We see this all the time. You work in a high-demand industry where you get dozens of leads every day, or your sales cycle is long and drawn out across several months.
In either situation, it can be difficult to stay on top of all your leads and remember to follow up at exactly the right moment. Inevitably, you and your sales team are probably letting a few (or more) deals slip through the cracks unnoticed.
We refer to this as a “leaky sales funnel” and it is actually very common. Fortunately, if you are using HubSpot, keeping track of your deals and improving sales efficiency can be accomplished by using deal stages and task reminders. Just follow the steps below.
How To Fix a Leaky Sales Funnel in 4 Steps
Ready to step up your game and stop that leaky sales funnel? Here’s how you can prevent valuable leads from slipping through cracks without having that much harder.
Step1: Set Up Your Deal Stages in HubSpot
The first step in streamlining your sales process is to set up deal stages in HubSpot. Deal stages are great because they allow to you visualize how many deals you have in the pipeline and how close (or likely) they are to becoming revenue. Over time, this will help you to create a more stable and predictable revenue stream for your business.
Getting started with deal stages will require you to think in depth about your sales process and identify the different steps your prospects must go through to become a customer. You can have as many or as few deal stages as necessary, it just depends on how complex the process is.
At WEBITMD, our sales process is pretty lengthy and requires multiple touch points with the prospect so we have quite few deal stages in our pipeline. Your pipeline may be more or less complex than ours, but it will probably look something like this:
You can customize your deal stages however you want. There is no right or wrong way to do this and it will vary from business to business. You can also add or remove specific stages whenever you want, so don’t worry about getting it exactly right the first time.
Step 2: Be Diligent
Using deal stages in HubSpot can be a game changer for your business, but only if you and your sales team are following the process. Deals don’t automatically move themselves through the pipeline. This needs to be done manually or through a workflow, so make sure that you and your team are placing deals in the correct stage.
For example, if a new lead comes in and books a sales call, make sure you are taking that deal out of “quote sent” and placing them into “meeting booked.” If your deals are not being placed in the right stages at the right time, the entire system becomes broken and chaos ensues.
Make sure you and your sales team are doing your due diligence by placing things where they belong. You will all be thanking each other later when those bonus checks are handed out!
Step 3: Use HubSpot Task Reminders
HubSpot task reminders is another game changing mechanic that users have access to. These are especially helpful to businesses that receive a lot of volume or have long, drawn-out sales processes.
A task reminder is a simple notification that gets sent whenever it is time to follow up with a prospect. These reminders can be sent automatically based on criteria that you have established, such as “follow up with prospect every 7 days.”
Here is a quick look at how we use task reminders at WEBITMD:
As you can see, we follow up with new leads after 3 days, again on the 7th day, and once more on the 10th day. If that person has not booked a meeting or moved to another deal stage at that point, we place them in a “future follow ups” bucket and dedicate our time to new leads that have come in.
Task reminders are often the most beneficial tool for sales teams that have trouble knowing where each and every prospect is within the sales cycle. There is so much that you can do with this feature to help improve sales efficiency, but that is a whole other post in and of itself.
Step 4: Follow Up
With task reminders, users will get an email in their inbox with the name of the task and a link that take them into HubSpot. Once in HubSpot, you can see task notes as well as the entire history of the deal associated with that task. Your task list will look something like this:
Now that you have everything in one place, you just need to make sure you and your team are actually following up with your prospects.
Silence never closes deals so it is important to have regular touch points with your prospects as they move through the sales funnel. HubSpot tasks make it easier to keep track of which prospects need to be followed up with and when.
Taking Advantage of the Latest Sales Tech
Got a leaky sales funnel? When was the last time you updated your sales process?
Taking advantage of the latest sales technologies like HubSpot pipeline stages and task reminders can help prevent perfectly good deals from slipping through the cracks. While you may not be able to close 100% of the deals that come your way, you can greatly improve your odds by following the steps laid out above.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2018 by Andrew Copeland. It has since been updated to reflect current best practices, services, and capabilities.