The sales funnel is the process that makes cold prospects ready to buy leads (deals). Improving the efficiency of the funnel is a priority for any team.
The majority of companies have not even tried to measure the performance of their sales funnel and optimize it, just as the majority of leads are not converted into deals and sales.
It is a visual representation from the first contact with a potential customer (lead) to the purchase. Each stage brings the most qualified leads to the next phase, keeping in the previous stage those who have not passed the qualification process. New Contacts (Lead) > Qualification > Proposal (Deal) > Negotiation> Sale.
The best performing sales representatives know very well the stages of their sales funnel. They manage to scale their sales process, predict their sales and revenues and achieve their goals.
Each company has its own way of managing the sales process and customer contact points. We can distinguish them in three phases:
In this stage, prospects turn into Leads. It’s time for your sales rep, to ask relevant questions and qualify the lead.
Your Leads are now Qualified since you talked to your prospects and they answered questions that help you understand if you can solve their needs.
It is when your Qualified leads go through a Proposal and a Negotiation.
The Sales Pipeline is often confused with the sales funnel. It's not a big mistake but it must be said that technically speaking the Pipeline is a part of the Funnel. While a Funnel concerns Leads the Pipeline manages Deals.
A CRM with Sales Funnel (or Pipeline) management functionality has a positive impact on performance. It is not just a customer database, it’s a Pipeline Management tool. It helps define the sales process, identify losses and simplify the conversion process to bring leads to sales.