Bubble in the Funnel

Posted by Dan McDade

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on Oct 20, 2016 10:21:52 AM

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Per Healthline Media, an air embolism, also called a gas embolism­, occurs when one or more air bubbles enter a vein or artery and block it. These air bubbles can travel to your brain, heart, or lungs and cause a heart attack, stroke, or respiratory failure.

We generate, qualify and nurture leads using Account-Based Marketing processes. At the start of 2016, we were brought in to support a group of sales reps who did not make their numbers in 2015. To date in 2016, these same territory reps have exceeded their numbers. Their “reward”? No more support in 2017.

According to Wikipedia, Root Cause Analysis (or RCA) is defined as “a method of problem solving that tries to identify the root causes of faults or problems. A root cause is a cause that once removed from the problem fault sequence, prevents the final undesirable event from recurring.” Taking support of these reps out of the equation is definitely not going to “remove a cause from the problem fault sequence that caused an undesirable event.”

Simply put, the root cause of the problem in 2015 was that reps were forced to find their own leads—or had poor-quality “leads” dumped on them—most of which they ignored. Snatching support away from these territories will cause what I call a ‘bubble in the funnel.’ In three months, there will be no pipeline, and by the time they figure it out, half of their year will be gone. The result? They’ll miss their numbers again in 2017. 

Here are three facts (from CSO Insights):

  1. Fewer than 60% of reps made quota over the past several years.
  2. Only 42% of marketing generated leads were accepted and worked in those same years.
  3. The #1 sales execution issue reported by sales execs is the lack of highly qualified sales leads.

Companies are making decisions right now that will cause a bubble in the funnel that will last for months, if not all of 2017. Maybe the outcome won’t be as dramatic as a gas embolism, but it could be. When marketing activity slows down this time of the year, executives will generally start evaluating options in January, make decisions in February and start executing on those decisions in March. The most optimistic sales cycle for the more complex products or solutions is three-to-six months. So, revenue will result in the June – October time frame – the year will almost be gone.

The time to make decisions and execute plans is NOW.

By using Account-Based Marketing processes, more revenue can be driven at a fraction of the cost of most marketing programs. See this blog for specifics. Start now and you will drive revenue in Q1, 2017, not the end of Q2, 2017 or beyond.

Need proof? Let’s talk!




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Topics: Inside Sales, Sales Process, B2B Sales

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