Is the Sales Funnel Dead?

Is the Traditional Sales Funnel an Effective Tool in Modern Digital Marketing?

The past few months have brought about very interesting views of the traditional sales funnel.

New funnel shapes and interpretations are created daily, such as the flywheel to the bowtie and more. Matt and Ashley discuss the changing application of the sales funnel and the helpful visualization that it enables. They also discuss how COVID might have changed the sales funnel and the approach that businesses should take moving forward.

But with all this talk about the funnel, is it dying because sales and marketing can’t agree? 

Many marketers are not able to track leads beyond the hand-off to sales, which prevents them from measuring the quality of those leads.  Learn how breaking down silos, corporate politics and walled data is critical for the modern selling process.


[00:00:00] Matt Bailey: The concept of a funnel relies on gravity, and no one goes through your sales funnel based on gravity. They do it based on process. That you have to work to get them from this stage to this stage. And you have to make them want to go from that stage to that stage.

[00:00:25] Ashley Schweigert: Yep.

[00:00:26] Matt Bailey: And their need has to be strong enough. There’s no gravity involved. No one is falling through your funnel.

[00:00:31] Ashley Schweigert: No, they can stay in one stage…

[00:00:33] Matt Bailey: Oh…

[00:00:33] Ashley Schweigert: …forever.

[00:00:34] Matt Bailey: Yes. Yes. You have to invite them…

[00:00:37] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:00:37] Matt Bailey: …to move. There’s no gravity involved, and so, I think in that way, the concept of the funnel, we, we tend to think of it like water just naturally moving down.

[00:00:46] Ashley Schweigert: No.

[00:00:47] Matt Bailey: No, it, it’s not right.

[00:00:48] Ashley Schweigert: That’s why your call to action is so important.

[00:00:54] Bumper Intro-Outro: Welcome to Endless Coffee Cup, a regular discussion of marketing news, culture, and media for our complex digital lifestyle. Join Matt Bailey as he engages in conversation to find insights beyond the latest headlines and deeper understanding for those involved in marketing. Grab a cup of coffee, have a seat, and thanks for joining.

[00:01:27] Matt Bailey: Well, hello listener and thank you for making time to be a part of the Endless Coffee Cup podcast. And with me again today is Ashley. How you doing Ashley?

[00:01:37] Ashley Schweigert: I am good. Thank you for having me, Matt.

[00:01:39] Matt Bailey: Hey, Ashley has been so patient. She has been sitting here watching me fumble with microphones. Uh, I lost all my defaults and so, the wonderful world of dealing with hardware and software together.

[00:01:51] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:01:52] Matt Bailey: Oh, so, you know, if you ever want to create a podcast, let me warn you now.

[00:01:58] Ashley Schweigert: It’s like that with all technology, Matt.

[00:02:01] Matt Bailey: It is. It is. I just, the frustration of sometimes you feel so helpless when, no, I wasn’t handing that to you. I was…

[00:02:10] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, I’m sorry.

[00:02:11] Matt Bailey: You feel so helpless when just things don’t work right. And then you spend a day trying to get software to work because you can’t progress on anything else…

[00:02:22] Ashley Schweigert: Oh yeah.

[00:02:22] Matt Bailey: …until the software works. And, and that, just the helplessness of when things just don’t work. I, I have never gotten used to that in how many years of working with digital products?

[00:02:35] Ashley Schweigert: Well, you know, the thing is I’m more on the, the software side, right? But anytime I have something that’s like hardware related, I’m lucky because my neighbor is in IT, so I just go over there and ask him to come over. He helps me out because otherwise I have no idea what I’m doing. You remember how I talked to you earlier about being a damsel in distress? Totally serious.

[00:02:56] Matt Bailey: That was with cars. I can…

[00:02:58] Ashley Schweigert: This with a lot of stuff, Matt.

[00:02:59] Matt Bailey: I could, I could see that. That’s okay. You know, that, nowadays with cars, you know, it’s…

[00:03:04] Ashley Schweigert: Oh yeah.

[00:03:04] Matt Bailey: …it’s not as easy. I, I, I once had a, uh, ’64 Volkswagen Beetle that I could take it apart, I could pull the engine, I rewired it. I couldn’t do the same to a modern car. It’s, it’s nothing, nothing close.

[00:03:18] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, I had no idea.

[00:03:19] Matt Bailey: Nothing close.

[00:03:19] Ashley Schweigert: The light came on, I’m like, “What is this?”

[00:03:21] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:03:21] Ashley Schweigert: And I’m like Googling it, trying to figure it out. No idea.

[00:03:25] Matt Bailey: Like, yeah.

