Your Funnel Is Causing You To Miss New Sales Opportunities (And How To Fix It)
Limitations of the sales funnel
The sales funnel is the process that you guide potential buyers through when purchasing your products or services. The goal is to convert a potential buyer from being a lead to become a customer.
The problem is that it’s one directional - once a lead becomes a customer, the only revenue opportunities left are renewal and expansion (and maybe a few referrals).
It overlooks the fact that your buyers frequently change their jobs and could purchase your product again, and again, at their new companies.
Most companies on average invests upwards of 30 touches to convert a lead into a happy customer. But all of that relationship and goodwill is gone once the buyer leaves the account.
Let’s imagine a scenario when your buyer leaves their company. This is probably how your teams would handle it:
- Your Customer Success Manager would focus on building a relationship with a new contact in that customer account to prevent churn.
- Your Marketing emails would get bounced back, so the buyer’s email would get excluded from future communications.
- Your Sales team would continue working on their existing leads in the pipeline without realizing that the buyer is now working for one of the companies they are (or could be) prospecting to.
Why is this relevant for Sales teams?
The #1 sales trigger event
The number one trigger event for sales is new leadership.
When new executives or team leaders join organizations, they are likely to introduce new tools and processes to drive changes. Reaching out to them at the right time and ahead of your competitors is crucial.
According to Forrester Research's "What Does It Take To Win With Executive Buyers":
Being in front of the buyers first increases your chance of closing the deal by 74%
Furthermore, today’s employees have a much shorter job tenure.
That means an average SaaS buyer will buy more tools in their career than ever before. And if the buyer already used your product in the past, that would give you an edge over the competition.
But without knowing that your buyers have left and which company they have joined, your sales team could miss out on new sales opportunities.
Retargeting previous buyers
To answer this, let's take a page from e-commerce's playbook. Many e-commerce websites have a problem with website visitors who don’t convert.
In order to convince them to come back for the purchase, e-commerce uses a technique called retargeting to automatically serve ads to these visitors to remind them about the products or services that they saw on their website.
If you’ve ever visited an online store and then saw an ad of that company or that specific product on other websites, you were being retargeted.
The impact of retargeting is so undeniable that it is now a powerful tool not only for e-commerce sites but also for every B2C & B2B marketing strategy.
According to Google: "Combining retargeting ads with the other advertising you already do can help you sell 50% more."
What if we’re applying the same thinking to B2B selling:
When previous buyers join new companies, why don’t we retarget and bring them back into the funnel as new leads for prospecting?
Reps have been doing this for years, but at a small scale
Successful enterprise sales reps cultivate decade-long relationships with executive buyers. As these buyers move from one company to another, the sales reps follow them to sell into new accounts.
The reps know that selling to previous buyers always yields higher success rates. After all, these buyers already know your product (and know them), so they are more open to sales conversations.
If you ask your top-performing sales reps today, chances are some of them are already doing this by manually tracking their contacts on LinkedIn and reaching out when they notice job changes.
However, in the age of high-velocity sales, it is challenging for reps to keep up with the number of leads, let alone take the time to manually track job changes in their accounts.
This means, it is not done consistently, it is not scalable, and is likely causing you to miss sales opportunities.
How to retarget your buyers
If you're selling to software companies, you can expect, on average, 2-4% of your contacts change their jobs every month. To consistently capture the benefits of selling to your previous buyers, you'd need an orchestration across all revenue teams. Here are some suggestions:
- Build an incentive for the Customer Success team to inform Sales when the primary contacts leave a customer account, and where they are going to.
- Enrich these contacts with new information and route those leads to the right SDRs for prospecting.
- Sync the new contact information to Marketing to add them in a new nurture track, with content such as: “the first 30-day checklist as [role]”.
It’s important to also keep tabs on non-buyers, such as power users, champions, influencers, and general users. Even if they are not the decision-maker, they can still be your access into the new accounts and only one intro away to the right decision-makers.
If you have a large customer base and large teams to coordinate, this would likely require a lot of alignment, training, and reporting. In that case, you can look for a solution to automate the entire process and is integrated with your CRM to minimize the change management and training needed for your reps.
UserGems can help
Whenever your customers change jobs, UserGems programatically adds them into your Salesforce as new leads and enrich them with new contact information, so you can sell to them again.
It is completely automated and fully integrated with Salesforce so there's no new processes to be built, and reps don't even need to learn any new tools.