Bullhorns & Bullseyes Podcast

Exploring the Sales Funnel

Curtis Hays & Tom Nixon

June 18, 2024
Play Video about Curtis Hays Tom Nixon

Episode 29

Did you know that your sales funnel could be the key to skyrocketing your marketing success? In this episode, we reveal how to navigate and optimize your sales funnel using models like AIDA and RACE.

Understanding where your prospects are in their buyer’s journey is crucial. By mapping out their path from awareness to action, you can tailor your marketing efforts to meet them exactly where they are.

The challenge lies in aligning your sales and marketing teams and creating targeted content for each stage of the funnel. Many businesses struggle with defining their ideal customer profile and nurturing leads effectively. That’s where our expertise comes in. We break down how to overcome these hurdles and build a seamless, integrated approach to sales and marketing.

Join Tom and Curtis as they share practical tips and real-life examples of how to create engaging content, foster customer relationships, and turn happy clients into brand ambassadors. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or new to the field, you’ll find valuable takeaways to apply to your business.


  • Building personal relationships is important in business
  • Glover U provides coaching and training for real estate agents
  • Authenticity and empathy are crucial in sales
  • Understanding the consumer’s end goal is key in messaging
  • Patience is necessary in sales and marketing activities
  • Follow someone who has walked the path you want to go
  • Align sales and marketing to achieve better results

Connect with Kate on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katetarganski/

Visit Glover U: https://www.gloveru.com/

Learn more and watch Kate’s story: https://www.gloveru.com/real-estate-coaches/kate-simon

Tom Nixon (00:01.366)
Welcome back everyone to Bullhorns and Bulls Eyes. I am Tom Nixon. Joined as always by my co -host, Curtis Hayes. Curtis, how are you?

Curtis Hays (00:08.458)
Howdy folks, how we doing?

Tom Nixon (00:10.166)
That’s that’s on brand. That’s what I like to hear partner. Good. Good. Well, speaking of on brand, we’re going to be talking about some bull horns and bulls eyes again today and I wanted to pick up something that you and I discussed with our previous guest, which was Kate Simon and we were talking about sales but as we often do, we were combining sales and marketing into thinking of it as one concept and she made a

Curtis Hays (00:13.01)
Doing great today. Yeah.

Tom Nixon (00:39.254)
really salient point that I thought was a good jumping off point for us to kind of dive deeper into it. And it was in relation to the sales funnel. So, I thought maybe we would just pause before we dive into the conversation, just for those who aren’t intimately familiar with the sales funnel, just a kind of high level description. I’ll use my own. I know there’s many others. You might have a different one. And I think various guests on the show.

have used different acronyms, but it goes something like this. So if you picture a funnel, right, you have people outside of the funnel that aren’t yet aware of your brand or your service or your product, or even you, and they’re not in the funnel yet. Right. And then once they go from unaware to aware, they are at the top of the funnel. And if you think of the funnel as four sections is typically how I do it. And they are AIDA and I use that acronym because it’s a, the name of a musical. So it’s like, I can remember that.

So the A, that first A is aware. And what you’re trying to do is get people down the sales funnel to the bottom because the bottom A is action and that’s a sale typically. From aware you go from, so unaware to aware you’re in the funnel. Aware you’re at the top of the funnel. You get further down, you’re interested. And maybe one of our prior guests mentioned that you’re now getting to the point of preference. So I call this interested. So they’re interested in buying, but they haven’t yet taken the action at the bottom of the funnel.

And then the D in my vernacular is the decision. They’ve eliminated the competition and now they have decided on you and your product and your service. Then that leads to action. So that’s how I typically is that pretty close to how your sales funnel typically tracks?

Curtis Hays (02:21.354)
Yeah, well, I would say there’s maybe two funnels, your marketing funnel and your sales funnel. Okay. So you could combine them, but oftentimes the marketing team might be looking at one funnel, which is those who are unaware and bringing them into aware. And then once they come in as a lead, then you might have the sales funnel where now we’re taking them from a lead.

Tom Nixon (02:28.854)

Curtis Hays (02:48.01)
down to a qualified lead down to a opportunity down to an account and customer. But my methodology, similar to yours, which I’ve used from a data analytics perspective to help a client visualize all of the data that we’re collecting from a marketing perspective is called race. R A C E. So, yup.

Tom Nixon (03:13.974)
That’s easy to remember too, I will concede.

