CaliberMind ran an independent survey that found the primary function of funnels was to increase efficiency in cross-functional handoffs and the sales process itself. So naturally, we hosted a Roundtable with them and other experts to divulge some of the “funnel fiascos” they’ve seen in their careers and explain how businesses use funnels to improve bookings.
“If you think about a funnel, it includes a lot of teams,” says Charlie. “You’ve got the marketing team, the sales team, customer service, the upsell–and sometimes the product team.”
He says that alignment is the goal with funnels from creation to using the data after it’s developed. When teams aren’t aligned on data definitions, you don’t have a good foundation. The first step is aligning on how to capture each stage to ensure everyone is rowing in the same direction so the boat doesn’t just circle round and round.
(Yes, that vision you have of things going down the drain is accurate.)
“It’s useless if the whole team doesn’t understand the purpose, how you want to build it, and how you’re thinking about it,” he says.
When alignment is missing, measurement doesn’t work.
“Not to sound trite, but it’s garbage in, garbage out,” says Nic.
While funnels used to be about sales opportunity stages and then grew to include marketing, now they include workstreams for customer success and signals from the product.
“The fallout [of misalignment] is bad measurement,” he adds. “It means arguments every time you have to create a board deck, which results in misinformed decisions based on bad data.”
Camela explains that because sales and marketing see their funnels differently, it often leads to problems.
“It’s certainly a challenge,” says Brooke. “Even more so when you add in that sales is focusing on accounts and opportunities. Marketing is looking at leads and a lead funnel. Speaking the same language is certainly a challenge.”
Adding on other technologies with other stage names or definitions that may not align with your sales organization will make things a whole lot worse.
And don’t think there’s consistency within each of these departments either.
“It is really important that SDRs are setting meetings the same way so that when the account executive picks it up and creates an opportunity, it’s tracked consistently,” says Nic.
Sales isn’t the only department going rogue. If marketing tries to create a funnel in a silo, they’ll have a funnel–but one that doesn’t align with how other departments view the world.
“And if sales is going rogue and creating opportunities in the wrong way, then you see the funnel end there,” Charlie says. “Now you’ve got a disconnected funnel and that whole process hasn’t been tracked end to end.”
The panelists were asked about where SDRs (aka inside sales teams) should sit and Camela took a stab at answering.
“My answer will be a little controversial and then I’ll let other people weigh in,” she says. “I think it depends on the size of your company and who has the most time because that inside sales team are usually new to their career.”
She sees benefits in them sitting under marketing because there is real-time feedback on whether messaging is resonating and a lot of the tactics inside sales teams use today have a lot in common with what marketing does (can anyone say, “Cold email prospecting”?).
Camela may have thought she was being controversial, but Brooke agreed with her take, while adding she’s seen it be successful both ways.
“I think there’s certainly a lot more to your organization’s communication style and the executive structure that determines where that person is best seated,” she adds.
Nic agrees, saying executive alignment needs to be right in order to create the right reporting structures – be they formal or informal.
Whether AEs create opportunities solely or SDRs do so as well will depend upon how opportunities are defined.
“We’ve been seeing a rise of stage zero opportunities lately,” says Nic. “It helps them when they have one place to collaborate on a deal.”
“You create the opportunity at stage zero with maybe a 5% probability and then you stamp your stages,” says Camela. “It’s much easier to calculate a conversion rate from that meeting set to qualification.”
Charlie notes that if SDRs are creating a lot of stages for meetings or leads, there has to be some sort of governance over it.
“Either way, you’re going to end up with either a lot of ops or a lot of leads or a lot of meetings that end up going nowhere,” he says.
An ABM Intent tool is one of Brooke’s favorite things to incorporate into the top of the funnel.
“Intent information paired with advertising information for targeting and actually going out and starting to build in that top of funnel,” she says.
Her next tool is content – how it’s being promoted and distributed.
“Something like Path Factory or Uber Flip, some sort of a content hub where your content is structured,” she adds.
Personalizing and tailoring the customer journey helps build on the attraction phase.
“And then, what are you empowering your SDR and sales teams with?” Brooke asks.
How are salespeople using content to communicate? Adding a location for sales-focused content then standardizing contracts and the processes for later stage deals is mission critical.
