When Your Funnel Is Busticated!

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When two veteran B2B software chicks go to lunch, it’s pretty natural to talk shop. It isn’t long before my colleague says, "My funnel is busticated. What do I do?”

Busticated., Wiktionary defines this word as: “1. simple past tense and participle of busticate.” Well that's not helpful at all, Mr. Wiki... Most urban dictionaries define this word as 'to break into pieces,' and I like to think of it in an un-wikied universe as busted. But busticated just sounds so much better and well... current.

I quickly turned it from “What do I do?” to me asking “Where exactly is the problem in the funnel?" Out flies my notebook and pen and the funnel sketches begin. The questions are asked. I map out the funnel and I add two reverse funnels: one on the right for marketing assets, and the one on the left for resources (i.e. people) and start analyzing my colleague’s funnel.

And Voila! Just like that there are two problems easily identified:

Problem # 1.
There are no high value marketing assets built for the bottom of the funnel.

Iin a long b2b software sales cycle, sales associates need to keep in touch with their prospects. To do this, they need marketing assets that are timely, fresh and more importantly...of increasing value. In the case of my colleague’s problem, the marketing team had only placed emphasis on building assets for the top of the funnel, nothing for the bottom. The marketing team had been doing a great job at getting new leads into the funnel but were not creating any assets that helped the sales team nurture those prospects through to the end. This means that after about 2 months, the sales associates had nothing left to give to their prospects that had any value to them and their journey.

Problem # 2.
The senior management team is totally disengaged with the current sales cycle.

From what I gleaned, internal turmoil has turned all the leadership team into the "hey that’s not my job" types. They were pushing responsibility to the sales reps instead of supporting them at the most critical funnel stages of the deal. But how do you get these executives engaged in the funnel? This often happens when organizations do not have an objective around Sales Enablement. Although this term gets thrown around the boardroom pretty easily, not many B2B software companies actually follow through. Everyone on the leadership team needs to ‘feel’ they are in sales. As one of my favorite authors, Daniel Pink, asserts in his book, To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, that 1 in 9 workers are in sales, and then he adds, (significantly, in my opinion), so are the other 8.

Once you have identified some of the key problems the solution is not too hard to come by. This funnel is surely busticated but it’s less overwhelming now that we know what to start fixing. With the right ingredients, a little marketing priority shift, and a tweak of culture change, this funnel could get going again and closing deals in 90 days.

If you need a fresh set of eyes on ‘unbusticating’ your funnel, I can be reached at: mich@maguiremarketinggroup.com

I would like to give a special shout out to my old pal @Christie Webb who spent time with me discussing funnels on four different products at two different software companies, Geosoft and IndustryBuilt, over the last decade.