Curtis Hays (03:16.266)
So the race model, which I didn’t come up with that there’s, there’s a marketing insights organization out that came up with us. So it’s reach, which is kind of like the aware, go out and find people, make them aware, reach, act, which is to get them to do, take some sort of action on the website. Right. So kind of in that journey storytelling, we talked about that, that journey driven storytelling. It’s like.

Okay. They land on the page. How, how are you getting them to take some sort of action prior to the conversion? Whether that’s dig in further, you know, click a button to dig in further, add a product to the cart, whatever that might be. Then C is convert.

Tom Nixon (04:03.51)
Real quick, I was just going to point out that your A maps to the I. So that is the interest. So if they’re interested, they start clicking around. They might even download a lead magnet. I’m starting to not like that word, but they might take some other action to demonstrate interest. So go ahead.

Curtis Hays (04:10.826)
Right. Exactly.

Curtis Hays (04:21.098)
Correct. Yep. And so then C is convert. so that’s going to be fill out of, of bleed gen form, sign up for a webinar, download a white paper, you know, something like that. So now they’re in the sales funnel once they’ve converted. And then from a marketing perspective, we want to engage those people who do convert. And so what are we doing to nurture those leads, whether that’s if they’re subscribed and we’re doing a newsletter.

Or what I often find most importantly is to turn those people who have converted maybe into ambassadors where they then go and help other people come into the funnel. Right? So share on social media, leave a testimonial or a review, something like that. So, now we’ve used that simply to just take metrics that.

we are collecting from an analytics perspective and put them at those stages. So a customer can visualize the marketing efforts. Like, Hey, we’re bringing more traffic to the website. So that’s going to be at the top of the funnel. They’re doing things on the website. So that’s the next page. And our next stage, then they’re converting, they’re filling out forms, they’re making phone calls, those types of things. And then once that then, okay, how are they interacting with your newsletter? How are they interacting with social media? Are you getting more shares? Are you getting more.

testimonials and reviews, all of those other types of things. So now you can put the data at the different stages and map that to how well a brand might be doing. Is your reach improving? Is your engagement on your website improving? Are your reviews improving? And those different stages. So, yep.

Tom Nixon (06:01.192)
Yeah, and that is kind of leading to the salient point that I thought Kate made and I hadn’t heard it articulated this way. But she says knowing where your prospect is in that funnel, where they self identify in terms of their journey towards maybe a purchase, but maybe not is key to understanding how, when and where to market to them. She used the example because she’s in real estate. So I’ll build on it. I use myself as an example. My wife and I visited a town in the west side of the state that we live in. And, you know, we were

considering someday, maybe buying a place there, right? It’s not going to happen anytime soon, but we do nothing about the market. We do nothing about the price points. We knew nothing about what are the good areas? What are the not so good areas? Where should we be focusing our efforts? And so who would I call for something like that? But an agent or a broker, but I was afraid to reach out to an agent or broker because I wasn’t ready to even consider. I’m not, I may be interested, but I’m nowhere near decision yet.

And I’m like, I don’t want to a waste their time and B I don’t want to get now hounded by an aggressive agent who thinks I’m a hot lead. So instead we just winged it and we were on our own and it wasn’t all that effective. But what if an agent knew that about me and I could tell them, is there something that the agent could do besides ruining a Saturday of their lives, walking us around town when we have no, you know, pending.

purchase in the offing, is there something else we could have done? And I think that’s how marketers need to think. Not every lead is a hot lead and you can’t, it’s not pass or fail. So are there, what are some of the things now you’re talking about measuring in? Can you measure with specificity or make some conclusions based on data that you have that says these types of leads are at this point in the journey and they need this type of nurturing where others are raising their hand and saying, how do I buy something’s in my cart and I can’t find the checkout button.


Curtis Hays (07:57.162)
Yeah, oftentimes we do it, especially in LeadGen with a question on a form. So just simply posing a question of where they might be in their purchase decision. So in your example, the question could be, are you looking to purchase this new home in the next and then leave some ranges, right? 30 to 90 days, 90.

Tom Nixon (08:02.646)
Mm -hmm.

Curtis Hays (08:24.074)
you know, three months to six months, you know, six months to a year, past a year, whatever. So, you know, so something simple like that, that now that salesperson, when they get that lead has some context to when they pick up the phone, it’s like, okay, Mr. Nixon, I see you’re interested in a new home, but this looks like a future home for your family. you know, where are you guys at in that decision versus like, Hey, can I take you to show you homes this weekend? Right. Is it totally different intro?

