When it comes to sales and marketing, it’s not uncommon for business owners to get overwhelmed by all of the ideas that are often thrown at them. But Chris Darnell, sales and marketing expert with The Harvest Group, says there’s no doubt today’s business owners are looking for a clear path to improve profitability and continually feed the sales funnel. They want to make use of sales and marketing concepts that make sense—but they don’t want to get bogged down by ideas that might not be right for them.
Ultimately, landscape business owners are seeking simple solutions for feeding their sales channels with qualified leads.
Darnell will be presenting more about this during his LANDSCAPES session “Sales and Marketing: Funnels & Pipelines—Which Is Which and How Can They Help Me Grow?” But to get you prepped for his talk, we asked Darnell to share a few of his key tips with us today.
Feed the Sales Funnel Tip #1: Develop your “Lead Funnel” First
Darnell says the biggest problem he sees companies face is poor lead generation. With a good lead funnel, you simply cannot have a strong sales funnel. The two are interchangeably linked.
“These companies have ‘salespeople’ but no real way to ‘feed’ them sales,” Darnell says. “That’s an issue when 80 percent of the buying decision is completed before they ever even call your company for a consultation.”
The solution starts out by having a “lead funnel” that is separate from your company’s “sales funnel,” says Darnell.
“Your sales funnel is the process in which your salespeople transition leads through the sales experience of their company,” explains Darnell. “But a well-developed lead funnel helps drive the traffic you actually want, not just any old leads. For instance, if you are a commercial company, you don’t want to drive commercial leads. This is why you need to work on both funnels to channel the right leads into sales.”
Feed the Sales Funnel Tip #2: Anticipate that Multiple Traffic Sources Will Drive Lead Generation
So where are these leads coming from? According to Darnell, your company’s website should be one of your biggest focuses for driving leads—and if it’s lacking, then your leads will be lacking, too. Darnell says that your website can be a powerful tool and is often the first impression that prospective clients have of your business. If it needs work, it’s important to take time to update your website.
Lead generation can also occur through targeted direct mail, social media and advertising (both via social media and search engines) and these potential sources should also be addressed.
“The bottom line,” says Darnell, “is that if you’re not utilizing several avenues of lead generation, then you will not be successful in a rapidly changing the business environment. There is not a successful one-size-fits-all approach.”
Feed the Sales Funnel Tip #3: You Must Be Willing to Adapt your Processes
At the end of the day, those who have the most success will be those that are willing to make changes—even simple ones—to their processes.
“Those who attend the session will receive an overview of a lead funnel and how it will feed their sales funnel,” says Darnell. “I will have a worksheet that will help them brainstorm their own processes and how they can apply new processes to what they’re already doing.”
Darnell says anyone who attends his session will also receive free access to a valuable resource entitled, “10 Ways to Improve Your Online Presence & Create More Leads.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Want more business-building tips? Attend LANDSCAPES!