[00:03:25] Ashley Schweigert: I mean, normal people would probably just, you know, grab the manual that’s in…

[00:03:29] Matt Bailey: No. I don’t think normal people could do that.

[00:03:31] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, really? Yeah, I’m…

[00:03:32] Matt Bailey: No. I, I…

[00:03:33] Ashley Schweigert: …typical millennial. Let’s Google it.

[00:03:34] Matt Bailey: No, I’m, yeah, I’m not gonna, I’m, I’m gonna really challenge your word of normal there being used, uh, ’cause you’re really, you’re really encompassing a big subset of people.

[00:03:43] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah, probably. Yeah, nobody wants to flip through all those pages.

[00:03:46] Matt Bailey: No. No.

[00:03:46] Ashley Schweigert: One click.

[00:03:48] Matt Bailey: Alright. So, yeah. Sorry you had to deal with that, listener. It’s still the aftereffects of, of now I am victorious over my software. Uh, I have figured out how to reconnect the microphones and we are back in business.

[00:03:59] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:04:00] Matt Bailey: We’re back in business today to talk about the sales funnel.

[00:04:04] Ashley Schweigert: My favorite topic.

[00:04:05] Matt Bailey: And hopefully you’re still listening, uh, after we introduced the sales funnel, uh, because honestly, Ashley has challenged me about this topic for, I, I’d say a couple months now. You have…

[00:04:16] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:04:16] Matt Bailey: …been bringing up the sales funnel and, and I am on the side like, “What’s wrong with the sales funnel?” I, I’ve been using sales funnel, I’ve been using the metaphor, I’ve been teaching sales funnel. I, I’ve been doing all this, and so, you’re bringing it up this, you, you know, “There’s something going on with the sales funnel. I don’t think,” well, I’ll let you introduce it.

[00:04:37] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, I’m telling you, this is something that I’m really passionate about because people say, well, not people ’cause I think that there’s just a select group, but it’s growing and I’m dealing with it more now as I’m going in to talk to different marketers. But they say that the funnel is dying. That that whole outlook of the funnel, that’s really an old school outlook. It’s really not. I mean, they’re areas that he, have evolved, but it all goes back to how your organization deals with that sales cycle.

[00:05:07] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:05:07] Ashley Schweigert: And then that’s really where you’re going to get into the evolution of the funnel. But really, at, at its core, it’s still the same.

[00:05:14] Matt Bailey: I can’t imagine why someone would say the sales funnel is, is dying.

[00:05:19] Ashley Schweigert: Oh…

[00:05:20] Matt Bailey: And, and, and maybe I haven’t read those articles, um, because…

[00:05:24] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, I can.

[00:05:25] Matt Bailey: Oh, you can?

[00:05:26] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, I can.

[00:05:26] Matt Bailey: Oh, why is it dying? Why is…?

[00:05:27] Ashley Schweigert: Well, this is why, I know you don’t want to go into this, so I won’t go too much into it.

[00:05:28] Matt Bailey: No, go ahead. Why is it dying?

[00:05:30] Ashley Schweigert: Well, it’s, well it was ’cause of HubSpot. You know I, I love HubSpot with, um, inbound marketing. I think they’re great. Um, but they’re the ones who are really, uh, bringing that up because they’re talking about that flywheel approach. They say the funnel is dead. You should have a flywheel approach. Um, but the funnel really isn’t dead.

Um, I know that they have touched on, like, when you’re looking at your processes, you still should have that somewhat funnel approach, but, you know, there’s a lot of people that do support, uh, HubSpot or use that as part of their processing, uh, processes, and they say that, that the flywheel is really where it’s at. You shouldn’t even look at a funnel. Which, then if you don’t do that, you’re getting into a bigger problem because…

[00:06:12] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:06:12] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah, like it all goes into how you are acquiring leads, because if it’s just going to be one circle, ’cause that’s, a flywheel is one circle, like, where is the start of the circle?

[00:06:24] Matt Bailey: The funnel.

[00:06:25] Ashley Schweigert: Exactly. So…

[00:06:26] Matt Bailey: See, it’s not so difficult.

[00:06:28] Ashley Schweigert: Right. Right. So, does the funnel just include the flywheel? Probably.

[00:06:33] Matt Bailey: Uh, well, and, and I think part of this is, oh, okay. So, I think the reason why we’ve had the funnel to begin with is because we need a visual representation of what’s happening. Just looking at numbers alone is not a subst-, it is not an understandable way of understanding where are people in our sales process? How are we acquiring? Where are they? Where, what stage do they go to next? And I think maybe what we’ve seen is more flattening of, a, a, as well as, you, you know, the places where people are coming into the funnel, it’s getting greater. And so, you know, are we arguing about shapes?