Tom Nixon (08:50.902)
Right. Yep.

Curtis Hays (08:53.194)
to the conversation, which hopefully gets things set up on the right foot, right?

Tom Nixon (08:58.582)
Exactly. It’s this now we’re morphing into where I think content lives up and down the funnel, whether it’s a sales funnel or a marketing funnel. We talk about bull horns and bulls eyes. So getting back to the meta content of our this episode is so typically you would think that bullhorn activities live on the outside of the sales funnel at the very top. You’re trying to make more and more people aware it’s possible, right? Because no one’s going to buy from you if they’ve never heard.

heard of you. So you’re breaking down that awareness barrier. So it’s easy to think of content and marketing and bulls eyes up there. But I think in this case, I think content, there’s a strong argument to be made that some of your content should be middle of the funnel content. So for example, let’s say I called an agent and said, okay, maybe someday my wife and I may relocate here. Do you have four hours today to show us around in the age is probably going to say cold lead. no, I’m kind of booked up today.

But what if that person had the ultimate user’s guide to shopping in Harbor County, Harbor Country, Michigan, and it had the best locations. It had school data. It had best restaurants, nightlife, recreation, and it was a branded guide that person could send me. I can’t make it today, but let me send you this booklet that will be your tour guide since I can’t make it today. Now, let’s say I take that in. I know I follow the advice and now I feel like, all right, if we’re going to buy this home someday,

it’s going to be in this specific neighborhood because it’s right by this restaurant that we can walk to and it’s close to this and this and this and this and then when I’m ready to purchase three years later, who am I going to call? The authority who put that content together. So, I think and I’m curious your take on this because you know, I think of you as a lead gen ninja. I’ve used that word before but let’s not flatter you too much. A lead gen specialist. Yeah. A lead gen specialist. So,

Curtis Hays (10:47.53)
Cowboys and ninjas.

Tom Nixon (10:55.478)
What is your take? How do you advise clients to think in terms of not everything is a pass fail, right? It’s not like, they didn’t buy today. So, that’s done. That’s no longer elite.

Curtis Hays (11:05.166)
Right. I, well, I think it’s difficult because the organization oftentimes is measured by the lead volume. And then of course, sales is measured by pipeline. And it’s like, if it’s not, if we’re not getting opportunities that are hitting the pipeline, then we’re falling short. Right. So it’s, you, you do have to think long -term when you’re doing these efforts, especially the, the bullhorn efforts and they don’t,

Especially in B2B, I think that I see a lot of clients now who are doing what we would call account -based marketing. So they call it ABM is the acronym for it. And then account -based marketing, you know, the accounts are going after. So let’s say you’re in healthcare and there’s 40 health systems that you have a product that you want to sell to these top health systems in the country. And, and there’s a large.

buying committee that’s a part of that, a CFO who’s probably making the final decision, but then physicians and purchasing agents and all of that. This was Stephanie’s background, right? We had that episode with Stephanie where she did this. And, you know, it takes six months to two years plus maybe to sell a product in that area, but there’s so much ed, educating that like you have these leads, but educating these leads along the way makes them trust you and.

Then want to buy from you. So when you, what your specific example, which is simplified is basically showing that when you gain trust from a prospect, then that prospect’s going to call who they trust and you can build trust through content. If the content. And this is, I think the caveat, which we’ve mentioned quite a few times in these podcasts is authentic.

There’s authenticity behind it. Right. So you’re perfect. Like I have a friend that’s, you know, we’re re vacation up North. I won’t mention it because it’s kind of a little secret and I want to keep it a secret because someday I want to buy something there.

Tom Nixon (13:09.078)
I should have mentioned I should have mentioned my secret either because it’s going to get out but we’ll delete that.

Curtis Hays (13:13.386)
Yeah, but, I have an agent, real estate agent friend that is in that area. And we would obviously use them, when we set, when we go and buy up there. But, you know, that trust that you establish with that person and that person is like, I think that word that’s often used as an authority. So they know the neighborhoods, they know the market, they know.

You know, the reps, and other agents, they would be up against, right. And can negotiate for you and do different things. Right. So there’s, there’s going to be all these different factors that’s going to prove to you that this is the right person to work with and being able to get that content and educate that customer for when they are ready to buy. They’re who you’re going to call. And we mentioned this, I think with, Kate.

