Sales Chain Acceleration

Sales Chain Acceleration

Are you seeing most of the deals out there? Are you closing enough deals to meet your growth targets? Are you closing them fast enough? If not, you may want to take an outside-in look at your sales funnel. Our clients have experienced bottlenecks at different stages of the sales funnel. Topline’s experience with engagements of this nature has demonstrated that the root causes vary by stage. We have helped companies address bottlenecks at all stages of the sales funnel by answering the following questions:

Top of the funnel (‘not seeing enough deals’)

  • Am I seeing all the possible deals in the market?
  • What is the true market size and growth based on the segment(s) I am targeting?
  • What is the annual deal velocity? How many deals get done annually?
  • How are prospects finding me and how are they finding my competitors?
  • How are prospects solving the problem today?

Middle of the Funnel (‘not moving the deals’)

  • Why do prospects have enough interest to enter the sales cycle but not progress through it? What separates those who progress through sales cycle from those that do not?
  • What is higher on their priority list? What are the barriers to moving through the funnel?
  • If and when will these customers actually make purchases?
  • What compelling value propositions can move them faster through the funnel?

Bottom of the Funnel (‘not closing enough deals’)

  • Why did these prospects not purchase your product?
  • What did they buy instead?
  • What are the key factors that drive customers’ decisions? What are the compelling value props and events that close deals?
  • How does your solution stack up against head to head competitors?
  • How effective is your sales execution?

Topline Sales Funnel Optimization Approach

To answer these questions Topline has developed a propriety methodology called Sales Funnel Optimization. Our methodology combines quantitative and qualitative research leveraging our senior consultancy model. To identify the specific actions a company needs to take to accelerate growth we interview or analyze prospects at varying stages of the sales funnel. This includes market participants who have not had any contact with you, those who have had 1-2 meetings, those who engaged in the sales process but have not made a purchase decision, those who chose a competitor and your existing customers (wins). Our experience over hundreds of engagements has demonstrated that each group provides important insights into your go to market approach. The following are the types of questions we typically ask each cohort:

SalesAcc

 

Based on this approach, Topline recommends specific actions a company needs to undertake to accelerate their growth. Typical examples are:

  • Refocusing or doubling down on segments where your products are a better fit
  • Re-aligning marketing channels and marketing messages
  • Prioritizing certain projects on the product roadmap or adding new ones
  • Arming Sales with competitive de-positioning tools
  •  Would you like more information?

Case Study

Background:

The client’s founders came out of a top tier banking institution and developed the product based on the needs of similar companies – mainly the high end.

Their market hypothesis was that the best way to scan for network vulnerabilities is to do ‘continuous scanning’ – then, once a scan is complete, to go back and scan again.

Prior to the Project:

The client hired Topline because they were not closing enough deals. Continuous scanning was the centerpiece of the message and the product roadmap. Deals were sized and priced based on the equipment needed for continuous scanning. R&D focused on continuous scanning features.

Root Causes:

Interviewing prospects who dropped in the sales cycle showed that many companies do not want continuous scanning. They do not necessarily have the same security requirements as the high end. In addition, competitors were underpricing by sizing deals for ‘periodic scans’. Finally, the product was lacking key features required for periodic/scheduled scanning.

Actions:

Based on Topline’s recommendations, the client moved periodic/scheduled scanning to the top of the development pipeline and immediately changed marketing messages and sales strategy. Topline estimated that sales would have been 2x in the previous 6 months had scheduled scanning features been available.