[00:07:15] Ashley Schweigert: I know, that’s how, when you were talking about some shapes earlier, I started laughing. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as…

[00:07:20] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:07:21] Ashley Schweigert: …a fish or a bow tie.

[00:07:21] Matt Bailey: There’s the bow tie. I mean, in one of Google’s…

[00:07:23] Ashley Schweigert: I…

[00:07:23] Matt Bailey: …research reports, they showed how, but the funnel was tipped.

[00:07:27] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:07:28] Matt Bailey: So, people came in from the left and, and, and they came into a left funnel, and the conversion point, they hit it, but then the right, it opened up into another funnel showing that, yeah, people go through a progression, they convert, but it doesn’t mean they’re done.

Uh, think about, uh, booking travel. We look for seats, we look for price, we look for destinations, we look for times, dates, uh, which airline, which route, you, you, you know, and, and finally we make our decision and buy the ticket.

[00:08:03] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:08:03] Matt Bailey: But then it’s where do I print my ticket? We, you know, what’s the best way to get there? What’s at the airport? Uh, you know, what size of carry on? And, and, and now you’re, you’re triggering dozens of more searches about hotels and what do I do when I’m there? And, and okay, but that’s a, uh, that’s more the customer journey.

[00:08:26] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah, it is, but then…

[00:08:27] Matt Bailey: But it’s, it’s using funneled approaches.

[00:08:30] Ashley Schweigert: Exactly. So, if you’re like looking at it as, like, let’s just look at a website.

[00:08:34] Matt Bailey: Okay.

[00:08:35] Ashley Schweigert: ‘Cause I love to go back to, like, just a website because it, well, it’s something you can visually, like, I, I don’t know. Maybe I can just visually see it because I deal with them all the time. But you have your homepage of your website and say this is like a shopping website. So, you have, like, the products of the website and then you have like a category for those products. Then you have a blog. Each page of the website actually fits within a stage within the funnel.

[00:09:01] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:09:01] Ashley Schweigert: How somebody goes from one stage to another, is that journey? Yes. But you have to still look at the funnel approach because if I, if I didn’t look at the homepage as being the top of the funnel, um, then that messaging is going to be very different…

[00:09:21] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:09:21] Ashley Schweigert: …than say messaging that is in a blog or, um, you know, on my product pages ’cause your product pages are typically at the bottom of the funnel. And how a per-, how a person gets from the homepage to the product page, it’s going to be very different. So, the call to actions to get somebody to every page of your website, so that journey are going to be very different. The call to action is what takes that person to the next step.

[00:10:00] So, when you get them to that, finally to that product page, then they’re, they’re converting, that messaging should be sales-oriented. If you have that sales-oriented type messaging on a homepage or on a blog, uh, blog post, that’s just not going to make sense because those pages are more on the awareness stage, um, within the funnel. And I know that some people could probably argue if a homepage is really in the awareness stage but, but you get my drift, right?

[00:10:17] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:10:17] Ashley Schweigert: So, you have to really look at where the messaging is for every deliverable, every marketing piece that you are creating. Every marketing piece does fit within a stage within the funnel. That is why I’m so passionate about it, because you should have a call to action on every marketing piece. Therefore, you’re taking somebody on a journey to ultimately get to buying a product.

[00:10:37] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:10:37] Ashley Schweigert: I don’t even care if they’re a current customer, because at the end of the day, you want them to keep coming back. You still have a call to action.

[00:10:46] Matt Bailey: And, and this is funny ’cause if, if that’s old school…

[00:10:49] Ashley Schweigert: I, right?

[00:10:49] Matt Bailey: …then I’m cool with that because, I mean, back, back at conferences, more than 10 years ago, you know, we were talking about when you’re developing content, think of the persona that you’re writing for, but also, in your call to action, realize that some people were at the beginning stage, some people were at the middle, some people were at the end, and so, the calls to action that you place on the page should, should work with the content and then I should have a call to action that reflects someone at the beginning of the cycle.

[00:11:22] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:11:23] Matt Bailey: That, “If you want more information about that, here is this.”

[00:11:25] Ashley Schweigert: Yep.

[00:11:25] Matt Bailey: The middle. “If you’re comparing products, here’s a compare, you know, here’s a compare.” “If you’re ready to buy, click here.” So, you’re, you’re, with every piece of content, it comes down to a single thing. You’re, you’re planning the progression…

[00:11:39] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:11:40] Matt Bailey: …and you’re inviting them by realizing that not everyone is in the same spot, not everyone is a, is, is ready to commit, and so you put, you, you know, more research-oriented content, you put more, “Here’s more content like this.” And loosely, I use the term top of funnel, middle funnel, you know, bottom of funnel.