It’s like you’ve already done 60 plus percent of the sales process up until that point with all the educating you do. So now once you get on the phone with them, selling them is so much easier.

Tom Nixon (14:19.766)
right. Yeah, and along the way, you’re starting to elbow out the competition who aren’t doing those types of activities. I had a client and I won’t mention their name either, but the CMO issued a mandate that did not want to invest any marketing efforts or dollars into anything that was not specifically visible in HubSpot. And this is a company who’s selling to the public sector.

It’s at the minimum a six month sales cycle, but typically it’s more like three years. It’s incredibly difficult to displace entrenched incumbent vendors. And I’m thinking you think you can, by the way, it’s a six to seven figure dollar purchase, right? That has to go through a bid process anyway. And I’m thinking you think something’s going to happen only in HubSpot to deliver that prospect to your doorstep. I’m like, you have no idea how this process is going. I can tell you, I don’t know how.

Curtis Hays (15:03.626)
Mm -hmm.

Tom Nixon (15:15.542)
because not all of it’s attributable. We talked about marketing attribution, right? Not everything is perfectly visible in a straight line from I received a download and then I called you with my credit card in my hand. So, how do you measure the unmeasurable? I know that’s kind of a difficult question. I’m putting you on the spot, but because of so much of marketing activity, as you said, is being happened in areas that you don’t even know or don’t have access to. Are there ways to measure whether your activities are having any impact?

Curtis Hays (15:44.906)
Yeah. So the bullhorn activities, oftentimes we measure with brand. So one of the things that we’ll do at the top of the funnel is measure brand search volume. So our brand impressions increasing or decreasing over time based off communication efforts that we’re doing. We could pull that data from like Google search council. So that would be at the top of our funnel.

Tom Nixon (16:10.806)
So that’s somebody specifically searching for your company. Company name. Right.

Curtis Hays (16:13.45)
For your company, right. So let’s say you’re doing billboards. Then, you know, it’s like, okay, we’re running billboards. How are we going to measure that? Well, there’s potentially two ways. One could be the brand. The other could be a unique phone number that might be on it. If there is a phone number or something like that. So, yes, everything’s not trackable, but there are things that you’re doing that could influence trackable behavior. And we want to, sort of infer.

you movement in specific areas based off of activities that you could be doing. Right. So, you know, say you were going to do some thought leadership and organic and, and maybe some, some paid, but that doesn’t lead to clicks in LinkedIn. Well, then we might want to take a look at the top, people within the organization who are doing a lot of the content. Are they increasing their number of followers? Are we increasing engagement on their contact content?

So being able to pull that data to basically show whether or not efforts we’re doing are actually reaching a growing audience and if people are interacting and engaging with that content.

Tom Nixon (17:26.998)
So that’s measuring the unmeasurable at the top of the sales funnel. I mean, you and I are both old enough to remember when these digital tools didn’t exist, right? And people were still advertising all the time on TV, radio, newspapers. And not everything was a clip this coupon, bring it in and mention code word, you know, kaleidoscope to get your 10 % discount. Those were ways to track back then. But there are other times, you know, the old saying that, you know, I know that advertising accounts for 50 or half of my business. I just don’t know which half.

There’s still some of that that blind faith and I know this could sound like snake oil to the uninitiated, but there is some blind faith that still has to be invested in a brand marketing campaign. Would you agree?

Curtis Hays (18:06.762)
Yeah, you need a little patience. And then, you know, another way you could track it is to ask again on a form or as you’re bringing that prospect in, you ask the question, how did you hear about us? and that could be a field in your CRM that the person, you know, selects. And now you can pull that data in and say, Hey, we ran an radio radio ad this last month. And we show in the pipeline, there were 10 new prospects that said,

They heard us on the radio, right? So, again, you could still have another 10 that heard you, but also did a Google search and they mentioned the last thing they did and said Google search, right? So, it’s not a hundred percent and you’re never going to get true attribution all the way across, but you can, you can get some things that lead you to determine, Hey, there are certain things that are working. And if you see no movement at all,

or declines in say pipeline amount or in leads when doing an unmeasurable activity, then you can maybe infer after you’ve had some patients and waited a little while that you, you know, that maybe this activity isn’t working.

Tom Nixon (19:22.838)
Yeah. So once we get to the bottom of the sales funnel now, however you define it. yeah, certainly.

