The top of the sales funnel doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. That’s because the suspects and prospects at this stage are just starting the research phase. They aren’t close to converting which means that they aren’t close to impacting the company bottom line (or the sales staff’s commissions). Yet, sales teams need to think long term. While the prospects at the top of the funnel might not be resulting in sales right now, if they’re given the attention they deserve up front they will be more likely to convert down the line. After all, a robust lead database doesn’t magically appear. A sales team must invest time and effort on prospecting at the top of the funnel in order to build up a full sales pipeline. Here are 3 reasons why companies must invest in top of the funnel sales prospecting:
Engage with prospects at a crucial time
Even though top of the funnel prospects are in the early stages of their decision, it’s still a crucial time to engage with them. Doing so provides the opportunity to speak to them and get to know them, which can set you apart from the competition and keep your company top of mind for when the time comes to make a decision. In addition, by asking questions about their business and sales cycle at this stage, the sales team can determine whether they are a good fit for the products or services offered. This ensures that only the qualified leads are pursued further. If they are a good fit, the sales team is armed with company and decision maker information that can improve their sales approach.
Keeps the sales pipeline consistently full
The B2B sales cycle can be notoriously long. It can sometimes take years for decision makers to pull the trigger. At the same time, your business is only going to grow if you are able to maintain business from current customers and clients while also consistently bringing in new ones. Prospecting at the top of the sales funnel allows the sales team to establish a relationship and brand trust up front in order to gradually move leads through the sales funnel and towards a purchase decision.
The sales team can close more deals
When a sales pipeline is consistently full due to early stage prospecting, the sales staff can focus on selling instead of spending their valuable time hunting for opportunities and qualifying leads. Developing leads at the top of the sales funnel and nurturing them through the sales cycle makes this possible.
Investing in top of the funnel sales prospecting is likely to shorten the sales cycle and improve sales force efficiency which in turn will increase revenue streams.