Whenever I address a sales focused audience I always know how to get a few laughs. I start to talk about the sales funnel. If I have a whiteboard available I draw a funnel in all it's splendor.
Then come the arrows (my way of showing leads pouring in) as I talk about how the funnel is filled up, which could be via a number of activities, including leads generated by marketing.
I address the audience 'What do sales immediately do? Try and 'qualify out' as much as possible.' Cue the first bout of laughter.
I mention how the same thing happens at each of the stages in the funnel. Then I tell them 'we all know that sales are only interested in getting rid of as many leads as possible so they can hit the sweet spot at the base of the funnel - the point where they can start selling! Cue small dose of laughter.
I then summarise what the sales funnel creates - a divide between sales and marketing. Why? Sales think the leads provided by marketing are rubbish and marketing think sales can't sell! Cue more laughter.
We are in the 21st century so why do we keep trying to re-hash something that's past its sell-by-date.
On my whiteboard - I draw lots of concentric circles, I tell my audience how I can have a gazillion 'leads' circling me - they know I'm there because I keep 'waving' and feeding out content. None of them are forced to engage with me, but, because I'm creating content that's of interest - when the time is right - they engage with me. They feel they can trust me and the relationship blossoms, meetings can take place and sales can be made. How I love social media.
Want me to draw this on your whiteboard? Invite me to your sales meeting
To fix the broken sales funnel, organisations clearly need to use to fresh, accurate and GDPR compliant data. But that is just the start: successful sales activity is underpinned by a scientific, structured and metrics driven approach that leverages multi-dimensional real-time data.