Hello Mark, I absolutely loved this article. It’s very thorough. I wanted to ask in Step 3 that is “Defining the Criteria for Each Stage” in each sub-step if the customer is not responding to sales call we are sending them back to the previous sub-step. In between each sub-step, can we put one more stage where we are approaching the customer one more time through Email or SMS where in we give them a last chance to move forward and if they don’t reply to it, then we put them back in the previous sub-step?

In fact, by the time a potential customer actually reaches out to a person in your organization, 70% of the decision-making process will already have taken place. Puts into perspective why you need to have online and website-based tools to act as proxies! (See Why ZMOT is Relevant for B2B Marketing: 4 Data-Based Reasons and Inbound Marketing and ZMOT: Perfect Together?)

The sales process is not a straight line. This is why converting a lead to customer often takes its own course, and varies with business. Whether B2B or B2C sales, it’s important for sales reps to understand and visualize a lead’s journey; otherwise, they’re shooting in the dark. This is done by a series of steps which develops into what’s called the sales funnel—a concept that finds its way back to the 1890s.
Now your marketing automation funnel is giving you a boost at every stage: It responded within five minutes of their first contact, and that helped get you the chance to make your pitch. Now, after the pitch, you're ready to stay in contact and respond to objections in a friendly, targeted way. (And if they love the pitch, automation can help you stay in close touch until closing.)
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