Common Problems With Sales Funnels (And How to Fix Them)

Sales Funnel Problems

To keep your business running smoothly and successfully, you need a strong sales funnel.

That’s a digital marketing strategy to take your audience from ‘aware’ to ‘leads’ and then ‘paying customers’

For example, it could involve driving traffic to a lead magnet, capturing these people’s details and nurturing them until they’re ready to buy.

So, when your sales funnel runs like a well-oiled machine, this all happens consistently and automatically. But since you’re here, I assume yours is a bit rusty and rickety?

That tends to be because of one (or more) of these common sales funnel problems. So, I’ll walk you through them and show you how to fix each of them.

1. Poorly defined target audience

Some businesses target an audience that doesn’t actually need their products. Some others try to appeal to EVERYONE in the hope of getting more sales. 

Unfortunately, neither’s going to work. To stand out online and build a strong funnel, you must focus on the right audience and be super specific.

Otherwise, your messaging and marketing will be too vague and generic to be effective.

How to fix this sales funnel problem 

  • Conduct some market research – Start by understanding your ICP (ideal customer profile). Who are they? What problem are they experiencing? How is it affecting them? Have they already tried to solve it? What are their goals, preferences and dislikes? The best way to get your answers is simply… to ask them the right questions directly! With ScoreApp, you can build a strategic quiz and use it for market research
  • Use this data to inform your marketing and funnel – Instead of trying to target everyone, focus ALL your marketing efforts on this specific ICP. Luckily, a ScoreApp quiz can also segment your participants for you. So, you’ll get to nurture each group in a more personalised (and effective) way, based on their answers

2. Weak lead generation

A sales funnel is really about turning more leads into customers. So, with the right strategy, everything is downstream from lead generation.

But if you can’t get those leads in the first place (or you’re attracting prospects who just aren’t a good fit)… no wonder you’re not getting many customers! Let’s change that.

How to fix this sales funnel problem 

  • Diversify your lead generation – NEVER put all your lead generation eggs in one basket! Instead, try a mixture of content marketing, SEO and social media to reach your target audience organically. You can also choose to supplement it with paid advertising. And when you rely on a quiz lead magnet? It’ll complement and boost all your lead generation tactics. For example, use it as a call to action for your blog posts and social media content, turning your website visitors and followers into subscribers
  • Pre-qualify your leads – Don’t waste your time, energy and money trying to book sales calls with everyone! Use your lead generation system to identify those who are more likely to become customers, and score them based on their level of interest. For example, you can do that by asking a few pre-qualifying questions through your ScoreApp quiz, like “What’s your budget for X?” or “Have you already got Y in place?” That way, you can invite the hottest leads on sales calls. Everyone else? Nurture them strategically to take them from cold to warm (how? I’ll show you in the next point)

3. Ineffective lead nurturing

Once someone enters your sales funnel, you must keep nurturing them.

When you do this strategically, many of these leads become customers. When you don’t, you lose them along the way.

Sadly, many businesses are still relying on an impersonal cookie-cutter approach. So, it’s not surprising that poor lead nurturing is one of the most common sales funnel problems.

Don’t let this be the case for you!

How to fix this sales funnel problem 

  • Personalise your nurturing strategy – People are becoming more and more selective with the content they engage with. If you’re showing the same messages to everyone? They’re unlikely to be relevant, and you’ll lose your subscribers. Instead, personalisation leads to a whopping 20% increase in sales! So, segment your leads (hint hint: with a quiz) so that you can keep sending them different and valuable messages. Then, you can even reference their specific situation when you invite them on a call (more on that soon!)
  • Automate your nurturing sequences – Work smarter, not harder! Save time, and remove human error like forgetting to follow up (we’ve all been there, haven’t we?). With ScoreApp, you can set up different and more personalised email sequences to always deliver the right message to the right person at the right time

4. Poor conversion rates

Maybe you’re getting a lot of traffic but not many leads? Or on the contrary: your funnel is filling your sales pipeline but only a tiiiiiiny percentage turns into paying customers?

Now, the optimal rate will really depend on your industry and goals. Overall, however, a good sales funnel conversion rate tends to be at least 3-7%.

If yours is disappointing, let’s fix it!

How to fix this sales funnel problem 

  • Identify the problem – Look at your lead generation KPIs to find out what is sabotaging your sales funnel. Not many people signing up for your lead magnet after visiting its landing page? Are they unsubscribing from your nurturing sequence? Declining to get on a call? Disappearing after speaking to your salespeople? Once you’re clear on that problem, you can analyse it and fix it. For example, with a ScoreApp quiz, it’s a breeze to monitor your analytics and find out when and where people are exiting your sales funnel
  • Write stronger copy – Make sure your landing page is actually selling your lead magnet (yes, even when it’s a free resource) and that your email sequences are always relevant and valuable to your audience
  • Run some A/B testing – Show different versions of the same message to your audience to see what resonates the most with them
  • Up your sales game – Maybe you found out that the bulk of your sales funnel is working really well, but not many prospects become customers after a sales call? That’s likely to be caused by a misalignment between your marketing and sales teams (we’ll show you how to fix that, too!)

