Questions That Every Business Leader Should Be Able to Answer About Their Company’s Funnel
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Have you ever tried driving your car in reverse for an extended distance, using only your rearview mirror to see where you are going? It is challenging to say the least. Yet many businesses use this exact approach to drive themselves. Current CRM and business intelligence technology encourages sales and marketing leaders to build pretty dashboards that look at metrics that happened in the past, such as how many leads were created yesterday, how many meetings their sales reps held last week, and how many deals they closed won last month. While those backward-looking metrics are important, you cannot successfully drive a business by looking only in the rearview mirror.

Best-in-class and high growth businesses need to focus just as much on forward-looking questions about their revenue funnel. The most important forward-looking questions tend to fall into one or more of four general categories:
The specific questions within each category vary based on who is asking them and the details of the business. An additional challenge is that some business leaders only want to focus on questions in their area of the business without looking at the bigger picture. For example, I have spoken with marketing leaders who want to drill into detail about their marketing metrics but when asked about revenue results, they say that those are sales’ problem, not theirs. The highest performing business leaders take time to understand answers to key forward-looking questions in all four categories, regardless of whether they personally have the title of “CMO”, “CSO”, “CFO”, “CEO”, or others. This gives them a broader strategic understanding of the business and positions them to make their own areas more successful.
Common Questions In The 4 Categories Include
Planning & Goals
1. Is our revenue on track to hit our future goals? Have we calculated our marketing and sales funnel momentum, and what does it tell us? If we keep doing what we are doing today, can we reasonably expect to hit our future revenue goals, or is there a gap?

 2. Do we have the right goals? Are our overall revenue goals achievable? Are they too high? Or too low?

 3. If we are not on track, what changes do we need to make? Exactly where in our marketing and sales funnel is the problem occurring, why is it happening, and what do we need to do to fix it?

 4. Am I communicating the right information to my boss/CEO/Board about what to expect from our revenue funnel in the future? If you are a sales or marketing leader, it is critical that you set expectations with your boss properly. Even if you are a CEO, you likely have a Board and investors to set expectations with.
Marketing Strategy (including Demand Generation)
 5. Are we generating the correct number and quality of leads at the right times to hit our revenue goal? By reverse engineering your revenue goals, you should know the exact number of leads or MQLs needed to feed your funnel. Do you have the right goals for not just the lead volume, but the quality and timing of them?

 6. What marketing programs are having the greatest impact on our funnel? Identifying what programs or campaigns are having the biggest positive impact allows you to then double down on those investments.

 7. What marketing and demand generation initiatives should we spend more on?

Sales Effort
8. Are we completing the right sales activities with leads? Are sales reps complete the right touches with every lead to make sure your sales results meet expectations? Touches can be measured by a variety of metrics, including total quantity, quality, and time to first touch.

9. How are individual sales reps performing at each stage of our funnel? Most teams have a variety of performance levels across it. How do your reps compare against each other in every individual stage of your funnel?

10. What levers can we pull or dials can we turn to grow our revenue faster? Every business has dozens or hundreds of dials they could turn to adjust their revenue results. Have you identified them all in your business, and are focusing on the right ones?
Return on Investment
11. What is the return on our overall investment in marketing and sales? There are many ways to look at ROI, including by analyzing CAC:LTV. Is your business getting an acceptable return on every dollar that is being spent on marketing?

12. What marketing and sales activities generate the greatest return?

13. How much should we invest in marketing and sales in the future?

If you need help with marketing online or building intelligent funnels to generate leads, convert sales and create raving fans for your business, we can help. Simply click the "get a quote" button below and then schedule a 30-minute strategy session so we can give you a blueprint for being successful online based on our experience of "what's working now" in the world of online marketing and advertising.

To your success, 
Bryan Zurawski
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