Focusing Outward to Improve Results

“The test of an innovation is whether it creates value.” — Peter Drucker

Managers who want to improve their sales results often look at the sales funnel first. The problem with this approach is that a sales funnel is not precise enough for an analysis and improvement process. Only a sales process can be managed and improved.

Because it encompasses a world of potential buyers, a sales funnel focuses inward and involves companies asking “What can we do for the potential customer given his or her position in the funnel?” This is the wrong question to be asking. The better question is to focus outward and ask, “How can we help the customer get what they want at this point in the buying process?” This is a subtle difference but when companies focus outward, it enables the company to add value both for the prospects and their customers in measurable ways.