As marketers and sellers, few things matter more to us than our inbound sales funnel and taking care of those lovely conversions top to bottom! 

We put a lot of effort and money into getting buyers in and through. It's a tough pill to swallow to have a buyer walk away at any point.

You may have an amazing product or service, a shiny website and channels set up, and interested leads are trickling in. And wait a minute—why aren't those leads turning into revenue? Cue the dramatic music.

There could be a million reasons why you have a leaky funnel. 

Today, we'll go over some not-so-obvious but costly mistakes that might be creating those holes in your funnel.

What Happens When You Don’t Optimize Your Sales Funnel?

It's a lot harder to get away with not optimizing your sales funnel these days. 

Even with the tiniest hiccup or delay, you risk buyers hitting that back button or leaving you on read and head straight to your competitor. 

Even if somehow you have the PERFECT formula and flow. Things change all the time—your industry, new competitors popping up, innovations, and how buyers behave. You have to constantly check in to fix any leaks and eliminate any friction.

What worked 6 months ago, 1 year ago, may not (probably won’t) work today. 

So what ends up happening if you don’t prioritize optimizing your inbound funnel? Plenty of frustrations to go around. 

Buyers get annoyed and might bail if there's any hiccup or delay. They expect things to be quick, clear, and simple to get what they're after.

On your end, dealing with no-shows and less qualified conversions can pile up. You’ll quickly find your sales team getting frustrated and distracted with the *crap*.

Now, let's not overlook the ops side. Marketing needs to have clear workflows and accurate data to make informed decisions and increase quality conversions.

Top 6 rookie mistakes you’re (probably) making sinking your inbound sales funnel

Today’s sales funnel is not a straight line from attracting someone to your site to finalizing a deal. 

Buyers buy differently. They’re often in deep conversations with their communities, doing research on your brand and competitors before they even talk to you. 

We are different as solutions. It’s becoming less common to be a one-trick pony. We have become more horizontal in our solutions.

So, how do we keep up?

Let's dive deeper into some key areas where you can make changes to enhance your buyer's journey.

Mistake #1 - Making your buyers jump through hoops

Have you heard of the 5 minute rule? Well it applies to sales too. 

Conversion rates are 8x higher when a connection is made in the first 5 minutes.

Buyers just want to talk to you, and they want their questions answered NOW.

How do you feel when you fill out a form only for the message to say “Our team will get back to you within 24 hours?” Then when you finally get connected with a salesperson, you enter a back and forth ping pong match trying to find a time to chat. 

YOUR buyers hate that just as much.

Pro tip: Skip the back-and-forth scheduling and let buyers book meetings right on your website.

When leads come to your website, they are in the mindset to look or buy for a solution. Remember, buying your software is a SMALL portion of what they need to get done. After they leave the website, they move on to the next task, and if you haven't made that connection with them, you've lost their attention. 

So let buyers book a meeting with your sales team when they are filling out the form. Let them feel like they checked off a task for the next step. 

If you don’t do this, you’ll need to make sure your sales team picks up the phone within that 5 minute golden window. Let's just skip that stress all together because it won’t happen. 

Marketers can step in and eliminate a ton of that hassle. Data shows that booking a meeting within the first day is crucial. So, make sure you've got a sweet spot of 8-12 time slots available so the buyer is more likely to book a timeslot.

Why? Because buyers are more likely to go with the first solution they connect with—78% of the time, to be precise! They'll have your demo fresh in their minds, and that's where you want to be.

Mistake #2 - Not qualifying buyers before they talk to sales

Alright, how do most sales teams qualify leads? It usually goes a little something like this:

  • 1. Lead fills out the form
  • 2. Sales connects with lead
  • 3. Sales tells marketing, "This one's qualified," or "This one’s crap."

But the issue with that—only a measly 27% of those inbound leads are actually qualified and sales ready. 

So your team is distracted with a lot of noise. 

How do you cut through the noise?