[00:12:01] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, yeah. Yeah, a lot of people do that.

[00:12:02] Matt Bailey: Loosely…

[00:12:02] Ashley Schweigert: Right. Right.

[00:12:03] Matt Bailey: …but that’s based…

[00:12:04] Ashley Schweigert: We shouldn’t be so like…

[00:12:05] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:12:06] Ashley Schweigert: …you know…

[00:12:06] Matt Bailey: Well…

[00:12:06] Ashley Schweigert: …mechanical about it, right.

[00:12:07] Matt Bailey: Yeah. But it’s based on the content that I’m writing. Um, you know, for example, if I’m writing content instructing people about, uh, how to do something in Google Analytics, I would describe that as top of the funnel content because they’re, they’re probably going to find it by doing a search.

[00:12:24] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:12:25] Matt Bailey: “How do I, how do I add custom audiences in Google Analytics?” That is a top of funnel search because they have a problem, and they’re trying to solve it, and they find my page.

[00:12:33] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, Matt, you just got me excited.

[00:12:35] Matt Bailey: Well, good.

[00:12:36] Ashley Schweigert: As I, well, because, well, ’cause that also gets into like, yeah, keyword research.

[00:12:40] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:12:40] Ashley Schweigert: Where you’re doing keyword research as an SEO person, you know, you’re constantly doing keyword research and that’s another topic, I, talking about things that are dying. Um, oh yeah. Yes.

[00:12:51] Matt Bailey: Keyword Research is not dying.

[00:12:53] Ashley Schweigert: It, it, right. Exactly. Well, yeah, you would be surprised. Well, because of, um, artificial intelligence. So, a lot of people believe that because Google is looking at human behavior and the…

[00:13:04] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:13:04] Ashley Schweigert: …meaning behind that search that you don’t have to be so literal about the keywords that you’re using.

[00:13:08] Matt Bailey: Then we’re all doomed.

[00:13:10] Ashley Schweigert: Right?

[00:13:10] Matt Bailey: Um, no. No.

[00:13:11] Ashley Schweigert: You still have to…

[00:13:12] Matt Bailey: Keyword research is so…

[00:13:13] Ashley Schweigert: You can look at versions of that keyword…

[00:13:14] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:13:14] Ashley Schweigert: …but you should still use that keyword. But what’s interesting about, I know, I’m going down a rabbit hole.

[00:13:19] Matt Bailey: I know, I know.

[00:13:19] Ashley Schweigert: I’m not going to do it.

[00:13:20] Matt Bailey: I can see that hole opening up right now.

[00:13:21] Ashley Schweigert: I know, I’m not going to do it.

[00:13:22] Matt Bailey: I’m like, let’s, let’s just come back later. Let’s come back later.

[00:13:23] Ashley Schweigert: Right. Right. But what I liked about…

[00:13:24] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:13:24] Ashley Schweigert: …what you said is when, if you’re optimizing a blog page versus a product page, those keywords are going to be different because if a person that doesn’t know you at all, this is something that actually gets into you’re looking at the funnel and you do, you don’t want to necessarily look at awareness, you know, like what you were saying, top, middle or bottom.

If a person is putting a search within Google and they land on say, you know, I’ll just say they don’t know anything about your brand, but they put in “Wooden Baseball Bats,” and they land on your product page of your website. Now, they are technically in the bottom of the funnel ’cause they’re ready to buy. They’re looking for a wooden baseball bat.

[00:14:05] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:14:05] Ashley Schweigert: But they don’t know your brand.

[00:14:07] Matt Bailey: Yep.

[00:14:08] Ashley Schweigert: So, could you say they’re in awareness stage? So, that’s what you really have to look at how every page of your site is and how that messaging is. It, do you, do you have messaging that’s going to be relatable to somebody who doesn’t know your brand, but is still going to get what they need?

[00:14:23] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Well, and just, this is what Google calls the micro-moment.

[00:14:27] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:14:28] Matt Bailey: That, “I need something, I search for it.” Now, here’s the thing. So, if I create an article, “How to create a custom audience in Google Analytics,” someone searches, they find my website, did I answer their question? Yes. That is a successful visit because it answered their question. Now, very top of funnel, what are my chances of converting them and, now, this is where my lead magnet shows up. You know, “20 custom audiences you can’t miss. Give me your email address,” and now maybe I can convert them and get that email address. However, at that level, I kind of equate that to, you know, almost like a trade show lead where you get someone’s business card back in the day.