Curtis Hays (19:27.882)
Can I bring up one point? And this is, this is just, I just thought of this as we were talking, before you get into any funnel marketing, you, when we talk about like those who are aware and unaware, you first have to define your ICPs. Right? So you don’t say your customer is everyone or anyone and you’re marketing to everyone.

Tom Nixon (19:55.734)
Yeah. Right. That’s.

Curtis Hays (19:56.074)
Life as anyone can be a prospect. It’s like, okay, yes, but who do you want to spend your time on? And I think that’s what I was thinking about as we were talking about the funnel and like, you know, people being sold partway through just through your marketing is that that only really works if they’re your ICP. So the real estate example, like, they might’ve come through your marketing, but if they’re not interested in a location you specialize in.

They liked your other stuff, then they’re maybe not a good lead. Right. So you, you do really have to understand who your ideal customer is before you start to build a funnel and you start to do marketing. And then you can line up all the other things that we’ve talked about, like why, how, what messaging and, advertising platforms you should be in and doing audience targeting and all that other stuff. But without the ICP, like it, this doesn’t really work. It doesn’t work well anyway.

Tom Nixon (20:52.406)
Right. Yeah. And there’s a lot.

Curtis Hays (20:54.058)
And it’s gonna set the salespeople up for success too because now they’re selling to the right people.

Tom Nixon (20:59.446)
Yeah, I was going to say there could be a lot of waste in your marketing budget if you’re not focused on the ICP’s ideal customer profile. I’m glad you paused because we didn’t fully explore the middle of the funnel and going back to the point that Kate made. So I think what smart brands do is they set up varying types of nurturing campaigns. These could be email automation sequences that automatically so somebody fills out, subscribes to a newsletter, say they’re not ready to buy, but they want to be kept informed.

Curtis Hays (21:05.066)

Tom Nixon (21:28.982)
you know, there’s an automatic response thanking them, but maybe they get put into a sequence where they receive three or four emails, all give. So in this case, they’re still just maybe aware they’re not yet interested and certainly aren’t deciding, but you’re just giving them information. It’s data. It’s analysis. It’s just help. It’s education, as you always like to put it. Then there’s the people who maybe take a different action, who should be in a different, let’s just stay on email sequences for a while, but there’s other ways to nurture these leads. Somebody who’s

hit request a demo, right? That’s a different button. That’s a different hand raise. That’s a different level of sequence. So, going back to what Kate says is you need to not only know where these people self -identify in this funnel, but then have multiple ways. It’s not one size fits all to your earlier point. Not everybody gets the, hey, sign up for a demo email because not everyone’s there yet, right? Yeah.

Curtis Hays (22:21.386)
Yeah. Your website either needs to communicate that well, through journeying users, you know, or your marketing, we’re doing this quite a bit now in LinkedIn with our advertising campaigns of say, you know, whether you’re gating or ungating thought leadership and educational content. Great. And then let them noodle on that before you do a lead gen campaign. That’s then,

Hey, do you want to speak to somebody in sales? Do you want a demo? Do you want to learn more? because yeah, not everybody’s at the same place in their purchasing journey. Right. We, we might have a little bit of pain right now, but it might not be full pain or budget might not be open yet to make that decision. I’ve got to wait till the end of the year. you know, so you never know where people are at, but yeah, you do want to get, potentially get their info or get them into that.

nurturing cycle so that when they are ready, you’re the company they’re thinking of.

Tom Nixon (23:26.55)
Yeah, exactly. And Kate did point out too, and I thought was smart, is that the inverse is also true, right? So, if somebody is urgent, you don’t want to send them a thank you for subscribing to our newsletter and then never hear back from them, right? Some people are like, how do I buy right now? So, you just need to A, have your antennas up. I think you have to have your measurements in place, like you said, and then you have to have multiple streams or touch journeys that facilitate where they are today and where they want to go and when. So, and if they

Curtis Hays (23:37.834)

Curtis Hays (23:52.394)
I think one thing that’s missed in that process too, that I see quite frequently are the people who are answering phones. So like lately, this is a trend we’ve seen that prospects are filling out less forms than they ever have in the past and choosing to call organizations more. It’s like people aren’t using chat as much as they used to. Like we’re fighting against this AI sort of driven automated.

Tom Nixon (24:00.278)

Curtis Hays (24:20.522)
Right? So it’s almost like users have had enough automation and we want to go back to human contact. Right? So we’ve just seen phone call volumes increase. But what we’ve noticed over time is that organizations have put less focus on the person answering the phone. And that person is now critical to figuring out why is that person calling.

