Risk & Business Magazine Nesbit Agencies Fall 2021 - Page 10
FUNNEL VISION AND SALES
AND THE SALES CLOUD
BY SCOTT STRATTEN
Many of us in sales and marketing came up learning the traditional sales funnel . This was how we were supposed to think about and treat other humans — as they moved , or were converted , from “ hot leads ” and prospects to customers .
That was before social media shifted more information into the hands of our market and a negative review could spread around the world in a matter of hours .
The traditional funnel focused on sales and conversions . Once customers moved through the funnel , they were off the radar .
Today , almost 60 % of all B2B purchase decisions are made before customers enter your funnel . Consumers come to you prepared and educated , with trusted referrals in hand before they ever hear your sales pitch . Today , we can ’ t have funnel vision — we need to look past the funnel and into what I call the Sales Cloud . With 74 % of consumers relying on social networks to guide purchase decisions , it ’ s just too big to ignore . Or is it 67 % like another study quoted . It almost gets to the point of ridiculousness to try to convince someone in this day and age that buying decisions involve something before a sales person contacts them .
Here we see the Sales Cloud . It ’ s made up of all the ways customers hear about your brand — blogs , online reviews , trusted referrals , social media sites , your website … These are where your market may or may not be hearing about you — for better or for worse . This is where most of the purchasing decisions are made . In fact , once someone is in your traditionally viewed funnel , the goal is more about not messing it up , because they ’ ve come to you with information .
Here we see why these experiences are so important . We aren ’ t alone as businesses , we are in competition with many other products , services and content . In the sales cloud people have access to a ton of information . This is why creating amazing experiences people want