How to Optimize the Middle of the Funnel
There’s a point in the sales funnel where the prospect is handed off to the next team member. Specifically, this is the point of the funnel where the marketing hands off prospects to sales and sales pass prospects to an account executive. The middle of the funnel is like a valve. At this point, you can expand lead quality definitions to pass a higher volume of leads to your sales team, or even tighten the definitions to give them a more specific segment of qualified leads. In the middle of the funnel, marketing facilitates the hand-off to sales. For this hand-off, content is created to engage and educate leads to identify who is interested in making a purchase. This part of the funnel has the biggest potential for marketing and sales to not completely align, so it requires the most attention. Below, we have some tips for how to prevent leads from going cold in the middle of the funnel.
Fight low lead quality at the source
Not all lead sources have the same value. It’s important to understand why some leads aren’t as strong as others, as well as where the weaker leads are coming from. Take into consideration all of the access points that the leads come from and measure the strength and success of each access point. You might want to evaluate the quality of the data you’re getting from each lead. The worse the data is, the lower the contact rate will be. Having the right data to pass onto the sales team is crucial for closing those sales later.
Accelerate leads from specific audience segments
When the marketing team is surveying the leads, it might be more satisfying to implement the same lead nurturing process every single time. But business rarely operates that way. It’s important to have the flexibility to focus on a specific set of leads, which might push more high-quality leads through the sales funnel first. Flexibility is an incredible trait for marketers to have, especially when you have so many different ways to nurture and process leads.
Reduce hand-off friction with content
The easiest way to continue to nurture leads after they leave the middle of the sales funnel is to create marketing collateral to educate and inform the leads as they move through the funnel. Marketers are already supplying the sales team with all of the marketing collateral they need to close deals, so it’s worth the time and effort to provide the leads with their materials as well. Additionally, marketers can create optimized content experiences for leads by linking several pieces of content together. When a prospect watches a video or a webinar, send them a link to a relevant ebook or blog.