Does that person who answered the phone even know what’s happening from a marketing perspective that we’re even doing campaigns that we’re putting out the content and whatever. And somebody calls with a specific question. Hey, I saw this or I heard this radio ad or whatever. And I want to talk to somebody to help me. If they don’t know how to direct that call, you just lost that prospect because they’re maybe not calling that specific realtor. They’re calling, you know, the front desk who then has to route them.

Tom Nixon (25:02.55)
I’ve seen it happen this week.

Curtis Hays (25:10.442)
And, or maybe you don’t have a system to, to like, we’ve had issues where like, there was no voicemail system. They weren’t able to transfer calls from one location to another location, just weird technical things that then now you’re losing prospects because you can’t facilitate their need right now.

Tom Nixon (25:31.862)
Yeah. Well, this kind of explains why it semi -shivered when I used the term lead magnet earlier. It’s because people’s, I think now antennas are up, right? Give us your email address and I’ll give you something for free. Okay. Or am I getting on some list and you’re just going to spam me, right? And so, I think people are having, they’re raising their guards a little bit.

And so you might have a good lead that is reticent to share their information with you simply because they know what’s coming. So I’m now trending again, the way things are trending back to the phone. My own personal preference, both as user and as a marketer is to remove any friction at the top and middle of the sales funnel from somebody getting your best ideas. So if you really do have a good lead magnet, don’t gate it at the top of the sales funnel, maybe right at the middle to lower part.

where you think, you know, somebody who’s going to take an action, like request a demo, and maybe the request, a demo gets rewarded with a lead. And now they’re in a different automation. They’re in a different place, all of that stuff, different sales process.

Curtis Hays (26:30.058)
Here’s my advice on that. Ungate content that doesn’t have any proprietary data or insights in it. If you’re just regurgitating thought leadership, great. Educate all you want about that and maybe in your unique position on that topic, but don’t gate that. Now, if you have data and insights that…

Tom Nixon (26:43.19)

Curtis Hays (26:58.122)
our intellectual property that your company has because you’ve surveyed an audience, you surveyed customers, you have a software platform where you’ve collected data and now you’re sharing that data. Now you can gate it because, because it’s, it’s sort of proprietary. Nobody else has that information, but you. And now people sort of like, you have some interesting, you know, information here. Like I just downloaded this.

Tom Nixon (27:13.59)
and should.

Curtis Hays (27:27.562)
digital ads benchmark report from a company called to tin. T I N U I T I, but yeah, I don’t, I have no clue how to pronounce their name, but somebody else put something out that they do this quarterly trends for Google, meta, Amazon and advertising. So our spends increasing decreasing what a CPC is look like in different industries. They’ve got the data. So.

Tom Nixon (27:36.79)
not an advertiser or we would know how to pronounce their name.

Curtis Hays (27:56.81)
I gave them my name, email address and company so I could get that research. Right. If, if they just had a white paper out talking about, that wasn’t necessarily trends, but, just talking about Google ads in general. Well, I’ve got lots of places I can go and get information about Google ads. So why would I, why are they getting that? Why would I give them my information in order to read that content? But now they’ve got some proprietary proprietary in a way.

And, and I want to see that. So I’m willing to give them my information. So think about that with your company, like, and you can utilize that. This is like capital sort of equity that you have to pull in prospects.

Tom Nixon (28:38.966)
Yep. Great point. Great point. Okay. So we’re at the bottom of the sales funnel now. and we’re trying to close or, you know, close somebody to the final action, which is a sale. Hopefully it depends on what your business is or product is, but typically a sale. And I brought up the point, I believe when we were talking to Kate, that now content goes from content marketing to potentially content business development.

So the prospect is close to weeding out competitors or deciding on a small few. And now it’s the decision has been made to purchase from somebody. Now we want to make sure that that purchase is that somebody is you essentially. and I think content has a place down here as well, which isn’t always like asking for the sale or closing good salespeople know how to do that. But an example that you’ve provided in the past was, you know, maybe now there’s some clarifying questions near the end of a bid process and somebody wants to know.

Curtis, how would you handle this, this migration to Google analytics for something? I don’t know. Right. And so, or how would you handle, if we started doing content marketing with you, how would you approach it up and down the sales funnel? So, okay. Well, here’s my short answer, but let me follow up with a podcast episode. Tom and I just recorded this the other day. Let me send it to you. And if you’ve got a half hour on the way home from your work today, listen to that.

