The sales funnel has evolved. The tried and true sales and marketing model has been surpassed by flywheels, bowties, and more. But just like your grandmother kept her old cookie cutters to make Christmas cookies every year, the traditional sales and marketing funnel is still a helpful guide.

the ideal sales funnel shape

The ideal marketing and sales funnel is symmetrical in form – a model of efficiency that makes sense of your visitors, leads, opportunities, and customers.

But YOUR sales funnel isn’t that perfect, new cookie cutter shape.

A Marketing Team Can Improve Your Funnel

Many B2B companies aren’t thinking about their sales funnels. Those that are, may not be thinking about how it is shaped, and what that means to their business.

Often, business owners try to tackle marketing and sales initiatives by themselves. The problem with that, is they don’t understand the relationship between funnel shape, and marketing and sales activities. They start throwing a bunch of marketing tactics at their problems without a clearly-defined understanding of what’s really wrong.

First – Don’t Be A Bottleneck

In a growing business, a successful inbound marketing program needs a team of experts and specialists in analytical, strategic, and creative fields. As a business owner, you shouldn’t be the bottleneck to marketing and sales. You need to hire, what we call, a “Sarah.”

Hire “Sarah” (a junior marketing team member) to help guide your marketing efforts alongside freelancers or a marketing agency. With you out of the way, your funnel shape identified, and Sarah at the wheel, your marketing will start to get some traction.

How to Find Your Marketing and Sales Funnel’s Shape

Not sure what your sales funnel looks like? Ask these questions:

  • How many site visitors do you have each month?
  • How many leads do you get during that time?
  • Do you already have a database of contacts?
  • How many sales opportunities come through in a month?
  • How many closed sales do you earn in that period?

Knowing these details will give you all the information you need to clearly see the shape of your company’s funnel—uncover problem spots and discover opportunities for where you need to invest your marketing team’s time and effort.

Which of these funnels is yours?

Discover Your Marketing and Sales Funnels Shape

Too Many Leads

too many leads sales funnel shape

If you’re like most B2B companies, you’re marketing and sales funnel looks something like this. This is because:

  • You don’t have a lot of website visitors.
  • You do have a giant database of leads and contacts, but most are old and un-engaged.
  • You are starving for more closed sales.
  • So you are paying close attention to the few leads that come in.

It’s not the time to be focusing too much on attracting visitors. Instead, Take a look at how you can improve this funnel shape.

Not Enough Leads

not enough leads sales funnel shape

You’ve got a strange lookin’ funnel here. It is because:

  • You have a TON of visitors coming to your website
  • You’ve got hardly any leads
  • You’re doing a phenomenal job attracting people to your site, but you’re not converting them

Learn how to correct this funnel shape with our Understand Your Sales Funnel Guide.

Low Close Rate

Low close rate sales funnel shape

This one is pretty simple – you have a low close rate. Here is what you are doing right:

  • Your visits are good
  • You are converting your visitors to leads
  • The opportunities from your leads are solid

So for one reason or another, your leads are pulling back at the last minute and you can’t close your opportunities. Take a look at your short and long term fixes for this.

Not Enough Visitors

Not Enough Visitors sales funnel shape

This funnel looks more like a tube because there’s almost no difference in the number of visitors and sales. In this case:

  • All of your visitors immediately want to buy
  • You have ridiculously high conversion rates all the way down the funnel

As great as this might seem at first, it’s a malnourished funnel. This funnel is a sign that you have very little brand exposure and all of your visitors already know who you are—probably due to referrals. Learn how to fix it.

What Shape Is Your Funnel?

Know what your funnel looks like, and you’ll identify your greatest marketing and sales needs. Attack the problem areas over the next quarter and reassess your funnel. Then adjust your focus based on the way the shape has shifted.

Understanding the shape of your sales funnel is key to building an effective marketing strategy. If you want to know just a bit more about the shape of your funnel and some possible short term and long term solutions take a look at our Understand Your Sales Funnel Guide.