Pro tip:  We need to qualify those leads BEFORE they even make it to the sales team. 

  • 1. Lead fills out the form
  • 2. Qualify lead
  • 3. Sales meets with lead

You may be using a simple round robin or a workflow where if someone fills out your form, they get assigned to the next sales rep in line. 

Even if you have 2 reps on your team, you’re making your sales team less effective. You’re leaving 100% of the work up to the salesperson to figure out who that lead is, what they want, and how to solve their issue.

There is so much marketing can do now to actually qualify leads and make sure the right connections are being made between buyer and seller. Let's not forget, at the end of the day, we're all just people. And people buy from people.

You’ll need a scheduling tool with lead routing like Chili Piper or Avoma in order to do this intelligence on the spot while the lead is on the form.

You qualify leads in your form from questions you ask or through firmographic data gathered by third parties, qualify your leads and categorize them into personas based on your ICP. 

Which leads me to our next mistake.

Mistake #3 - Every single lead goes to your sales team

You don’t need to chat with everyone, and you shouldn’t! If folks don't fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), it's okay to steer them away from your sales team.

"But what if I'm barely getting any leads? Are you saying I should just ignore them?"


I'm saying not everyone needs a 30-minute demo or chat with your sales team. It's just a waste of time when they're not the right fit for your ICP or not ready to buy.

Pro tip: Use a marketing-led and product-led strategy for leads that don’t fit your ICP or are not ready to buy.

For instance, if they're not your ideal customer, send them to a thank-you page with on-demand demos or customer stories. (You can include an option to book a 15-minute call with a rep if they really want to talk.)

For individual users, try a product-led motion by inviting them to a trial.

And if they only signed up for a guide or webinar, they might not be ready to buy. Keep sending them awesome content and watch for intent signals they're ready to chat sales.

You’ll have the ability to send the leads that don’t fit your criteria to a URL of your choice with a lead router. 

Why It Matters:

  • Your sales team will focus on high-quality leads, increasing win rate and Average Customer Value (ACV).
  • Your lead channels will be more optimized because you’ll tell paid channels, "Hey, only send me more of these buyers that fit our criteria (hit this certain thank you page)."

By qualifying leads before they reach your sales team, you can ensure that your team is spending their time and energy on leads that are more likely to convert. This not only improves the efficiency of your sales process but also results in higher-quality interactions with potential customers.

Mistake #4 - Your conversations aren’t personalized

Did you know: Your prospects are already 70% through their buying journey before they even think about chatting with your sales team. 

They're coming into that first meeting with a bag full of questions, different pain points, and maybe a sprinkle of skepticism.

The issue for you?

They expect more information than what they found online. However, chances are you are giving every single one of them the same generic overview of your products.

It makes sense. Your reps have a rhythm with the demo they give.

But you want your buyer to feel like, “Wow they really understand MY pain,” because that will be how you stand out.

Pro tip: Personalize your demos based on lead qualification

Now that you are qualifying your leads before they get to the sales team, you know more about them. Use that to your advantage.

Take that info to personalize those demos and agendas, so your conversations really hit home with the prospect.

An SMB is going to have different pain points than a big enterprise prospect. And companies from different industries? They've got their own priorities and will care about different things.

When you make the buyer's experience personal, that's when you shine.

What can you do here? 

Prep meeting agendas and tailor messages based on the buyer persona you’re meeting with

  • Address common pain points and weave in similar customer stories.
  • Collect feedback and monitor frequently asked questions and topics discussed. What’s working? What’s not?

Bonus Mistake: You’re not playing your best players.

Another reason why your conversations lack personalization is because you're not playing your best (or right) players.

Your top reps should handle the high-quality leads.

Just like in sports: the best players get more playtime in high stake games and are put in positions where they excel. Patrick Mahomes often passes to Travis Kelce because he gets those yards. He doesn't just throw to the next player in line.

So why don't we do the same in sales?

