short videos, and content to help your prospect.

Having a team member cater and engage with your new prospects regularly can also contribute to helping your prospects have a pleasant and comfortable experience with your product and brand.

Stage 5: Re-engagement

As stated earlier, your job doesn’t end here. You need to continue assisting your prospects and ensuring that they are having a good time using your product and engaging with your brand. When this process takes place smoothly, these prospects start to use word of mouth to get you more new prospects, ‘’B2B companies with referrals experience a 70% higher conversion rate.’’

Such prospects spread the word quicker and you can find yourself receiving more traffic than usual on your page.

To ensure that this happens, you can conduct the following:

  • Ensuring that your prospects are always receiving content from your end to learn about your product such as new feature updates and more
  • Ensuring that you’re always following up with such prospects to let them know that your team is always here to help or engage with them, for instance say with our callback solution, Limecall, you can go on to connect with our solution in less than 28 seconds to clarify or speak to the right person.
  • By being available when your prospects need you

Now that you have a better understanding of how a sales funnel is, let’s help you understand better the perks you receive with its presence. 


Perks of having a sales funnel

1. Your marketing game will be on point

When you decide how to market to your prospects, the main points would be creating campaigns, writing blogs, and more. But despite this, you still engage with bad leads that will not be able to add value to your brand or the products that you sell. But with a sales funnel, you don’t have to worry about this factor.

Your marketing game will be more curated as per the sales funnel stages. You will be aware of where your prospects stand on these stages and what you should do to get them to push themselves towards the end, you will start to create your marketing game in such a manner where it becomes easy to conduct this action. 

Let’s understand this with an example:

Say that your prospects are in the decision stage and they are stuck, you need to get them to invest in your solution so that they can move to the re-engagement stage. In this case, you realize that real information from your existing prospects can help so your marketing strategy here would be to display more social proofs, customer testimonials, and more. 

2. Have a better overview of your sales actions

A sales funnel lets you have a better understanding of what your sales pipeline looks like. When you have such data in your hand, it becomes easier for you to improve what you are doing.

For example, when you’re aware that your awareness stage is pushing your leads slower to the next stage, you can work on increasing that. You could share more insightful blogs, direct the prospects to newer blogs that you’ve created, and more. This all will help you to trigger the actions to push the leads forward. 

3. Better lead conversion rates experienced through sales funnel

When you have leads that are easily moving down the sales funnels, for instance from being interested about your content, they are going forward to speak to your sales team, you are bound to receive better lead conversion rates. The whole agenda of increasing your lead conversion rates is to ensure that all your leads are walking on the same route. When your leads are passing through the sales funnel smoothly, you are bound to have better and higher lead conversion rates. 

4. You engage with only the qualified leads

There are a lot of leads that you will be dealing with when you start with the sales funnel, but by the mid or the end of the stages of the funnel, you will only be investing in the qualified leads. The genuine leads are the ones that will be an asset to your business. Hence all the effort that you put here will help you capture only the good leads that will matter to your brand

5. Personalized sales action through sales funnel

As you’re aware that not all your leads are the same, each of them would take their time when it comes to capturing their interest in your product and then going on to invest in your solution. In such a situation, you have to personalize every action as per the prospects activity which makes it more effective. 

For example, say that a prospect is more interested in learning about your solution while another prospect just requires another push to make that investment. The marketing strategy for both these prospects will be different.

For instance, with the prospect that requires a push, making use of reviews, demos, and customer testimonials can help.

While for the other prospect, sharing more insightful blogs can help to convince the prospect better. 

While we understand how the sales funnel functions and the pros, however, you still need to conduct it properly. Let’s learn deeper on how to identify such mistakes so that you can apply the above measures well.


Reasons for leads not reaching down the sales funnel

1. You still can’t identify the right leads

You are aware that you will get all sorts of leads that will come to your website but still you’re not being able to identify which are those leads that are the right fit. As a result, you’ll be engaging with those leads that are not your ideal audience type, and hence here is when time is being wasted and conversion rate drops. 

2. The prospects are not being headed in the right route through sales funnel

When you plan a sales funnel, the main agenda here is to understand that they need to reach the end of it. When you deal with a prospect you need to meet the agenda. However, in the hurry to make a sale, sales reps tend to miss a few of the steps and push the leads forward when they are not ready.

Let’s understand this with an example:

Say that a prospect has entered the awareness stage, what you should do is get the prospect to understand who you are and what you do. What ideally happens is, the sales rep will bind the prospect with blogs and more in the first stage itself ( this step is the second stage one ideally) hence skipping the second stage and then directly push them to the third step which is the decision stage.

This cannot take place because your prospects require nurturing and just like how the first stage is important for moving leads for sale, the second stage adds value to the sales funnel. The prospect has to go through the entire stage of the sales funnel if you wish to convert it into a sales lead. 

3. You’re not doing enough in the sales funnel stages

When you’re aware that the first stage is the awareness stage where the prospect needs to learn more about your brand, you need to enforce your complete focus on it. Don’t just create email campaigns, social media posts, and think you’re done, you need to work on capturing your prospect and make them spend more time on your website.

