In this article article, Matt Heinz seeks to answer the question: why do companies over- index on technology spend used in the top of the sales funnel, but in the most crucial and engaging opportunity sales people have, they phone it in and use ineffective presentation technology?

The top of the sales funnel gets the lion’s share of attention and resources. Rightfully so, as all this effort is essential to landing a meeting. A recent Heinz Marketing Survey uncovered that of respondents who stated that ineffective/non-engaging presentations are a primary contributor to lack of growth, 67 percent missed their sales goals and 58 percent experienced no year over year growth. So, why is it that even though they get leads to the evaluation stage, they can’t close the deal?

The following piece will seek to answer the question: why do companies over- index on technology spend used in the top of the sales funnel, but in the most crucial and engaging opportunity sales people have, they phone it in and use ineffective presentation technology?

Top of the Funnel Gets a lot of Attention

Moving prospects from the awareness to the evaluation stage is a key priority for marketers. Studies show that for every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them. Taking this into account, it is surprising that a lot of people are still struggling to convert their leads. With a successful conversion rate being less than 2 percent, where are B2B companies failing?

That’s why Heinz Marketing decided to run a survey to find this blind spot in the sales funnel. The results were quite surprising but the good news is that the challenges being faced are easy to fix. Let’s start at the top of the funnel and see where it takes us.

A Hefty Penny for New Leads

Finding and nurturing new sales lead requires a considerable amount of time and resources. Just think, the average B2B cost of leads is $10 to $100 dollars per inquiry, 80 percent of sales require five follow ups, almost a full work day (6.25 hours) is spent to set one appointment, and an average of $2,000 a month is spent on conversion rate optimization (CRO) tools. Our study confirms that companies have the resources to back sales lead initiatives, but something goes awry once prospects are through the door to the evaluation stage. The lack of attention given to the bottom of the sales funnel prompts the prospect to turn back around.

The Blind Spot at the Bottom of the Funnel

It’s easy to blame a lackluster sales team or a convoluted sales process, but what we found was that the most vulnerable transition in the sales process is moving prospects from “evaluation” to “moment of decision.” There are a few key elements negatively impacting success in acquiring customers when sales goals are not achieved, including poor quality presentations that do not engage clients and prospects. Why are the presentations ineffective? They lack dynamic, interactive and conversational components; there’s an inability to personalize and adapt presentations in real time and meet the needs in the room; and the slide decks tend to focus on the seller, as opposed to the prospect or client.

So, what’s the answer? Fix the blind spot.

Sales teams need to engage their audience in the consideration phase with better presentations. One idea is to consider swapping your standard, static presentation deck for a more dynamic experience. Consider Conversational Presenting, which is all about the idea of starting dialogues. Rather than talking at your potential client, you begin talking with them. In our modern world everyone Googles everyone. There’s no need for an About Us slide anymore because chances are if a company has invited you to present, they’ve already done their due diligence. That’s why we recommend just beginning with an open question like, “Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today, I’d love to hear what you’d like to learn more about?”

Closing the deal

In a crowded marketplace it makes sense that you need to spend a lot of time and money to stand out from the crowd. Generating a lead is no small feat, even for the most experienced marketer. The energy, resources and time poured into the top of the funnel are still totally warranted. However, when preparing for your next big sales presentation, you might consider balancing out your resources to focus on the key moment when you step in front of your prospect and attempt to close the deal.

Are you Overlooking this Blind Spot in the Sales Funnel?

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