Funnel or pipeline, which we call with various names, becomes our compass while developing business
I wanted to share with you an important issue that I see missing in sales and business development, especially at the beginning stage companies with high technical capacity. As an engineering-trained salesperson I can't get used to the dynamics of business life. Because the mathematics of business life, especially the sales process, is very different from the engineering formation. Processes are stochastic, not deterministic. The sad thing is that stochastic, or statistics in general, is an unpopular subject and the happy part is that we're still talking about math and we call it "data science" today.
I sometimes get a negative answer when I ask what the following figure is, including from business partners I work with. However, this shape, which we call a funnel or pipeline with various names, becomes our compass while developing business. In order to achieve the goals we set at the beginning of the year, we reach questions such as how many customers we need to reach, how much traffic we need to drive to our site, how many interviews we need to make, how many demo requests or clicks we need to go through this pipeline. The fact that your company is a fully digital platform that sells products or services only changes the names of the parameters and stages here, but the general logic is basically the same.
To be more concrete, the stages here can be a visit to a digital service or e-commerce site, time to stay on the page, using the demo, reviewing the product detail, adding to the cart and placing an order. a product or service company (by the way, software that produces custom solutions according to customer needs), we can think of companies as service companies) reaching the customer/target audience, presentation/promotion, demo, offer, order. The number of stages can increase or decrease according to the performance criteria you want to follow. The depth and width of the funnel can also vary depending on the work you do. While 1-2% may be a success criterion for a digital service, 20-40% can be expected in a service company. Although these details and each stage obviously require expertise and experience in themselves, our main compass is usually this funnel method.
In cases where we cannot establish this structure, we often find ourselves in a relentless struggle. The number of customers we contact, how many of them have positive and how many negative processes, where are we stuck, are we wrong on price, are we out of demo? We're having trouble identifying it. When the bargaining and competition inherent in the sales/purchasing process are added to this, the fact that doing business turns into pain rather than pleasure turns into an unpleasant point for all stakeholders.
In my own experience, when this work is done with the right KPIs, it gives results to a large extent, and bottlenecks can be detected and reported at the point where no results can be achieved, and the strategy can be revised before the process progresses a bottleneck. Agile revisions are needed in the phase of catching product-market fit, especially in technical teams at the early stage or in new steps such as expanding abroad. My advice to the interested parties is to sit back for a short while, determine their goals, determine the stages and success criteria they need to pass while reaching these goals, and follow them periodically. It will be meaningful for software and technology teams to apply the Scrum methodology, which they are familiar with, in business development processes. Welcome to your blog post. Use this space to connect with your readers and potential customers in a way that’s current and interesting. Think of it as an ongoing conversation where you can share updates about business, trends, news, and more.