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4 Reasons Your Lead Funnel Doesn’t Work

October 20, 2022
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Maybe your lead strategy just isn’t doing the trick. Learn why purpose is the one ingredient you may be missing.

Key takeaways:

  • Lead cycle stages:
    • Suspect
    • Prospect
    • Lead
    • Qualified lead
    • Opportunity
    • Customer
  • Four reasons your cycle doesn’t work:
    1. Your purpose isn’t present or can’t be felt
    2. Qualifications aren’t clear or proven to align with the buyer’s journey
    3. Lack of proper CRM integration
    4. You don’t prioritize retention
  • Flip your sales funnel with purpose and make more meaningful connections with existing customers and leads who align with your values

Leads come and go, but your purpose remains true to who you are and what you stand for.

Your business exists because of the 3 keys: your purpose, your values, and your story. These elements are the reasons WHY you do what you do every day.

Establish what these terms really mean for your brand. Communicate them and live them out loud throughout the business. This also means to infuse your purpose into your strategy and sales tactics. Make sure the leads you pursue are aligned with your mission. Otherwise, you’re probably just wasting time.

To fulfill your business’s purpose, you need to understand the life of a lead. This post will walk through the lead cycle, four reasons why yours gets stuck, and why you should flip your sales funnel to infuse your purpose.

What does the lead cycle look like?

The lead cycle, or lead funnel, is the process people in your audience go through as they move from being nurtured as suspects to qualified leads and finally become active customers. The traditional lead cycle looks something like this:

  • Suspect: Anyone interested in your product, service, approach, or philosophy.
  • Prospect: Someone who’s shown interest in your brand in some way and may do so consistently.
  • Lead: Someone who has taken an additional step and created an interest of action, such as downloading content or answering a call to action.
  • Qualified lead: A lead that is ready to be nurtured by the sales or marketing team to convert at the right time for the lead. Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) have a strong likelihood of becoming a customer and are ready to hear and engage in messaging from your marketing team. Sales qualified leads (SQLs) are ready to hear from the sales team and are closer to conversion.
  • Opportunity: Someone involved in a deal but hasn’t yet become a customer.
  • Customer: Someone who has gone through all these stages and has made a purchase.

This lead cycle layout is mapped out so you’re able to determine their place in the funnel and the actions needed to advance them – or not. Your marketing strategy and sales tactics will align with what they’re going through and what they care about.

4 reasons your lead cycle doesn’t work

You may notice that your lead funnel doesn’t work as you intended. Sometimes leads don’t stick around past the initial stage, or they get much further in the process but don’t convert. Or do they just get stuck in one stage forever, showing interest but never advancing? These four reasons could be why:

  1. Your purpose isn’t present

Purpose should drive everything you do. This includes how you target and reach people. You need to make more meaningful connections with people – both so leads are more likely to activate their curiosity, even notice you and so you’re not wasting time and effort on leads who just aren’t a good fit for your products or services.

  1. Wasted time on unqualified leads

That distinction between leads, MQLs, and SQLs is critical. You could spend loads of time – which translates to money – trying to connect with people who could be customers someday. Your audience as a whole is probably pretty large. 

The right qualified leads, on the other hand, are much more valuable. Filter out leads at the top of the funnel and focus on those who align with your business’s purpose and values. You want people who can genuinely connect with your story, so be careful with your investments.

  1. No CRM

Establish your purpose and align it with your lead generation strategies. But next, make sure you integrate a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. These platforms can help you more quickly qualify your leads, so you don’t see any time wasted.

A CRM is designed to keep your leads organized and tracks their interactions. This data helps you understand how they found you and the best methods to use to get them to convert. It allows you to easily extract sales-qualified leads and continue to move the lead cycle. 

  1. You don’t prioritize retention

All your energy shouldn’t be going toward acquisition, which is what you’re focused on at the top of that funnel. Retention deserves more of your budget. In fact, new customers could cost five to 25 times more to get than keeping existing ones. You can turn them into engaged and excited supporters who will speak highly of you. They can help you bring in other qualified leads, too.

Focus on ways to ignite those current relationships so you can create true brand ambassadors. This is how you flip the lead funnel on its head. Create a megaphone your existing customers can use to find new followers for you.

Why flip your sales funnel with purpose?

When purpose is at the heart of what powers your lead cycle, SQLs want to connect. They want to align with a business on a more personal level since they’re close to ready to buy. 

Flip your funnel, and you’ll be able to filter out unqualified and qualified leads more quickly and efficiently. You will be able to determine which leads actually align with your values. You’ll know – you’ll feel – that the leads already identify with what you do. 

Purpose ensures that the leads you prioritize are more sales qualified and thus are much more likely to convert. They already resonate with your organization and what it stands for to some degree. They’re ready to move forward on their journey.

With purpose at the forefront of your strategy, you can expect significant benefits, such as broader impact, more profitable growth, and a more aligned organization

Ensure you put purpose at the forefront of your marketing efforts and incorporate your 3 keys: purpose, value, and story. Show people what you’re all about, and put your attention on the people who are part of your tribe.

The Advantages marketing team is ready to guide you toward a more effective strategy to share and align your purpose along the lead cycle funnel. Get in touch with us now to learn more.

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