[00:15:10] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:15:11] Matt Bailey: They might subscribe. They might need instruction. They might need training. They may just need an answer.

[00:15:18] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:15:19] Matt Bailey: And so, at that level, yeah, it’s a lead, it’s a subscriber, but it’s not until later when they start receiving more emails, when they start clicking on links am I going to really find out is this is a qualified lead or not. Um, but it doesn’t stop me on that page from saying, you know, “Here’s training on Google Analytics. Click here to register,” or something. Why, why wouldn’t I put that? It’s just good salesmanship in trying to help someone solve a problem.

[00:15:52] Ashley Schweigert: It is, and ah, so this is where you get into design. So, um, you know, with, with tar-, with targeting, right? So, you have somebody on, on your page, that main call to action, and this is debatable, but like, you have that button as being green or orange, whatever your test data is, but you, you see what I’m saying?

[00:16:08] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:16:08] Ashley Schweigert: Like, you have, like, other things that are available, but you don’t want those call to actions to stick out because otherwise it’s going to confuse the, the web, uh, visitor because they’re got not going to really know where to go. You want to control that journey as much as you can with as much as you know about that audience. Um, but yeah, you’re getting into like, so say if you don’t know, like, how are you going to cover those other areas, too, right?

[00:16:32] Matt Bailey: Well, and, and this is funny because even when I’m teaching content marketing, just the concept of progression and what I challenge people to do in their content marketing is, “Okay, you’re developing this piece. What do you want them to do?”

[00:16:47] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:16:48] Matt Bailey: “Where are you going to push them? Where, where’s your lead magnet? Where’s your content that you are going to offer in exchange for that email address?” And that seems to be the most logical thing.

[00:17:01] Ashley Schweigert: It’s not though.

[00:17:02] Matt Bailey: But, no.

[00:17:02] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:17:02] Matt Bailey: When people are developing content, they’re focused on, “I got to write an article. I got to put out a video. I got to do all these things,” but they’re not focused on the call to action…

[00:17:10] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah, what’s the purpose for the piece?

[00:17:10] Matt Bailey: …and what’s the most logical call to action.

[00:17:12] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:17:12] Matt Bailey: But also, even, am I driving them from an article to a video? Am I driving them from a video to a webpage?

[00:17:20] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:17:21] Matt Bailey: You, you know, so across channel, across media, I’m also progressing people to learn more, do more. And that seems to be a disconnect in a lot of content producers’ minds. And, and again, it gets to, well, what’s the purpose? What are we trying to accomplish with all of this content that we’re producing?

[00:17:42] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:17:42] Matt Bailey: We’re trying to push people to the next step, to the next stage, and you have to identify what that stage is.

[00:17:50] Ashley Schweigert: It, well, and you’ll, right. And you’re, you’re absolutely right. It’s not, it does not always resonate with everybody and I just, I feel like this is where you get into the strategic versus the tactical thinker. And I think these days, in order to be really good at marketing, you need to be strategic. Um, because those types of, especially if you’re a content creator, if you can’t think about what that whole journey’s going to look like and how you’re going to distribute content correctly, correctly, you’re not going to, um, be able to convert.

[00:18:21] Matt Bailey: Right. Right. Well, and this gets to, I, I mean, so many things because…

[00:18:27] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:18:27] Matt Bailey: Um, I run into this, as well, in my training where we’ll talk about the customer journey and the sales funnel. And usually, I’ve got a lot of marketers and, oh, you’re going to love this.

[00:18:41] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, I’m sure I will.

[00:18:41] Matt Bailey: So, when I start talking about organizationally, what’s your goal? You know, what is your job function? As a marketer, as a content producer, what’s your job? Invariably for the, especially the B2B is, “We’re to drive leads. Drive leads. That’s our goal. That’s what we were given.” Great. But as I get into the content and I start talking about, you know, other measurements like cost per lead. And now I will take that cost per lead, and I’ll look at what’s my cost per lead on Facebook? What’s my cost per lead on YouTube? What’s my cost per lead on search, you know, from people hitting the blog?

All of a sudden, now, a lot of my marketers are saying, “We don’t get that measurement because that, that’s another world. That’s another silo. All I’m supposed to do is generate leads. I give them to sales, and I don’t see what happens.” So, now, what I, what we’re dealing with, and I find this to be the majority, most marketers are responsible for simply creating leads, and they need to create more leads, but they have no idea what’s going on once they pass through to sales.

[00:20:00] So, now I can’t optimize my lead process. I don’t know if Facebook produces better quality leads than, uh, Pinterest. You, you know, when I start looking at channels, when I start looking at, well, how much does a lead cost? And will it cost…?

