If you want to turn your prospects into customers, then you have got to manage your own sales process. Whether or not you have a sales manager, a boss or anyone else that may hold you accountable, the more personal responsibility you take for achieving your sales goals the more successful you will be.

We talked in the last article about accountability (one of my favorite words), and in this article I want to discuss one of my favorite accountability tools – the sales funnel. What is a sales funnel? Well it is exactly what it sounds like, a funnel that illustrates the sales process. I have found that most people are visual learners, and providing a tool that helps them see the sales process is key in helping them understand how it works. Having a tool like this drives home the importance of systematically performing all the parts of the sales process if you want maximum results.

It is also a great learning device. On a weekly basis I go back through my sales funnel to see what went” into” the funnel and what “came out.” Meaning how well and closely did I follow the funnel’s steps and what level of result did I achieve. A simple review like this helps me realize in minutes what steps are going well, where a breakdown may have occurred, what things I did that I definitely want to repeat, and where I can make simple improvements to produce better results. I love the sales funnel. It is quick, easy and highly effective!

Let’s take a look at my process for using The Effective Sales Funnel (shown above). I call this the effective sales funnel, because this is my version of a sales funnel, and you’ll find it slightly different from versions you receive in typical sales course or sales books.

  • Defined Target Marketing and Established Goals – I always start by asking myself, how closely did I focus on my target market and how accountable was I to working my established behavior goals. What was the result?
  • Target Networking – which events did I attend? Was my target market there? Did I work to meet and connect with my target market? What was the result?
  • Prospect List – who did I add to my prospect list from my networking events? What was my justification for adding them to my list? What was the result?
  • Structured sales calls – how many sales calls did I go on? Did I follow the structure? What was the result?
  • Qualified Sales Follow-up calls – how many follow-up calls did I make? What was the quality of those calls? Did I set and meet objectives? What was the result
  • Goal – How am I doing in terms of meeting my behavior and growth goals? If going well, what is working? If not, where (in the funnel) is the problem?

Using your sales funnel as part of your weekly accountability is one of the easiest and quickest ways to establish what is working in your sales process, and what may possibly be slowing it down. As we discussed in our last article, if you want to make sales fun, less stressful then you need to use accountability to learn, make adjustments and move the sales process forward. Design your own Sales Funnel, use it on a weekly basis and enjoy watching your ability to turn your prospects into customers improve.