How would some more great leads to fill your sales funnel sound to you right about now?
If you’re like most salespeople, you’re saying, “Of course I want more leads!“
The truth is, when you’re swimming in strong new sales leads, most of your sales problems will just disappear. But you can’t expect it to just happen overnight—you have to follow the right tips to fill your sales funnel.
In fact, the data suggests that over 90% of salespeople desperately need more leads than they currently have right now. It blows my mind that more salespeople don’t have this issue figured out.
What’s more, research shows that the number one concern salespeople have is getting more leads.
Ultimately, figuring out how to fill your sales funnel can be easy—with the right strategy. It simply requires implementing a multi-pronged approach to turbocharge your prospecting activities and get more sales leads than ever before.
In this video, I’m going to show you 7 easy tips to fill your sales funnel to the brim. Check it out.
Fill your Sales Funnel Video Summary:
How to Fill Your Sales Funnel Tip #1: Stop cold calling.
Yes, I said it: Stop cold calling. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “I can’t wait to show this to my boss who’s always trying to get us to make more cold calls.”
But let’s be clear: I didn’t say to stop making prospecting calls. I said to stop cold calling.
The average cold prospect has no idea who you are, has never heard of you, is probably really busy, and doesn’t care about what you’re offering. To call that person out of the blue is the equivalent of banging your head against a cement wall.
If cold calling is the main strategy you’re using to fill your sales funnel, it’s time to make some dramatic changes to the way you sell.
When we call on a prospect who has no idea who we are, we’re really just putting ourselves into a situation where we’re starting from a disadvantage—and we don’t have to.
What we really need to do is call prospects as part of a prospecting campaign.
A prospecting campaign means no more cold calls, but it also means you’re going to call prospects in conjunction with other marketing assets that are being sent from you to those prospects at the same time.
That means no more randomly making calls to people. Instead, you’re going to send them an email with a high-value asset—something like an ebook or a guide—and make sure it gets in front of their face before you ever pick up the phone.
You’ll do this multiple times in a row so that—even when you’re not getting through to prospects on the phone—you’re still getting through to them via emails, LinkedIn messages, and other items such as packages you send them.
Then, by the time you do get them on the phone, those prospects will actually know who you are. Or, at the very least, they’ll have an idea of who you are. They’re going to say, “Oh yeah, I do remember getting that ebook from you.”
By starting to build a relationship with prospects before you call them, you’ll be making “warm calls” instead of cold calls.
No more cold calling.
How to Fill Your Sales Funnel Tip #2: Ask for introductions.
What’s an introduction? Well, I’ll tell you what an introduction isn’t: It’s not a referral.
Stop asking for referrals. If you really want to fill your sales funnel, it’s time to start asking for introductions instead.
When you ask your clients or prospects for referrals, they typically don’t know what you’re talking about. A referral can mean a lot of different things.
Many times, a referral means that your prospect gives you someone’s business card and says, “Give this person a call, and use my name. Tell them I sent you.”
You don’t want this.
In fact, the data suggests that a “use my name” referral is only a little bit stronger than a true cold call.
Instead, you want to start getting introductions where person A introduces you directly to person B. When you get real introductions, the data shows that the close rate can be as good as 50%.
To fill your sales funnel with qualified leads that are likely to close, start asking for introductions like this: “Would you be willing to introduce me to so-and-so?” or “Would you be willing to introduce me to other folks just like you who I might be able to help?”
When you’re asking for these introductions, not everyone’s going to give them to you—but the people who are willing to will either pick up the phone or send an email to that person directly on your behalf.
That’s powerful stuff.
How to Fill Your Sales Funnel Tip #3: Conduct quarterly business reviews.
This tip is mainly for folks selling in the business-to-business space, but you can also do this if you’re selling to consumers. (You can simply conduct quarterly meetings with customers—it doesn’t have to be called a business review.)
Your existing clients could be a much bigger source of business than they currently are, if only you could get them to sit down with you on a quarterly basis.
Simply call up your clients and say, “I want to schedule our quarterly business review, where I’m going to share the best practices I’m seeing inside and outside your industry today. In this meeting we’ll make sure that you can leverage all of the information and ideas that can help you the most. Would that make sense?”
Typically, your clients will say, “Of course!”
By doing this on a quarterly basis, you’re creating a regular meeting schedule with your clients, getting in front of them, and making sure that you’re providing good value to them.
