The importance of top of funnel activity - avoid the lockdown impact lasting longer than necessary.
The impact of recent months presented business owners with challenges they couldn't predict. For example, pause sales activity and “hunkerdown” or push through to recover lost deals and delayed opportunities.
Every business decision is unique, so here we explore what our clients consider key to success. We will also consider how clients are filling the funnel despite cancelled physical interaction planned marketing events.
In this blog, let's assume a sales cycle of 6 months from first engagement to signing a deal.
We are now approaching the end of Q2 and preparing for H2 2020. You are not alone if lockdown restrictions are affecting your business. So the strength of your pipeline going into H2 is now key. Do you know your conversion ratio from engagement to proposal to close. Is there enough in the funnel to deliver on H2 or recover lost ground from H1.
Good questions but what we are hearing is more critical where longer sales cycles exist. In other words, how are we set up for 2021?
What do you need to do based on conversion numbers and do you have a Plan B? Build top of the funnel now to have a genuine impact on H1 2021.
If your sales cycles are shorter than 6 months then this discussion is still relevant but apply the appropriate time lines for your model.
So work your own algorithm from first contact to close. If you don’t understand it or need to manipulate it, then we recommend that you put time into this today and we can talk you through that. Our clients are recalculating this on a regular cadence, especially today.
In other words, do enough top of funnel activity despite the challenges to ensure you hit your targets for H2 2020 and even more importantly H1 2021.
But key to this is how much do you need at the top of the funnel to recover any lost ground and achieve your target? Bearing in mind previous calculations are becoming redundant.
We are seeing a 30% increase in initial discussions across our client’s prospects. Target personas say they have time and desire to talk about their options for the future. They want to have the tools to react to the future.
But our clients also report a 25-30% delay in decision processes to close. So combining these factors, most clients are expressing a need for at least double the top of funnel pipeline to hit the targets set before the crisis.
So what is the impact on types of activity you planned at the beginning of the year? Think about the activity from face to face marketing events that won't happen now? Should you focus on marketing initiatives you thought were secondary and elevate them?
Webinars and or virtual marketing events are now more important. These have proved hugely successful for our clients supported by our outreach.
We have also seen real success from questionnaires to research target prospects. Reports delivering industry insight with actual market commentary are well received. Sharing peer group opinions and even creating a group to share insight can help. Thought leadership is now key and puts you in the right place when prospects open their doors again.
If the above is making some sense, but the first steps forward are unclear then feel free to contact us. We can share what is working across our clients from the start ups to the multinationals or just validate/challenge your ideas.
Author: Liam Huskinson