The more effort you put into achieving each stage’s agenda, the better are your chances of moving leads for sale.

4. You’re missing after the decision stage

As mentioned before, your decision stage isn’t the end of the sales funnel, you also have another step which is the re-engagement part. You need to understand once again here is that your prospects have made the decision to invest in you but they are not completely convinced. They will have their doubts and more about such as whether your product is good enough and more .

This is exactly why you need to continue being with them even after the fourth stage. In this stage, you can clear all doubts about the prospects and get them to trust you better. 

5. Lack of nurturing actions inside the sales funnel

Every lead for it to move forward will require the right amount of nurturing. If you wish to see sales via your sales funnel, your nurturing game needs to be on point. What happens, if sales reps are under the illusion that a good two or three calls are enough to say that the prospect will convert but the reality is different, ‘’92% of sales pros give up after the 4th call, but 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes.’’

You need not worry about a leaky funnel if you are following these tips. We have curated so that you start moving leads for sale the right way. 


Top tips to push moving leads for sale

1. Know when to push the leads

When you’re capturing your prospect’s interest in the second stage of the sales funnel, you would continue to share blogs and other content so that the prospects are aware of what your brand and product are all about. However, you need to also understand when it’s time to push the prospect towards the next step.

In this situation, the best time to do this is when your prospects are 80% there to give your brand the investment opportunity. During such a time, the next stage would be ideal to clear all the doubts and make that 80% increase to a further 90%. 

2. Only share and conduct relevant actions

When you’re aware that your prospects are in a stage, it is always great to conduct the action on the basis of what your prospects want to be catered about.

For example, say that your prospects still want to explore your blog articles, in such cases, you continue to share what they want to read.

When you conduct such actions, you’re deepening the knowledge the prospect can have for you which can ignite the action of them moving to the next stage of the sales funnel and finally to becoming your sales lead. 

3. Capture your prospects with offers, freebies, and more

The sales funnel will have different types of ways to lure your prospects to push forward, however, the top practices that can help make a difference are by offering offers, discounts, free demos, and more. 

When you apply and share all of these with your prospects, they will be compelled to give it a chance.

When this happens, they will learn better about you, and moving down to the sales funnel will not be a hassle task. 

4. Create your ideal prospect profile

Your prospects ideal profile would contain all that you need to know about them, 

  • Their likes and dislikes
  • Questions they would they enquire about
  • Their patterns, actions be, and more? 

You need to create such profiles so that you can identify who your ideal audience is. When this happens, you can stop wasting your time converting the wrong leads and be focused on pushing your ideal audience further. 

5. Be prepared for everything

Whether it is at the beginning of the sales funnel, or towards the end, you need to always be prepared for what your prospect requires from you. For example, after the decision stage, you need to still re-engage with your prospects, for that to happen, you need to create content that will make your prospects aware that you’re still here to help them and that you’ve not forgotten them.

It could be any stage, it could be even the moment you’re nurturing your leads. Be prepared with the right content so that your leads attention and interest are on point in all the stages of the sales funnel.

Your peers have been conducting this action, which is exactly what you need to get started with. To make this journey helpful for you, we have shared a few examples for you to get a better picture of it.

Interesting Read : How to automate your lead nurturing campaign process for maximum impact?


Top examples to take inspiration from

1. Netflix

To sign in to Netflix is simple. Their sales funnel is easy, they have a homepage where they mention how easy it is to sign in on Netflix, how you can cancel anytime as well.

When you agree with that they push you to the next sales funnel which is the pricing, in the pricing you just need to choose your plan and get started.  

After you invested in Netflix, this brand continues to send recommendations and notifications so that you always know what to watch.

It also shows recommendations so that your watching experience can always be the way you wish it to be. For example, say that you watched a thriller movie and want to watch something similar more, Netflix conducts that on your behalf. 

2. Harvest

Harvest is a time tracking software where it helps brands to make use of time well. It helps brands to conduct timely actions and understand how to eliminate unnecessary time wastage.

The sales funnel is simple here, the homepage lets prospects immediately be guided towards learning about the brand. 

They even place a 30 day free trial on the homepage so that prospects can get started with it to see how it works. 

After this, the next step is to sign up in order for the prospect to conduct the free trial. A lot of customer testimonials are also covered so that the prospect can be nurtured well. 


The Bottom Line…

‘’96% of visitors to your website aren’t ready to buy anything (yet).’’

But that shouldn’t stop you from approaching them because it’s not like they won’t ever buy from you, they will, all they need is that slight push which you with the help of the above information can make it happen.

Your leads are growing and with time they will continue to grow and evolve, the sales funnel methods will require a bit of a tweak but in the end, you will know what needs to be done to cater to your ideal leads.

So tell us, what did you think of this article? Was it helpful? Did you find the facts and information helpful?

Share your answers with a tweet.

Leena Fernandes

Leena Fernandes

A writer by choice. Leena has served her passion for writing mainly into the B2B marketplaces.

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