[00:20:12] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:20:13] Matt Bailey: There, you can look and see a disparity of $10 to $20 per lead across channels, across media, but if you can’t get that measurement, then, you, you know, the funnel collapses completely.

[00:20:26] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah. And that’s actually so common because this is getting into, you want to talk about old school, if your sales and marketing teams are not collaborating and you have fighting within your organization, I, I see it so many times and I’ve seen it so many times. It’s just, it doesn’t make sense…

[00:20:41] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:20:41] Ashley Schweigert: …to have that, especially today. You cannot afford…

[00:20:45] Matt Bailey: Oh, no.

[00:20:45] Ashley Schweigert: …to do that.

[00:20:46] Matt Bailey: I mean, this is what CRM systems are for.

[00:20:48] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah. You just can’t, well, yes. I mean, you just, you, I just, I feel like that’s a serious problem and that opens up another can of worms, but it’s very common. Sales and marketing are still fighting within organizations…

[00:21:00] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:21:00] Ashley Schweigert: …and that, to me is, it’s not, it’s, it’s not appropriate.

[00:21:04] Matt Bailey: Yeah. No, and, and, you know, years ago worked with a client, we were generating leads and the client came back and says, “Well, you know, our sales department said they’re, they’re not able to close a lot of these leads, so, you know, we’re kind of questioning the quality.” I’m like, “Well, wait a minute. My contract, you know, similar to these marketers, my contract was to generate leads.”

[00:21:21] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:21:22] Matt Bailey: “I am marketing you through search, through paid search, through social, we’re generating leads. That was the, our contract. And now you want me to be responsible for the closing of leads.” I said, “Now, are you going to let me come in and tell your sales department what to do?”

“Well, no. That’s, it, you know, that’s a different silo. That’s a different…” “Well, then you,” you know, my response was, “Then you can’t hold me accountable for what the sales department is going to do with those leads if I can’t see into that world. If I can’t see, if you’re giving most of the good leads to a salesperson with a close, with a low close rate, I can’t be responsible for that.”

[00:22:02] Ashley Schweigert: No, you can’t. And, but you know what? That is the, that is the common, like, I, I, I’ve said that so many times, but it still doesn’t resonate. It still doesn’t resonate.

[00:22:11] Matt Bailey: No.

[00:22:11] Ashley Schweigert: It doesn’t matter. ‘Cause at the end of the day, they’re going to say, “What’s the ROI on this initiative?” “Well, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I can’t tell you…

[00:22:21] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:22:21] Ashley Schweigert: …if your sales team isn’t using, you know, Salesforce appropriately.”

[00:22:25] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Well, that’s my advice to marketers is go look at your job description, go look at what you’re responsible for.

[00:22:30] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:22:30] Matt Bailey: And if you can’t measure what your job description says you are responsible for, something has to change because now you’re in a bad spot.

[00:22:41] Ashley Schweigert: Well, and that’s…

[00:22:41] Matt Bailey: You, yeah, you’re responsible for something you can’t measure. If you can’t measure, you can’t change, you can’t optimize it, and your job performance is being based on that.

[00:22:50] Ashley Schweigert: Oh yeah.

[00:22:50] Matt Bailey: That’s dangerous. That’s a dangerous spot for marketers to be in.

[00:22:54] Ashley Schweigert: It is a horrible spot and I really, um, I, I just, I have a soft spot, a spot with that because I have dealt with that…

[00:23:00] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:23:00] Ashley Schweigert: …firsthand.

[00:23:00] Matt Bailey: Oh, I think any marketer has. I mean, yeah.

[00:23:02] Ashley Schweigert: So, I, I just, so many times ’cause I, I’ve been in corporate, and I’ve had to deal that, deal with that quite a bit. And then coming in on this side from, like, more of an agency perspective and having to, um, consult and try to help in that area. And, um, “Whoa,” you know, “What? We have to work together?” You would think I was speaking a foreign language.

[00:23:21] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:23:21] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:23:21] Matt Bailey: Right. And, and it essentially, and, and maybe that’s what they mean by the funnel is dead is, is that for this day and age, for marketing and sales not to be aligned, not to be working together and, and not getting to that cost per lead calculation, um, that’s, you’re dead…

[00:23:43] Ashley Schweigert: Well, I think…

[00:23:43] Matt Bailey: …if you’re not doing that.

[00:23:44] Ashley Schweigert: Well, this is why software is coming out that is, I, I hate to say it, but you have software that’s trying to take away the cold call and a lot of different things from sales, like, with artificial intelligence. You know what I’m talking about, like…

[00:23:56] Matt Bailey: Thank goodness.

