Sales funnel goals are goals that your leadership team, your management team, and your board will set to help make sure that everything that marketing, business development, sales and perhaps even your channel program are working on support the company's bottom line sales goals.
Sometimes a CEO will say, just generate X amount of new revenue, but the reality is in a digital-first world, we need to be a lot more specific about what those sales funnel goals are.
Yes, it is revenue, but revenue may not tell you the whole story. There's good revenue, and there’s bad revenue. If you generate revenue from some bad fit clients that your company ends up losing money on, that's not good either.
Maybe revenue isn’t the ultimate answer either. Maybe it's revenue from a certain kind of client and profitability. Working backward up from the bottom of the funnel, we have our revenue, typically, if we know our average deal size, we’ll have a certain amount of customers that we need to close to achieve that revenue target.
Working up from the bottom of the funnel above customers (new customers generated), we have sales opportunities. Your sales team, your sales leadership, will determine when a lead advances all the way to the stage of being a bonafide sales opportunity. The sales opportunity will typically have an estimated close date, and estimated close size, and will show up in your sales funnel pipeline forecasts.
Prior to getting to a sales opportunity, you’ll typically have sales qualified leads (SQLs) or sales accepted leads (SALs). Those are leads that your sales team has looked at and said, yes, those are pretty good.
Prior to getting to SQLs or SALs, you have MQLs or marketing qualified leads. That’s where someone looks like they’re a good fit for a buyer persona and they’re showing some interest in your company beyond just educational content.
Prior to getting to a marketing qualified lead, you have just plain ordinary leads. This is somebody that's filled out some kind of form on your website. A form could be anywhere from a one-field subscribe to newsletter where you collect an email address. That email address may be a free-mail address. You won’t be able to learn much about your lead from a Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail email address. In a perfect world, we want the value proposition of that premium content on the landing page to allow you to ask a few more questions so you can better determine if that lead is closer to qualified or not and if they’re helping you get closer to reaching your sales funnel goals.
The Bottom Line
Above the original lead that’s generated, we first need visitors. We have visitors, we have leads, we have marketing qualified leads, we have sales qualified leads, we have opportunities, we have clients. Clients lead to a certain amount of revenue. Revenue leads to a certain amount of profitability. Within each one of those steps, you can establish goals, and you can measure conversion rates. Those are some things you should think about when you set your company’s sales funnel goals.
What are your company's sales funnel goals? Share your thoughts in the section for comments below.
To learn more about sales funnel goals, download our eBook "3 Revenue Growth Opportunities Your Business May Be Missing."