This is the second in a series of blog entries about sick sales funnels. In the first installment, I reviewed symptoms that may indicate the presence of illness. I cited a hypothetical example of a B-to-B marketing effort to Fortune 100 companies that yielded zero sales.

What went wrong in that example? These questions may reveal underlying deficiencies.

  • Did you identify your target prospects?
  • Did you understand target market?
  • Did you build a precise profile of a prospective customer?
  • Did you customize your offer to preferences of each segment?
  • Did characteristics of the target segment drive the selection of marketing tactics?
  • Did you test on a small scale to decide which channels and campaigns to scale?

Sometimes we need to go back to Marketing 101. It’s important to remember these basics before investing time and resources:

  • Know the target segment well BEFORE starting.
  • Content is the foundation of everything.
  • Test before scaling.
  • Measure and monitor constantly. Cut your losses if warning signs appear.

Some underlying problems are frequently subtle and not so easy to identify at first glance. You may need to explore these questions:

  • Do you have a funnel management process? If so, is does everyone understand and embrace it?
  • Do you employ enough people to run that process?
  • Is your content segment-specific? Do you understand the message and objective for each piece of content? Is it clear? Is it compelling?
  • Are you nurturing leads that are not ready to purchase immediately?
  • Are you building enduring relationships with customers AND prospects?

Perhaps most important: Marketing and sales must jointly own the problem identification process as well as the cure. This is critical.

I’ll talk about treating the patient in the next post for this series. As well, I’ll go beyond the simple absence of illness. We want sales funnels to be fit enough to run triathlons!