Funnel all selling efforts toward client development

April 1, 2001
Jeff Magee

Pharmaceutical Representative

Prioritize, manage and monitor daily activities.

The downfall of most sales professionals living in a world where they operate away from an office and communicate with colleagues and bosses via telecommunications systems is a reduced ability to remain focused and maintain the self discipline to attain peak, consistant performance.

To hold yourself accountable to success and ensure that every activity on your to-do list furthers the causes of account development and market dominance, learn to gauge everything you do against the "Sales Funnel"!

To do so, identify three core sets of questions that impact all your activities. From a selling perspective, every activity should fall into three categories at all times:

1. What feeds the Funnel?

2. What is worked in the Funnel?

3. What falls out of the bottom of the Funnel, and how does one refine that net result?

Every day, a percentage of time should be invested in activities that "feed the Funnel." This can include marketing, sending out direct mail, demonstrating your product, exhibiting at a show, displaying signs, advertising or telemarketing; all of these activities generate interest in what you offer and attract inquiries that can develop into dialogue.

Every day, a percentage of time should be invested in "working the Funnel," so the leads and contacts that come into your sphere of influence can be influenced to buy what you have to sell.

And every day, a percentage of time should be invested in those who do buy your product and request additional amounts of what you offer – in essence, what falls out of the bottom of the Funnel!

To refine how you work all three levels of the Funnel, you must do two things to what falls out the bottom.

First, develop a profile description of the best type of client or customer contact that you connect with. From this profile, gauge all of your efforts against finding "qualified suspects" who you can place into the top of your funnel and who fit the profile at the bottom. This effort will ensure quality contact and increase your sales effectiveness – thereby closing your sales cycle and fast-tracking success.

Only after you are addressing all markets that provide you with qualified suspects that meet your qualified customer profile description can you invest time at all three levels with emerging markets that produce parallel customers.

If you notice that you have spent an entire day or several days at only one level of the funnel, then recognize that the levels you omitted can create future selling challenges and can increase the risk of concentrating all of your efforts in one area at the expense of another.

Successful pharmaceutical selling demands that representatives divide their time strategically among all three levels of the Sales Funnel and tactically attack their daily work schedules to maximize every second within their sphere of influence.

Off the rails?

How do you know if you are not even close to using a Funnel approach? Easy. The following are signs of a derailed sales professional:


•Â Time spent organizing your files, desk, shelves, car trunk and electronic data files consumes more time than face-time with actual buyers.


•Â You spend the majority of your time searching for new contacts.


•Â You have so many contacts that all of your time is spent contacting new prospects.


•Â You have so many prospects that no time is spent cultivating new ones.


•Â You have so many clients and invest so much time with them that there is no time left to look for new emerging markets.


•Â You route sales calls in such an order that you drive more miles in a day than you need to.

Channel all daily activities toward the funnel that spills out qualified customers. Funneling selling initiatives for selling success starts with an action plan that works. PR