That’s a piece of content that you could share with them. It’s right at the bottom of the sales funnel. It opens a window into your expertise. It opens a window into a lot of things of its podcast, because now you can see us, hear us, hear our bad jokes, hear our good puns, all the great stuff. And now maybe that person has established in a rapport with you and thinks that they know you, which we’ve heard time and time again, the first time people meet us sometimes they say, I feel like I know you, I’ve been listening to your podcast. So that’s, I know one of your favorite examples of content living at the bottom of the sales funnel.

Curtis Hays (30:28.714)
Yeah. What did Dave tear? I think he says, no, you like you trust you. Right. So the, the content gives the prospect, the opportunity to get to know you a bit more. it could be written content. It doesn’t have to be a podcast or a video or something like that. It could still be written. it could be your, you’ve got an email newsletter you’re sending out and there was something that was in that newsletter that they didn’t get because they weren’t subscribed to it at the time that you could go and fetch that piece of content. Now.

Tom Nixon (30:45.686)
Correct. Yep.

Curtis Hays (30:58.858)
It lives in your arsenal and say, Hey, I actually addressed this in a newsletter recently. Let me, let me forward that to you. Do you mind? And, and now they’re in this, sort of window, getting into your head a little bit of your approach, which is going to be your unique selling property. There’s a hundred different companies out there that can likely solve the problem that this person has, but.

They’re coming to you to help solve that problem. So it’s, it’s that whole like, why should I choose you now? And, so that know you like you trust you really comes in to play here and what we’ve seen, right. And some of the interactions that we’ve had with prospects lately is the podcast is, is achieving that this know you like you trust you. they get to.

to listen or watch and get into our heads a little bit and how we operate and how we approach things and then determine, Hey, is this a good fit or not? And I certainly have sent prospects our content and not heard back from them. Like it’s not that you’re going to win a hundred percent, but now I’m like, maybe, maybe they didn’t really like our approach. So would that have been a good fit? Yeah. Right. So I don’t know.

Tom Nixon (32:05.75)
Sure. No.

Tom Nixon (32:12.118)
And maybe that’s not a good fit client. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it could have been the cowboy hat blew the deal, but it seals other deals, probably. Yeah. So we’re not done at the bottom of the sales funnel, by the way. And this is something I think a lot of companies neglect to do is to think of Joseph Jaffe has a book called Flip the Funnel. And you think about your best customers who are now already taking the action.

Curtis Hays (32:18.602)
It could have been. It does.

Tom Nixon (32:39.03)
it’s the relationship should not start there. They’re going to stop there. It should start there. Again, because they are your biggest advocates, they could tell your story maybe even ways better than you or at least more authentically. And you need to find ways to leverage those voices and have them now go out to market and tell your story. So you could be doing like video interviews with clients and putting them on your website. You could in this podcast, our very first

Give people the opportunity to do easy things like rate and review, Google reviews, follow your social media, all of these things, because your best advocates and your best brand ambassadors are going to be the people who already went through that funnel and are now happily on the other side and are willing to tell people about it.

Curtis Hays (33:28.49)
Yeah. Michelle Blakely talked about going to your ICPs, your best, you’ve got those customers who like perfectly fit that customer profile. And if they’re a perfect fit, they’ve likely know other companies that are a perfect fit because they might be doing business or friends with or whatever. And,

So that’s one of the things you do. That was a whole episode we talked about on referrals is those are, you don’t, don’t go to every single customer of yours and ask for referrals. Start with your best three. They’re like, man, these are great clients. Go to those three and say, Hey, do you know anyone else who’s like you that’s in your circle of, you know, business relationships or friends that could use our product or service? And, you know, so.

100%. That’s that engagement at the bottom of the funnel. That’s, you know, how do you turn those customers into ambassadors for your brand? I’ve grown my business that way. It’s all come from referrals, whether they tell another company or they were at a company and they left that company and went somewhere else. And now they’re at that company and they have a similar problem. It’s like, okay, well, you know, I know where I’m.

gonna get that problem solved. I like working with that person. I trust them. So this is the phone call I’m going to make.

Tom Nixon (34:53.558)
Yep. And I would add to, you know, thinking of your ideal customer, think a lot about some of the soft attributes. So, not only it’s the most profitable client, typically it’s not. It can be. It can be. But it’s the type of person that they are. It’s the type of work that you’re doing for them that energizes you instead of saps you of energy. And you want more of those because then your life becomes easier. And, you know, my favorite client,

Curtis Hays (35:02.794)
Right. Actually, no, there are a lot of times they’re not.