While Charlie is thinking specifically about Salesforce, he points out the struggle of uniting information at the account level. It’s hard to create a single view that appeals to both sales and marketing.
“It’s difficult when you have a lead funnel that needs to be combined with a revenue funnel,” he says. “You’ll have to track initial interest, then the meeting opportunity, to pipeline to revenue.”
He adds that unless people are using a tool like CaliberMind (remember he’s not from CaliberMind, so this isn’t a shameless plug 😊 ) basing tracking on timestamps is problematic because they live on both leads, contacts, and opportunities (and sometimes accounts!).
“It’s very difficult to get accurate conversion rate analytics out of that,” he says.
“This is not going to work unless you have some type of backbone that has the whole timeline across objects that could be in Salesforce, a data warehouse, etc.,” says Nic.
He adds that data enrichment tools need to be added into the mix. Qualification is critical.
All this data and tracking sometimes forgets what Camela brought up – “We’re still interacting with people.”
That means the individuals within the account matter. Sales needs to be aware of those who put their hands up. So when you aim to unify your funnel data at the account level, don’t forget that sales needs to know who is engaging at the account. Sometimes two funnels (person-based and account-based) are better than one.
Check out the entire video for more insights on multiple product lines, breakout groups with Q&As for those that have never set up a funnel and those with funnels that need help, and more.
Want to see how a compensation plan measures up? Watch RevOps pros get their comp plan questions answered. Spiff deconstructs plans with the RevOps Co-op.
It’s not uncommon for a sales team not to trust a comp plan. Thanks to QuotaPath, you can build yours with trust with their insights and free planning tool!
How will you make 2023 a year that hits the record books for all the RIGHT reasons? Hear how experts are approaching their plans thanks to CPQ and more!
It feels like the comp plan was just established and you’d like to “let it ride,” but should you? Check out how these experts suggest evaluating comp plans.
From an investor perspective, the birth of RevOps is a controversial discussion but Peter McCoy knows an important role when he sees it and supports it.
Think MQLs are dead? Think again. Looking at funnel best practices, this roundtable of experts knows MQLs are very much alive and important to sales funnels.
RevOps is a process-based function that enables others with information. We’re joined by Nicholas Gollop, a certified RevOps + Salesforce consultant, to talk about the fine points of the role.
Everyone’s feeling the pinch of inflation. Yet, companies need to retain and reward good sales people as market shifts unfold – the best compensation plans are recession-proof.
The future of B2B may lie in the hands of RevOps pros. Abhijeet Vijayvergiya integrated B2B buyer data and funnel activity into front-line tools and sees RevOps as the way to success.
At RevOps Co-op, we lift up ALL voices of our members. In this roundtable, we chatted with Black voices within RevOps. Here are the main takeaways.
RevOps teams have the interesting challenge of solving problems today while planning for growth in the future – Richard’s unique team structure helps.
RevOps professionals facilitate cross functional team work in all its forms and must learn to include and appreciate finance in that team.
Commission programs need to be fair to both employees and employers and they can be implemented without the pains of manual entry.
Full Cycle Sellers are the sales people who do it all, but technology can help them work smarter (not harder) as they adapt to organizational growth and change.
Cliff Simon, VP of Sales and Revenue at Carabineer Group, shares best practices and lessons learned when it comes to new CRM set up projects.
Nicole Smith, Head of Revenue Operations at Greenlight Guru, shares what RevOps professionals need to keep advancing their technical skills to create more success and advance their career.
Krystal Diel, Director of Revenue at Capacity, shares how to prioritize the budget you have, how to argue for more funding, and why understanding your stakeholders can make a big difference during negotiations.
Everstage, a RevOps Co-Op community partner, helps to demystify the move from a supporting role to a strategic role in RevOps.
Demandbase joins us to talk about why Account-Based Experience (ABX) makes sense for B2B, what you’ll need, and how to get started.
Jamie Klanac, Vice President of Revenue Operations at Transflo, shares his wealth of experience from managing over 20 acquisitions.
In this episode, Toby Carrington, SVP of Revenue Operations at Seismic, shares how people can prepare themselves to move from a siloed operations role to RevOps, why enablement belongs in RevOps, and what people new to Ops should think about before making the leap to RevOps.
During this episode, Asia talks about making the best out of a limited budget, early startup revenue operations priorities, and which tools are a must-have for every revenue operations team.