When two veteran B2B software chicks go to lunch, it’s pretty natural to talk shop. Within minutes my colleague says, “My funnel is busticated. What do I do?”
Busticated., Wiktionary defines this word as: “1. simple past tense and participle of busticate.” Well that’s not helpful at all, Mr. Wiki… Most urban dictionaries define this word as ‘to break into pieces,’ and I like to think of it in an un-wikied universe as busted. But busticated just sounds so much better and well… current.
The talk turned quickly from “What do I do?” to me asking “Where is the problem in the funnel?” Out comes my notebook and my pen; the funnel sketches begin, and the questions are asked. I map out the funnel and I add two reverse funnels: one on the right for marketing assets, and the one on the left for resources (i.e. people) and start analyzing my colleague’s funnel.
Voila! Within minutes there are two problems easily identified:
Problem # 1.
There are no high value marketing assets built for the bottom of the funnel.
Sales associates need to keep in touch with their prospects in a long b2b software sales cycle. Therefore they need marketing assets that are timely, fresh and most importantly…of increasing value. In the case of my colleague’s problem, the marketing team had only placed emphasis on building assets for the top of the funnel. The marketing team had been doing a great job at getting new leads into the funnel but were not creating any assets that helped the sales team nurture those prospects for the full prospect journey. Basically this means that after about 2 months, the sales associates had nothing left to give to their prospects that had value.
Problem # 2.
The senior management team is disengaged with the sales cycle.
From what I gleaned, internal turmoil has turned all the leadership team into “hey that’s not my problem” types. Their apathy was pushing responsibility to the sales reps instead of supporting them at the critical funnel stages of the deal. The question is how to get these executives engaged in the funnel? This often happens when organizations do not have an objective around Sales Enablement. This term gets thrown around the boardroom pretty easily, but not that many B2B software companies follow through. Everyone on the leadership team needs to ‘feel’ they are in sales. As one of my favorite authors, Daniel Pink, asserts in his book, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, that 1 in 9 workers is in sales and then he adds, (significantly, in my opinion), that so are the other 8 in 9.
The solution is not too hard to come up with once you have identified some of the key problems. This funnel is surely busticated but now we know what to start fixing. A little marketing priority shift, and a tweak of culture change, and this funnel could be humming again and closing deals in 90 days.