Tom Nixon (35:21.302)
has referred me to other clients for exactly the type of work that I want to do. And I didn’t even have to ask this person. I should probably be better about it. That’s why I go back and listen to the Michelle Blakely episode. But I think not only in terms of don’t just look at the spreadsheet and say, all right, who makes us the most money? It’s the customers that bring you the most joy, the best work, the most satisfaction. And that’s what you want to replicate because there’s very prof I’ve had very profitable clients that are.

Not the most fun. That’s not today though. Of course, all of my current clients are just awesome and perfect. So, all right. Final thoughts on the sales funnel, marketing funnel.

Curtis Hays (35:52.426)
I agree.

Curtis Hays (35:59.69)
Well, I think what we’re talking about is harder in larger organizations. So I just think you have to figure out how to break this down in a larger organization. And, yeah, I think this goes to probably our conversation with Nikki little, which is integrated communications, right? That you have to integrate sales and marketing. And, so.

Understanding each other’s funnels is important, but then also, understanding those prospects and ideal prospects and then putting action, I think, to a lot of the things that we just talked about. Right. So if you want to go ask for referrals, like how do you create a process to sort of. Empower your salespeople to go and ask their top three. Right. I don’t think you want that to happen sort of randomly or organically.

Like it typically happens when you put a process behind it, you train the team and it doesn’t have to be a long lengthy training. It could be a 30 minute, here’s what we want you to do. Here’s why we want you to do it. Here’s how we want you to approach it. Now you add your unique, you know, it’s your, it’s your account, it’s your client. So you add your unique spin on it, but now go and do it and then report back to us on success, right? Find a way to measure it. So I think in a larger organizations, you really have to.

kind of break that down, which I think is at least from my perspective, what I see is a little bit more difficult to do and smaller organizations like what we have just a kaleidoscope or creative mill. It’s like, well, we’re the, we’re the owners, we’re the marketing people, we’re the salespeople, we’re, we’re, we have all of these hats. So it’s pretty easy for me to just jot down on a piece of paper today. This is, this is a to -do and I’m going to go do that. So I’m going to call my top three and you know, have a conversation. So.

You got to take a little bit more time in a larger organization and thought process and then make it a repeatable behavior.

Tom Nixon (38:06.102)
Yep. Great. And then my final takeaway was the homework assignment. If listeners are interested is I would put pen to paper and get a committee together if you have to do it. But if you haven’t done this already, map out the customer journey with the major milestones. So not the day that they called you up and say, Hey, we’re thinking of hiring a blah, blah. It’s think through the whole process from before they’re even in market. And then what are the major milestones map that to either the ADA model or the race model. And then.

map content approaches or marketing approaches and tactics to the various touch points. And then it should become clear what assets you need and how you’re going to strategize to create, you know, follow and nurture. I should say not follow lead and nurture the prospect through the journey. And you said you wear a lot of hats. This happens to be my favorite hat of all that you wear, Curtis. So I will thank you for donning it once again, staying on brand and.

Curtis Hays (38:57.77)
Thank you.

Curtis Hays (39:03.114)
Hats off to you.

Tom Nixon (39:05.59)
My hat’s already off to you. So it’s right there. I could have grabbed it. All right. So see you next time, everyone, on bull horns and bullseyes

Listen anywhere:

We’d love to hear from you! podcasts@collideascope.co

Additional episodes:

Kate Simon

Episode 28: Going Back to School on Sales

Kate Simon, the director of coaching at Glover U, joins the podcast to retell her remarkable story, from sales intern to sales mastery with Glover Agency.

Dave Tear

Episode 27: Coaching Sales for Wins​

Tom and Curtis welcome Dave Tear, owner of Sales Coaches’ Corner, to the podcast to discuss the changing landscape of sales and the importance of having a selling system.

Aimee Schuster Episode 5 Jpg.webp

Episode 5: Aligning Sales and Marketing

Fractional CMO, author and frequent podcast interviewee Aimee Schuster joins our pod to break down her view of what ails many sales and marketing departments in organizations today.

Get In Touch

Ready to take the next step? We'd love to hear from you. Whether you're interested in learning more about our services, want to collaborate on a project, or have a general inquiry, fill out the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Don't hesitate to reach out - we're here to help.