Most building material companies know what a sales funnel is and tell me they have one. I find most of them don’t actually have a sales funnel and if they really created an accurate one, they would be surprised what it looks like.
Three types of building material sales funnels.
This is usually the type of funnel a building materials company has when they are trying to enter a new market. No one knows who they are, so their funnel is very narrow. More like a hole in the ground made by a small animal that a customer will have a hard time finding.
The other time I see this type of funnel is when a company has been focusing on the wrong target. For example, they may have been creating awareness with builders when the contractor or architect is the real decision maker. They may be invisible to the real decision maker.
This funnel is easy to see, as it is more of a gaping hole than a funnel. They are in such a hurry to make a sale that they don’t stop to listen to the customer. They also make the mistake of assuming that everyone is a customer for their product.
Customers frequently avoid this funnel unless they really need the product. It’s easy to spot these funnels at trade shows where the sales people in the booth are like the offense of a football team. Its sell, sell, sell. Funnels like this give building material sales a bad name.
Most sales funnels are in the shape of a funnel with slanted sides that narrow until a sale is made. I’m recommending that you revise the funnel and add steps to it.
The steps force you to slow down and not think of the funnel as a slippery slope. They also help you to see the funnel from the point of view of the customer. What steps need to happen for a sale to be made?
Do you need to start by learning about the customer? Do you know what he is using today and what problems he may be having? Do you really know why your product may be a better solution?
If you want to grow your building materials sales while creating more loyalty and less focus on price, use the step-by-step sales funnel.
Thanks for the following comments. I’d like to hear your feedback and suggestions on how to sell architects.
“Excellent article. Education and support are key to ensuring a healthy pipeline with good and well-earned conversion.”
Business Development Manager
KE Fibertec UK
“Great post, thank you for sharing”
General Insulation Compmany
“People talk about sales funnels all the time, but I never stopped to think about them having steps…of course it does (or should)! It’s a process…thanks for the insight.”
Account Service Representative