Marketing funnel: quality or quantity?

Many people think that marketing is about getting enquiries in at the top of the sales funnel. The more enquiries the better.

But is that really the case?

Well no, on both counts.

It is quality of enquiry that matters. Fewer enquiries from the correct target market will serve your organisation better than more enquiries from totally irrelevant people which waste your employee’s time qualifying and discounting them.

Marketing does work to put leads into the top of the funnel, but Marketing should also work on moving leads through the decision process. Helping to inform the customer at each stage until they are sales qualified and ready to discuss an order.

Let me give an example from earlier in my consultancy. A B2B company told me that they had to generate 1 million leads a year. I pointed out that that was far bigger than the target market size and why did they want that many? The reply from their Marketing Director was that the conversion rate was so poor that they only closed one in a thousand and they needed a thousand sales a year.

Alarm bells were ringing in my head.

Instead of looking at why the conversion rates were lower, the client had just been spending more and more money on activity that was not correct for them. They could spend LESS on marketing and CONVERT more sales by using marketing correctly.

It was a typical case of marketing being totally disconnected from sales. Marketing had not provided any sales enablement tools (case studies, sales presentations, white papers, ROI models…) to help sales close the deals. More importantly, marketing had not identified who they should be targeting by job title, sector or geographical location. They had not examined where they had been successful in the past to see where they could be successful in the future. No campaign stats at all. They also had no qualification process before leads were passed to sales. Always a mistake as then sales action the first couple and ignore the rest.

It was easily fixed by taking that all important step back and asking “Why”. Do not always do what you have always done, just because you have always done it – you could be repeating mistakes which are costing your business lost revenue and increased marketing spend so a double hit to profitability!