You can use these meetings to ask questions, taking them right into the sales process by finding out their biggest concerns and challenges, their goals for upcoming months, and other insights that will help you create far more opportunities to sell more deeply to your clients.
This is a powerful way to fill your sales funnel with more business from your existing customers.
How to Fill Your Sales Funnel Tip #4: Host private events.
I personally love hosting private events for my own business. I use private events all the time to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in business every single year.
I invite high-potential prospects and mix them in with some of my existing top clients, getting them all into a room together. Then I provide huge value to them during the event.
You can do this exact same thing at your own private events, where you invite high-potential prospects and combine them with some of your top clients. At the event, speak to the group and provide some high-value content.
Make sure that you’re getting your clients and your prospects into the same room, in a really exclusive environment. Maybe have it at The Ritz, or another nice hotel.
You could, of course, do it at your office—but I tend to find that the more exclusive the venue is, the more people want to be a part of it.
You don’t even have to sell hard at these events. You’re just getting people together. At the end, say something like, “I’m available to set up meetings if you’d like.”
But that’s it.
Private events are such a powerful way to get more people in front of you and ultimately fill your sales funnel with qualified leads. High-level prospects will come simply because it feels exclusive.
How to Fill Your Sales Funnel Tip #5: Nurture, nurture, nurture.
The old-school idea that we need to just hammer our prospects—convincing them to buy even when they don’t want to—just doesn’t apply to selling today.
The data shows that around 50% of your prospects aren’t going to be a good fit for you right now.
Now, this doesn’t mean that they’re never going to be a good fit. It just means that right at this particular point, they’re not a good fit.
What you want to do is put these prospects into your nurture campaign.
Every company should have some way to nurture prospects who might not be a fit today, but may turn out to be a fit down the road.
That means sending them content on a regular basis. It might be emails. It might be packages with books or whatever information that’s valuable enough to nurture that relationship.
Even if it doesn’t make sense for them to do business with you today, 6 months or a year from now, they’ll be ready.
Nurture, nurture, nurture.
How to Fill Your Sales Funnel Tip #6: Pick one place to network deeply.
We’ve all been told our whole lives that we need to network, network, network. But networking can mean a lot of different things.
When it comes to learning how to fill your sales funnel, you just need to be really good at networking very deeply in one or two key places.
First, you need to decide where you want to network.
The number one rule is to network where your prospects and your customers currently are today.
I’m talking about the decision makers. Where are they actually networking right now?
Once you know where you want to network, dive deep into those areas. Don’t cast a really wide net, but instead focus on just one or two groups. Get involved. Become a member of the committee or the board. Start to develop relationships in those groups.
Ideally, it’s just one or two places. You’re going to get more bang for your buck by networking deeply in one or two places as opposed to just networking at any event that’s available to you.
When you just network anywhere, it’s like cold calling face-to-face with no relationship to anyone there. But once you start to build relationships with people who could be buyers, deep networking can bring you an absolute flood of new leads into your pipeline.
Pick one place to network deeply.
How to Fill Your Sales Funnel Tip #7: Get face-to-face with your best opportunities.
Today, the trend has been running away from face-to-face meetings, because they’re cumbersome. They’re time-consuming. They involve travel.
While I understand that they’re inconvenient, face-to-face meetings are key if you really want to fill your sales funnel with high-value leads.
Especially if you’re in the business of selling to big companies, getting face-to-face with those opportunities is going to make a huge difference to your close ratio.
It’s the difference between closing 20% of opportunities and closing 50%. Get face-to-face with your best opportunities.
That means getting onto a plane. That means getting in the car and driving. You don’t have to get face-to-face with all of your opportunities if they’re small—you can use WebEx or GoToMeeting instead. But for those best opportunities, get out there and get face-to-face with them.
So, there you have it. Now you know 7 easy tips to fill your sales funnel to the brim. Which of these tips will you implement today? Which ideas did you find most useful? Be sure to share below in the comments section to get involved in the conversation.
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About the Author Marc Wayshak
Marc is is the best-selling author of three books on sales and leadership, including the highly acclaimed titles Game Plan Selling, The High-Velocity Sales Organization and his forthcoming book, Sales Conversations, Mastered.
Marc is a contributor to Inc, HubSpot, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Huffington Post Business. He also hosts a popular YouTube channel on sales strategy with over 103,000 subscribers.
Marc helps thousands of people his data-driven, science-based approach to selling that utilizes all the best tools available to sales organizations today.