[00:23:57] Ashley Schweigert: …I, it’s…

[00:23:57] Matt Bailey: Let’s get rid of the cold call.

[00:23:59] Ashley Schweigert: I, I know, right?

[00:24:00] Matt Bailey: I know, you love it, but it, it…

[00:24:01] Ashley Schweigert: You know, I, I have a love-hate relationship, you know? I, it’s, it’s, it’s one of the ways I get business. So, it’s not my favorite way of getting business, but it’s, it’s actually one of my top methods for getting business and I think it’s because nobody likes it.

[00:24:16] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:24:16] Ashley Schweigert: Nobody’s willing to do it.

[00:24:17] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:24:17] Ashley Schweigert: And it’s not as popular. People are getting slammed with email and I am not afraid to do it. So, I’ll go ahead and do it.

[00:24:23] Matt Bailey: I have not done a cold call in 25 years, and I am pretty darn proud of that.

[00:24:28] Ashley Schweigert: I still do it, so.

[00:24:29] Matt Bailey: I still want, it, when I, when I was in sales, I still won sales contests by never making one cold call.

[00:24:37] Ashley Schweigert: I tell, people laugh at me because you won’t believe some of the clients I’ve gotten and some of the deals that I have made doing a phone call. And it’s because I think that people understand, they know it sucks.

[00:24:49] Matt Bailey: But I’ll say, “That’s awesome. Good for you. Good for you, Ashley.”

[00:24:54] Ashley Schweigert: I, I know, right? I, I don’t like doing, I have to talk myself up to do it.

[00:24:58] Matt Bailey: Well, yeah.

[00:24:59] Ashley Schweigert: It’s like, “Oh gosh, I’m on my, like, third cup of coffee.”

[00:25:02] Matt Bailey: Yeah. It’s hard.

[00:25:02] Ashley Schweigert: “Let’s do this.”

[00:25:03] Matt Bailey: It’s hard.

[00:25:04] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah, you have to…

[00:25:05] Matt Bailey: It’s hard.

[00:25:06] Ashley Schweigert: …yeah, get ready for the rejection and…

[00:25:09] Matt Bailey: Oh, I don’t take rejection well. Yeah. I, yeah.

[00:25:11] Ashley Schweigert: I was just like, “Whatever, I’m moving on to the next, let’s go.”

[00:25:16] Matt Bailey: Well, you’re bringing up an interesting point because if sales and marketing aren’t aligned, they aren’t working together, then how can we possibly understand what goes on post-conversion, that once that lead becomes a customer? Well, if marketing’s only job is top of funnel, is getting the leads, well, isn’t marketing also marketing to our existing customers, getting them to come back and, and…

[00:25:40] Ashley Schweigert: And into lead nurturing, yeah.

[00:25:42] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Buy more, increase the size of the sale to, you, you know, maintain, you know, lower the churn rate. But if you can’t see the data…

[00:25:51] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:25:52] Matt Bailey: …you can’t attach any sort of monetary advantage to it.

[00:25:57] Ashley Schweigert: That’s, that’s where you get, your processes have to, and that’s where I think HubSpot is really trying to make a dent. They’re trying to show that, “Hey, this needs to be a flywheel approach,” meaning that it needs to be constant. Like, a flywheel is a circle, it needs to be constant. This is talking about just the momentum of business. Uh, but how you acquire those leads, it’s, there’s still a funnel, I mean, uh, yeah, there’s still a funnel approach, but that funnel does include the flywheel.

[00:26:23] Matt Bailey: Yeah. I, I, maybe the, the, the funnel’s not so much dead as it, as it is broken in many, many organizations.

[00:26:31] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, I love that. I love that. Yes.

[00:26:33] Matt Bailey: Um, because part of this is when I’m, when I, I keep going back to what I’m teaching and, and people’s minds when I’m showing them, like, “If you want to do an effective funnel, okay, let’s look at all your inputs. How are you putting people into the funnel?”

And then we start breaking down, “Okay, you’ve got your organic search where every page of your website,” as you pointed out, “is a potential lead into the funnel. Your paid search, your paid media, your, you know, your different channels that you’re all working on. Okay. Those are all inputs.” Now, this is where you bring in your paid search manager or your paid media manager, because how many campaigns are you running in paid search?

[00:27:16] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:27:17] Matt Bailey: You know, how many ad groups? It, it, it’s almost, I want to say like a spider. We’re going to, so in order the bow tie, the fish, the funnel…

[00:27:27] Ashley Schweigert: I know, that’s, I didn’t even hear about some of those.

