Reverse Engineering Your Funnel for Sales Predictability

October 14, 2014 Jason Vargas

This is part two of a three-part blog series written by Datanyze’s managing director of outbound sales, Jason Vargas. In case you missed part one, you can read it here.

Now that you’ve created your very own blueprint for success from what you learned in part one, it’s time to continue sharpening your sales skills by learning how to reverse engineer your sales funnel.

I recently spoke with Hubspot’s director of business development, Danielle Herzberg, who proceeded to outline what made her successful when selling to both SMB and enterprise customers. Back when Danielle was a sales rep, she would take the time to reverse engineer her funnel based on both her company quota and her own personal goals. Working the funnel backwards provided her with a much better understanding of what actually needed to happen and what activities were important in creating that predictability.

Here is a snapshot of Danielle’s reverse engineered funnel from outreach to close:

  1. 80 connects per month
  2. 40 opportunities per month
  3. 15 diagnostics run per month
  4. 10 qualified demos per month
  5. 5 closed deals

Depending on which product she was selling, Danielle would take her average sales price and figure out how many deals she needed to close to predictably exceed quota. For Danielle, she knew that, in order to hit her baseline number, she had to close five deals per month, which meant she would need to run ten qualified demos.

Something worth pointing out here — there is a huge difference between running 10 demos vs 10 qualified demos. Danielle was clear that if she did a good job qualifying her prospects, then at least half of them would be prepared to purchase within a week of seeing the product and running them through the demo. If she did not do a good job, then this number would fluctuate, making her sales funnel less predictable.

To ensure that her prospects were qualified, Danielle went through three key steps before ever giving a demo of the product:

  1. Prospect: Find the best person at a company that has the need and budget for her product
  2. Connect: Get in touch with this person over email or phone
  3. Qualify: Hold a 10-15 minute phone call with this person to assess his or her pain points, and identify a specific group of products as a solution fit

If all went well during the first three steps, Danielle would schedule a diagnostic and goal setting call to co-create a plan that would help her prospect achieve his or her marketing goals. Getting to this step was a critical milestone in Danielle’s sales process and led to a 2/3 conversion ratio from step four to close.

Applying these two methodologies to reverse engineer your sales funnel will get you on your way to developing a process that is both duplicable and predictable. Once you have something in place, your reps will benefit from a much clearer understanding of what it takes to exceed their quota and what kind of prospects they should be looking for to close deals.

About the Author

Jason Vargas

Jason is the managing director of outbound sales at Datanyze, where he's responsible for building and scaling the SDR team.

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