I was stood in front of a whiteboard last week as I scribbled away whilst talking about 'sales funnels'. It was a repeat of a dialogue I have given many, many times over the past few years.
The sales funnel, no matter what you name the stages, is far too basic for social and modern selling. Sales people are interested in one thing, qualifying people out until they get to the sweet spot - the base of the funnel and a new customer.
Marketing do similar (or not, depending on where you work), leads come in and they qualify people out.
I can hear the uproar from here; 'No they don't Phil, they qualify people in'. Doesn't matter which way it happens - potential prospects will be shed if they don't hit the qualifying criteria of the day.
Sales funnels are off my agenda - I talk about concentric circles, the inner circle, or, if the mood takes me, reverse Catherine wheels.
Modern and social selling means we can add as many people as we want to our 'circle' - there is no limit and they can stay there for as long as they want. However as time progresses they either work their way towards the core or drift in and out to the edge - It doesn't matter.
Prospecting has never been easier and my suspect list is larger than ever. Not ready to buy, don't worry - stick around. I'm not booting anyone out.
I have a growing community that read and follow my content - engaging when they want. I also actively use Sales Navigator to identify 'leads and prospects' as I build on my social eminence.
The sales funnel has evolved. The tried and true sales and marketing model has been surpassed by flywheels, bowties, and more. But just like your grandmother kept her old cookie cutters to make Christmas cookies every year, the traditional sales and marketing funnel is still a helpful guide.