In every entrepreneur’s head is a well-oiled, highly profitable sales-machine of a business. But in real life, it’s a tricky, weed-filled garden of shifting priorities and juggled problems. (#mixedmetaphoralert)
In this blog post, I want to write about 3 common problems that entrepreneurs face in their sales funnels and how to fix them. These aren’t ALL the problems you’ll face, nor could it ever be a comprehensive list of all the solutions you have. But it’s a good place to start if you want to get your business reality a little closer to the picture in your mind.
SALES FUNNEL ADVERSITY #1: NOT ENOUGH LEADS
Leads are good because some of them eventually turn into customers, with a little relationship nurturing. But you won’t have any sales if you don’t start with the leads. If you don’t have enough leads, try doing the following:
- Look at your value proposition. What problem do you solve? Perhaps it’s not big enough of a problem or maybe it’s not a problem that enough people have or maybe you’re not stating the problem in a way that is resonating with people.
- Look at the people you’ve been trying to market to. Are they feeling the pain of the problem you solve? Do they even realize that they HAVE a problem at all? (Use this helpful blog post to identify your target market an figure out what is important to them.
- If you’re confident that the above two issues are resolved (you solve a clear, compelling problem and you have a tightly defined target market) then try increasing your marketing efforts. Maybe you just haven’t reached the place where your target market is spending their time. Experiment with articles, guest blogs, press releases, social media — find out where people connect with you the most. Then focus your efforts in that space. And if 1 hour a day of marketing isn’t getting enough leads, bump it up to 2 or 3 hours of marketing. It might simply be a numbers game.
SALES FUNNEL ADVERSITY #2: TOO MANY OBJECTIONS
Every salesperson and entrepreneur has encountered objections from their prospects — reasons why the prospect cannot buy right now. Savvy salespeople work with objections while inexperienced salespeople are defeated by them. If you encounter objections, remember that “yes” and “no” don’t always mean “yes” and “no”, and adopt the mindset that objections are awesome.
SALES FUNNEL ADVERSITY #3: NOT ENOUGH PROFIT
Cash flow is good. (Actually, it’s absolutely mandatory for a successful business). But cash flow will only ensure business survival if there is a bit of profit at the end of the day.
Where a lot of entrepreneurs fall down is in adequately pricing their product or service. They want to generate cash flow so they price their offering at a very attractive price… but it’s not enough to pay the bills. Learn more about the concept of price and pricing, discover the best price for your product or service, and price your products so you don’t compete with low-cost providers.
Of course pricing is just one part of the profitability issue. Reducing expenses and increasing sales are also key. But if you have a right-priced offering, you just need to get more customers.