Leaky funnel

If you operate a successful business, you know there are always things that could work better, but sometimes it’s hard to see exactly what and how.

Take the process you use to acquire new customers, your sales funnel.

At its highest level, a sales funnel consists of a top, middle and bottom.

Let’s call these three parts Attract, Enlighten and Commit, respectively.

Within each part of a process there can be many smaller steps. And it is within these smaller steps where trouble lies and growth opportunities exist.

Here is an excellent 7 step exercise you and your team can use to improve any process:

Step 1. In the middle of a whiteboard or a sheet of paper, draw a line from left to right.

Step 2. Above the line, write the total time it takes to complete the entire process.

Step 3. Below the line, from left to right, list the steps within the process, from first to last.

Step 4. Under each step, write down the actual time each step takes to complete.

Step 5. Add up the time for each step to determine actual time, and write it below the steps.

Step 6. In the gaps between the steps write down the time between each step.

Step 7. Analyze the difference between lapsed time and actual time, and close the gaps between the two.

A leaky sales funnel is where customers get lost as they transition from initial awareness about your business, to enlightenment of how you solve their problem and, ultimately, a commitment to your brand. This can be due to many things, but most likely it has to do with too big of a gap between a step in your process.

At the end of the day, success is mostly about the steps that go into achieving something and the time it takes. By using a time frame that measures lapsed, actual and the gaps in any process, you will achieve better results.

As for how well this process will work for you and your team, only time will tell.