Perhaps the biggest breakthrough moment for my online business was when I took the time to draw a funnel of my business lead management process, and then filled in each layer of the funnel with the types of products and prospects that belonged in each layer.
If I had gaps in my funnel drawing, I set about filling those gaps methodically.
The most resilient businesses in the Internet age will be the businesses that can complete this exercise and then constantly improve and expand their funnel.
I first learned the funnel concept from some training I received from Dan Kennedy.
To do this exercise you start out by drawing a Y-shaped funnel that is wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. Next, draw three or four evenly spaced horizontal lines through your funnel.
Each level you create as you move down represents a better kind of customer for your business. As you move down the funnel, the products you provide customers at each level become more exclusive and these customers are more willing to invest with you. The level of intimacy increases as the crowd shrinks as you move down the funnel.
Obviously the goal is to increase the number of prospects flowing into the top of the funnel, and preserve as many of those leads as possible as you move them through the funnel. The speed that you move them through the funnel is another valuable metric, but ideally we are going after life-long prospects, so time is not the most urgent factor. If ...