Is it your marketing or sales that’s not working?

by Tony Fannin, president, BE Branded

Your business isn’t growing and your bottom line proves it. Is it your marketing that’s not hitting the mark? Or, is it your sales efforts that is losing the customer? Is it one or the other or both? How can you tell? Ultimately, how can you fix something if you don’t know where the problem lies? Here is one way to find out.

It’s called the Purchase Funnel Assessment. It visually shows you what responsibilities marketing and advertising has and what responsibilities sales has. Below is the chart that I’ll reference in this blog.

Purchase Funnel Assessment

At the top is what marketing is responsible for. Sales is responsible for the bottom half of the funnel. This is where a purchase begins for all customers. They flow in this order:

Getting customers into the purchase funnel is what marketing does. This is accomplished by brand, advertising, messaging, and media plans.
1. There must be awareness of your product/service
2. Customers must then become familiar with what benefits you provide and how you will make their lives better
3. Then they will form an opinion about you and your company 
4. Once they have an opinion, then you are in their consideration to buy from

The bottom half of the funnel is where sales takes over. This has everything to do with the environment (store or web site), competitive conditions, and pricing structure.
5. Once they’re in the “store” how strong is the intent to buy? It’s sales’ job to increase that intent
6. Customers must have a great experience while there, otherwise, they are out the door
7. If you follow through on your part, then the purchase is made, congratulations, you have a new customer/client

If there are any holes in any of these seven steps, that’s where customers will leak out and you lose them. This is how you can tell if there’s a hole in marketing or sales. By knowing this you can fix the problem quicker and with the right solution. For example, if your brand isn’t well defined, then opinion of your company suffers. Your prospect leaves at this point. That’s a hole in your marketing. If your company (or web site functionality) does not provide a wonderful time are not genuinely there to serve, your prospects will have a bad experience with your company and walk out the door (or click on to another web site). This is a hole in sales.

All of these steps must be fulfilled in order to gain another customer/client. If your company isn’t gaining the market share you projected or expect, then there is a leak in your funnel where they are leaving you. By knowing if its a marketing or sales issue, you’ll be able to take appropriate action and invest your resources (human and financial) wisely. And one more point, when fixing these leaks, being cheap won’t cut it. All you’ll end up doing is putting on a temporary patch which you’ll have to spend more re-fixing later. While in the meantime, you’re still losing customers, just not as fast as before. Like anything else, if you’re going to do something, do it right with the necessary resources. It will payoff in the the end with increased revenue and market share.


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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