The middle of your funnel is the contested battleground where the fight for the attention and eventual conversion of your leads is fought and, hopefully, won.
From an inter-departmental standpoint, the middle of your funnel is also an important place where marketing and sales teams overlap. During the hand-off process from marketing to sales, it’s important that bottlenecks are avoided and miscommunication is kept to a minimum in order to maximize conversion rates and boost profits.
Here are five tips for optimizing the middle of your funnel.
1. Identify Expected Lead Volume
Although perhaps a top-of-the-funnel issue, simply identifying the expected lead-to-conversion volume within the middle of the funnel can put you on the right track for optimizing your processes. Clarifying lead volume also ensures your top-of-the-funnel marketing efforts aren’t going to waste and that the attracted number of leads is sufficient to hit your company’s goals.
By knowing what’s expected, communication between marketing and sales can be further streamlined and you reduce the risk in any crossed wires between the two.
2. Analyze Your Leads
In order to maximize your return on investment (ROI), you should be looking to understand the number of qualified leads that your top-of-the-funnel efforts have attracted. By working with the data pulled from lead sources, you can determine which marketing campaign or ad the lead came from and which particular top-of-the-funnel efforts are seeing the most traffic and the highest conversion rate.
This information is also particularly helpful in terms of creating an effective inbound marketing campaign, as top-of-the-funnel efforts directly impact not only the buyer’s journey, but also everything else along the way down to closing.
3. Nurture Your Leads
Developing a close relationship with the consumer along the entire length of the buyer’s journey is what lead nurturing is all about. Whether it’s by aggregating your content specifically for an individual lead or following up on incomplete journeys along your funnel, prospects will know you’re with them every step of the way.
Additionally, lead nurturing allows you to show off in front of your audience and to become, for them, an expert in your industry. This way, leads will know you are a thought leader—a source they can trust.
Ultimately, it’s important to learn effective lead nurturing techniques if you want to see the conversion and close at the bottom of the funnel.
4. Score Your Leads
Lead scoring is perhaps one of the least used but most effective lead nurturing techniques. It can truly help optimize the middle of your funnel.
The practice of ranking your leads based on the perceived value each lead has for your company, lead scoring allows businesses to pursue the most qualified leads and up their conversion rate.
Basically, your team will be aiming for the biggest fish in your pond of leads. Although setting up a system for lead scoring can be time consuming, it can become an incredible resource and can help you prioritize sales and marketing strategies.
5. Make Sure Marketing and Sales Work Together
You never want to give your sales staff incomplete information or you risk setting yourself up for failure. Without solid information and the data to determine qualified leads, sales teams often flounder and target slow, non-responsive leads instead of those who will actively drive business. This is why you must absolutely make sure your marketing and sales teams work together effectively.
If marketing provides sales with all collected buyer information and lead intelligence, then the conversion process becomes much easier. Access to all this data ensures sales teams can easily follow up and guide buyers along their journeys. Cooperation ultimately reduces confusion, clears up friction, and keeps your sales and marketing teams unified and efficient.