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The traditional sales funnel doesn’t work. So, what replaces it?
Video length: 4:01
Dave Harries: Grant, your book establishes pretty comprehensively that the traditional sales funnel doesn’t work. So, what replaces it?
Grant Leboff: What I’ve got is something that we call in the book the digital sales funnel. We all know that the traditional sales funnel is like this cone that has this very wide top where you piled everything in where you’ve bombarded the world with your communications and then as very quickly as people dropped out of that, you end up with a narrow bottom where the few converted customers were as it were. The digital sales funnel looks more like an inverse hourglass if you like. It’s got quite a small top. It’s got a very wide middle. Then it’s got a very small bottom as well. Kind of inverse hourglass is the best way to think of it I think.
Dave Harries: In reality then, what’s going on in that sort of bulging middle.
Grant Leboff: The reason why you’ve got a very narrow top is because in contrast to, kind of, shouting at the entire world about your products and services, today what you need to is attract people to come to you. They start the buying journey by going on to the forums, asking their network and doing all these other things. Therefore you need to be attractive to them. If you’re going to attract people in rather than shout at them, they’re going to come in less volumes.
Even if you have a seasonal business, the direct mail of 10,000, you’re going to get 10,000 at once. You have this kind of much narrower top. What’s going on in the middle, if you relate to that is one someone comes into the top, your job, really, is to engage with them and keep them there. You want to keep them there, really as long as you can. The reason why you want to keep them there is because the most precious resource today in a world of abundance of information, where everybody’s got a channel, is attention. It’s very hard to get people’s attention. Once I’ve engaged with your business and I’ve said, “I’m interested in what you do.” However passive that may be, the last thing you want me to do is to disappear. “I’ve got some interest in what you do. Now if you can engage me by creating value,” in your case why use video, what it can do for you, how it can do it, ways to make good ones. All these kind of value adds, you keep me engaged.
What that engagement does is it keeps my attention when I’m ready to buy, I’m in your buying set. I know who you are. I come and approach you. Doesn’t guarantee the business, but it does guarantee you the lead. That’s what’s going on in that middle, which is why it’s wider. The other thing is there’s got to be an acknowledgement today, that in a world where everybody’s got a channel … Actually your most powerful sales people are often not you as the sales person, but the community you create around your business. Those people that are engaged, even if they don’t buy your video, they may share it with someone else and go, “You were looking for video, this is really good. Look at these tips that Dave put out. What happens is you get that share of attention. You’ve got other people sharing that content as well. That’s why you have this wide middle, and of course what you can do, sales people could never engage on volume because as a sales person, I met you one on one.
In social media, I can engage with groups by putting out a great video or a great blog. It’s easier to keep more people’s attention. I can cope with more in the middle than I could traditionally.
Dave Harries: The bottom of the funnel is of course the same as it always was. Why hasn’t that changed?
Grant Leboff: Because I think there’s an acknowledgement that at the end of the day, you’ll always have more prospects than you have customers. There’ll always be more people inquire, more people engaged, more people that find you interesting, that ultimately buy. At the top of the funnel, people are coming to you. It’s smaller. In the middle, you want to keep them there, so you’re not screening them out anymore because you can, because modern technology allows you to keep more people engaged, but at the bottom, from that middle, you’re still going to have a drip feed of customers coming through and they’re going to be a smaller amount than in the middle. As the middle bulges, the smaller amount, I suppose the reality is that what doesn’t change ultimately is that you don’t suddenly get millions of customers. Now we’d like it if we did, but essentially from those leads, we’re still going to only convert X percent of customers.
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