[00:27:28] Matt Bailey: It’s a spider. It’s a spider ’cause it’s got eight legs and, and this leg is paid search. And in that paid search leg, you have another leg, you know, group of legs, which are all your ad groups, because now I want to know, you know, which ad group is delivering the best leads.

Not just delivering leads, but which ad group is attracting the leads that turn, you, you know, and, but if I don’t see the end of the funnel, if I don’t see where the conversion is from lead to market qualified to sales qualified, or, you know, and then, then, if I don’t see that, then I can’t go all the way back up, trace that lead to, they clicked on this ad. They downloaded this paper. They clicked on this retargeting ad. They attended this seminar. If I can’t find those conversion points, then they’re all the same.

Everything has equal value and that is just not possible or true. When you can’t attribute value and, to very specific things that were in the path of that conversion, then it’s all worth the same, which is useless.

[00:28:45] Ashley Schweigert: That actually reminds me of, um, a company I worked for and, you know, I started my career off in sales and I do understand, um, a lot of the pain points that a sales team goes through because I dealt with it myself. And, um, I just remember having this conversation about trade shows and, you know, there wasn’t a lot of ROI tied to it when I started this organization. So, of course like the executive team and the marketers were saying, “Well, there’s, this isn’t a really good area that we should focus on.” And I knew from experience that actually that’s where I got my top leads.

When, when, and I was in B2B sales, I did industrial and I’m telling you my biggest client and my biggest customers came from a trade show. Um, but I wasn’t the type of salesperson also that just sat in my chair behind a table and waited for people to come to me.

[00:29:37] Matt Bailey: Right.

[00:29:37] Ashley Schweigert: I’m going to grab you in the hall.

[00:29:39] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Oh, absolutely.

[00:29:40] Ashley Schweigert: And I’m going to ask you open ended questions and have a conversation and know exactly what kind of project you have coming up. Um, so I was that type of salesperson. And I would like to assume that every salesperson is like that, right? So, I know that they are valuable because you’re not necessarily getting people that are in the awareness stage. You might have some really good conversations, but showing that ROI is really important. So, this is why the marketing and sales team have to work together. They have to understand each other’s roles in order to help a salesperson to get their commission. They, there should not be a battle.

[00:30:00] But I wrote something down that, um, you know, really got me thinking, um, when you were talking about, um, the broke, like how the funnel is broken. I almost want to look at it as broken processes because then you’re getting into…

[00:30:26] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:30:26] Ashley Schweigert: …people not doing, um, proper roles and responsibilities, uh, within the organization. You have the sales team doing marketing. That needs to stop. Like, just, that needs to stop. I, I mean, I, I, and I’m just, this is coming from somebody who’s been, you know, personally impacted by that in the past. I, you said, you’re in sales for a reason. Like, I, yes, I started off my career in sales, so I had an education in marketing and I ended up going back into that. Um, and having that background in sales was so beneficial because I understood…

[00:30:59] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:30:59] Ashley Schweigert: …that role. I understood that area and I was very fortunate to be at a company where, um, I moved into marketing at the very same company. So, I could really make an impact ’cause I understood the sales piece of it, too.

But when you have a company that doesn’t see the value in having a marketing team and they have the sales team doing everything, or you have, um, a really like, um, motivated salesperson that is like, “I’m just going to go ahead and do this myself,” versus utilizing the expertise of somebody who knows their craft in marketing that is going to build a piece that is, that has good grammar. See what I mean? That…

[00:31:35] Matt Bailey: Yes. Yes.

[00:31:36] Ashley Schweigert: …you want to make sure that you are spending your time as, as well, on the right things.

[00:31:42] Matt Bailey: It, okay. Not to say salespeople have bad grammar, ’cause like do…

[00:31:46] Ashley Schweigert: Well, no, I don’t mean to say this…

[00:31:48] Matt Bailey: Yeah, I know. I know what you mean, but yeah.

[00:31:48] Ashley Schweigert: …but I, I’m just use that as an example, but…

[00:31:49] Matt Bailey: At the same time, and, and…

[00:31:49] Ashley Schweigert: …it could be anything.

[00:31:50] Matt Bailey: …similar background to you, I started in sales…

[00:31:52] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:31:52] Matt Bailey: …went into marketing, back to sales, you know…

[00:31:54] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:31:54] Matt Bailey: …went back and forth. And, and that was invaluable. Invaluable to see how it all worked. Marketing people need to talk to salespeople more.

[00:32:03] Ashley Schweigert: They do.

[00:32:04] Matt Bailey: One of, so keyword research, best source of keywords is talking to your sales team.

[00:32:09] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:32:09] Matt Bailey: What’s the problem that people are trying to solve? