Sales funnel goals are goals that your leadership team, management team, and board will set to help ensure that everything that marketing, business development, sales, and perhaps even your channel program support the company's bottom-line sales goals.

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Sometimes a CEO will, say, generate X amount of new revenue, but in a digital-first world, we need to be a lot more specific about those sales funnel goals.

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 loses 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 number of customers 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, and 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.

Qualified Leads

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 form on your website. A form could be anywhere from a one-field subscription to a 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, and 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, enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.

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