I wish I have a Sales Funnel

A funnel is defined in Wikipedia as “a pipe with a wide mouth, good for feeding... Without a funnel, spillage would occur.”

But in my sales most leads do not turn into clients and spillage actually occurs! Oh, my God, instead of a sales funnel I got a sales sieve! I wish I have a funnel where sooner or later any lead would become customer...

Also, in a physical funnel stream speed grows from mouth on, instead later sales phases tend to be slower. I can qualify a prospect in minutes but discussing agreement details can take weeks.

I don't think my case is an exception, so, why does everybody speak about sale funnels? Is this another marketing buzzword?

Well, I leave the question to your mind. My concern is not the term but about using a funnel shape to visualize sales figures. Here is a typical sample I googled:

I intentionally erased the numeric values to ask you two simple questions:

  1. What's the ratio of Potential Presentation to Potential New?
  2. What's the ratio of Closed to Potential New?

To check your answer, look at the original figure with explicit numbers (why a chart if you shall read values?):

Oh yes! 52% and 5% respectively. If you hit, stop reading right now and go to your preferred betting site.

Now compare with a traditional combined chart:

The bar chart (blue) roughly corresponds to the "funnel chart", but is quite more readable.

The line chart (orange) represents how much you spill between phases. Your largest spill is between Pot. Client and Client Active. It is  here that you shall probably concentrare improvement efforts. You can't visualize this neither from the funnel chart nor from the bar chart.

Not fancy? Not innovative? Too much Cartesian? Maybe, but surely more effective. Don't you agree?

What is really curious is that the “sales funnel” chart is becoming so cool that most CRM and marketing automation solutions emphasize it. Somebody already figured a way to use last HTML5 technology to plot it.

Please understand, I do not want to be polemic and I am not criticizing any product or tool, but many times “fancy charts” are useless, as explained in Stephen Few books.

Once again, the KISS principle applies.



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Last modified on 2013-05-29 by Administrator