5. Lack of follow-up on leads

Has someone expressed an interest in your product or service? That’s great news, but you can’t expect them to convert automatically.

In the B2B world, in particular, most customers need 27 touchpoints and 5 follow-ups. So, don’t leave it to chance!

How to fix this sales funnel problem 

  • Plan and personalise your follow-ups – A generic message won’t cut the mustard. Instead, go back to your segments and plan the right follow-up message for them. With a ScoreApp quiz, you can easily reference their results and mention their actual pain points or goals when contacting them again 
  • Automate your follow-ups – Let’s face it: it’s easy to forget. So, once again, use automation to save time and avoid human error. For example, you could set up strategic email sequences or reminders for your sales team. With ScoreApp, you can connect your quiz to your CRM. That way, you’ll always be able to refer to someone’s results and situation whenever you follow up with them (which is A LOT more effective than a generic nudge!)

6. Ignoring customer feedback

Another common sales funnel problem is assuming your leads and customers are happy… without getting direct feedback from them!

But if you don’t ask, you’ll never find out how they really feel about your brand, products and communication. And of course, if you never find out, you can’t improve it either.

How to fix this sales funnel problem 

  • Collect feedback from your audience – Speak to them directly, and monitor your social media comments and interactions. Even better? Get their input through an engaging ScoreApp quiz (not a boring survey!)
  • Optimise your sales funnel and marketing accordingly – Once you’ve gathered some feedback from your audience, analyse it and use those insights to improve your marketing. Then, keep doing this regularly

7. Insufficient analytics and measurement

The biggest difference between poor and effective sales funnels? The former rely on guesswork, the latter on data.

Much like with feedback, you can’t just launch your funnel and hope for the best. You must review it periodically to spot (and fix) any leaks and bottlenecks. 

How to fix this sales funnel problem 

  • Choose tools with strong analytics – Build your sales funnel with tools that collect data and offer robust tracking options. With ScoreApp, you get analytics that are both in-depth and easy to understand. Then, by connecting your quiz with the rest of your tools and CRM, you can stay on top of your entire funnel
  • Review your data and optimise your funnel regularly – Get in the habit of reviewing your analytics periodically. For example, what’s your conversion rate at each stage of the funnel? What about your sales cycle length? What phase has the highest drop-off rate? Then, fix and optimise your sales funnel accordingly 

8. Misalignment between sales and marketing

The BIGGEST tell-tale sign of this sales funnel problem? 

Your marketing gets you lots of leads (whoop, whoop!) and nurtures them until they’re ready to get on a call… but then your sales team doesn’t close it (oof).

How to fix this sales funnel problem 

  • Foster communication and collaboration between your marketing and sales team – The two should always work together! For example, do your marketers know the most common questions that your salespeople hear? If so, they can create strategic content to answer them throughout your funnel
  • Use sales enablement content – These are resources that help a sales team close more deals, such as case studies, comparison articles and spec sheets. Your marketing team can (and should) use them as part of your automated email sequences to prime those leads for a sale, too. That way, your prospects will always receive valuable and consistent messaging, and you’ll skyrocket your conversion rate!
  • Use your data to guarantee a personalised sales approach – Boost your chances of success by replacing your one-size-fits-all script with tailored messages and recommendations. For example, you can do that by referencing someone’s quiz results with ScoreApp. Instead of expecting someone to get on a generic sales call, your sales team could tell them: “Hi Jane, I noticed you recently took our Small Business Website Quiz. You scored 80% in the “visual design” section, which is really impressive. However, your score for “getting traffic from Google” was quite low. I’d love to share some custom advice with you. Would you be up for a quick call so I can recommend some strategies that’ll help you fix this?” Then, your sales team can improve their calls even further by referencing this person’s results and situation when speaking to them 1:1. They’ll also get to recommend the perfect solution for them instead of wasting time asking the same questions

9. Overlooking customer retention and loyalty

Sure, the main goal is to have a consistent stream of high-quality leads. But did you know it’s 5 times cheaper to get more sales from a repeat customer than to acquire a new one from scratch?

So, while it’s important to create a strong funnel that takes people from ‘aware’ to ‘customers’, you shouldn’t forget about them after they buy from you for the first time.

How to fix this sales funnel problem

  • Implement post-engagement strategies – Stay in touch with your customers through targeted communication. For example, you could create a different ScoreApp quiz to gather feedback, find out what they still need help with and nurture them with relevant sequences (like recommending complementary products) 
  • Foster customer loyalty – Consider implementing a loyalty programme to compel more customers to stick around and buy from you again
  • Turn customers into ambassadors – Ask for reviews and testimonials after each sale. To reach new people more easily, you could also create a referral programme: offer an incentive (like an exclusive discount) to anyone who recommends your products and brings you new customers

Fix these sales funnel problems, and turn more leads into customers with ScoreApp

Once you solve these common sales funnel problems, you’ll start attracting more people, nurturing them strategically and turning them into paying customers.

With ScoreApp, you get to rely on an entire quiz funnel that keeps bringing you leads and customers automatically.

So, fix your sales funnel problems and optimise your strategy: create your ScoreApp quiz today and for FREE.

About the author
Martin Huntbach Head of SEO
Martin Huntbach
Head of Content
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