Your sales team has different strengths. They perform better in certain situations. You may have a rep that is better with selling to certain personas or handling leads evaluating certain competitors. Or maybe you notice reps click better with leads who live in the same region. Use that to your advantage.

Mistake #5 - Ignoring no-shows and abandoned bookings

When you're scheduling meetings right from the website, you'll notice overall more meetings getting booked because you no longer have to chase every single person down.

But, now you've got to handle those no-shows and folks who fill out the form but vanish before booking the time slot for the meeting (abandoned bookings).

Did you know that 44% of salespeople throw in the towel after just one follow-up? 

The truth is, most of the time, it takes 5+ follow-ups to seal the deal. Many might make the mistake of completely ignoring these leads.

But let's keep in mind, buyers are busy too. They've got jobs, packed schedules, and life happens. 

No shows and abandoned bookings are still high intent leads. Don’t discount them. 

Pro tip: Have marketing automate workflows to make sure these meetings actually happen.

Make sure these leads remain part of your workflow, and automate the follow-up for your sales team. 

  • Build a sequence to automate follow up for reps
  • Set up automated tasks or alerts for your sales reps, especially for bigger accounts 
  • Follow their intent signals and build campaigns to drive them back to book a meeting
  • Have your SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) track them down

Now, secondly, if you're noticing quite a few of these each week, dig a bit deeper. There might be a fix. 

Is your website taking forever to load? Are your agendas not quite hitting the mark? Maybe you need more available time slots. Check to see if these no-shows and abandoned bookings are coming from a specific channel or campaign.

Make some tweaks and adjustments monthly to see if you can bump up the number of meetings that actually happen. 

The perfect transition to the last mistake.

Mistake #6 - Setting it and forgetting it

We can go through all the strategies we discussed, but the work isn't over.

Optimizing the inbound sales funnel isn’t a one-time thing where you just check it off and move on.

How many of you have set up your tools, forms, and CTAs, and they've stayed the same for the past year or more?

I’ll say it again and again. What worked yesterday might not cut it today. Buyers evolve. Our solutions evolve.

Continue to make teaks and test, test, test!

How Avoma can help you optimize your inbound sales funnel

What are the core goals when wanting to optimize your inbound sales funnel?

  • Book more meetings with qualified buyers
  • Eliminate any hurdles or pain points for the buyers
  • Convert those meetings into deals

It’s quite simple. Some tools aren’t so simple to implement. 

You’ll need a powerful scheduling tool that can qualify, route and connect leads to the right rep. 

Here's how Avoma has simplified lead qualification and routing:

With Avoma Scheduler's Lead Router feature, you can set up your entire lead routing workflow from scratch in a matter of minutes. Avoma's intuitively designed UI makes it easy to define your routing rules, so you can accurately qualify your buyers, and route them to the right salesperson (or URL) - in just a few clicks. 

  1. Set up lead routing rules with ease:

Easily define routing conditions using 'IF - THEN' rules, based on geography, company size, revenue, or whatever make sense for you. Direct leads to specific sales teams or custom URLs effortlessly.

  1. Integrate seamlessly with HubSpot forms:

With one-click HubSpot form integration, access all form fields and properties for precise lead routing. For example, route leads based on 'Team size' values for tailored handling.

  1. Deliver a personalized experience to your existing accounts

Every subsequent 'lead' from an organization that already exists in your CRM database, should be routed to the 'Contact Owner' for the original lead. If a customer account slips in your form, they will also be routed to the account executive or customer success rep handling the account.

  1. Monitor routing performance through actionable reports

With Router Reports, you can monitor how leads are being assigned to salespeople in real time. Track abandoned bookings to automate follow up. And get complete visibility into the entire funnel, right from form submission to scheduled meetings.

With Lead Routing on Avoma Scheduler, you can ensure your buyers are connected with the right salesperson with ease. You can learn more about automating your lead routing with Avoma Scheduler here.

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