Skip to content

WARNING: Read this article before spending any more on sales funnels, marketing automation and “always on” marketing!

  • 5 min read

What you don’t know about marketing and sales funnels that could cost you tens-of-thousands and threaten your return on marketing investment:

6 Reasons that shouting louder and spending more on systems and adverts than the competition doesn’t work

5 Factors you must consider before implementing marketing automation and sales funnels.

The dirty little secrets no software vendor would dare tell you upfront!

We are all well versed in how to handle a customer with a need. Even if you’re not a professional salesperson, you can sell to someone who needs what you have to sell. The challenge is the percentage of people in your marketplace who are proactively buying and looking for your product or service is small.  In fact, in any given market at any given time only 3% of people are in buying mode (Gleanster Research). A lot of marketing budget is directed at these people. The intention is to get the highest conversion rate so targeting accurately to find this 3% is crucial. Hence many millions is spent on profiling and targeting these customers. The content and messaging is created to go straight to the sale – buy now! The challenges with these sort of sales funnels are:

  1. Only on inbound channels with context aware AI/decisioning to existing customers can you exactly target the top 3% with the right message and get a fantastic conversion rate, (i.e. it only works for cross/upsell).
  2. While the conversion rates are great, you are only converting a part of the 3% so the net volume is low.
  3. As you can only do this successfully on your existing customers you quickly run out of leads and new customers to sell to, plus you fatigue your customer base.
  4. It is not possible to target this 3% accurately in outbound campaigns/sales funnels. Inaccurate targeting means people in the next levels are also targeted and they are not ready to buy – hence wasted budget in getting messages to these people.
  5. The conversion rates, of course, for outbound are not as good compared with inbound because knowing a customer context this accurately is just not possible outbound.
  6. All your competition are aiming for this top 3% as well.

The big opportunity therefore lies in the next two levels – the 37% of people who are either gathering information or are aware of the problem. At these levels you stand a much better chance of more accurately targeting this audience if you provide the right content. Many companies “know” this – see sales funnels and marketing nurturing campaigns. However, it is not always reflected in the content and more often than not the messaging is still designed to get to the sales as quickly as possible. Businesses are still trying to sell to people not ready to buy.

Factors that need to be taken into consideration:

  1. The customer needs to be engaged with so that you build up trust and context with them. When they get to buying you are then in pole position.
  2. The key is that you must deliver value with the content. In order to get trust and engagement you need to provide content that is of great value to them. It has to be high quality, contextually relevant information that they can’t get elsewhere. You have to educate them about the problems you solve and help them avoid problems by making the wrong choices.
  3. With smart, quality content and by tracking people who engage with this type of content you are self-qualifying what their needs are and their intention to buy.
  4. The conversion rates for the 37% will be lower, they are further away from the buying decision, but the volume will be far higher meaning the net result on sales can be double or more.
  5. A side benefit of great quality content that answers people’s actual questions is that your search rankings will be automatically boosted.

Also: Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than those who buy immediately. (

The dirty little secrets no software vendor would dare tell you (although here at Odyssiant we’re so aware of all these issues that we’ve gone to great lengths to avoid them!):

  1. Implementation costs are at least double the licence fee.
  2. Software vendors are not marketing experts or marketers, they often don’t use their own software!
  3. Software vendors rarely understand how to design the organisation to run the system and you will end up with a management consultant doing the implementation for you to get around this. But then the management consultants have not often run the software themselves and they are also not marketers.
  4. Whatever system you put in place the vendor will not guarantee the results because they can’t control the quality of your content.

The buyer journey is more than the exchange of money for goods and services. Your customers are emotional beings and people want to interact with companies and brands that make them feel good about themselves. You do that by understanding how people buy and what content you need to create to support the buying journey. By being content-led in your approach to sales & marketing you can deliver more value to your prospects, create more engagement and ultimately sell more.

(Then you can consider marketing systems that help you target the right people and deliver it!)

Contact us to find out how you can transform your marketing without spending thousands or even millions!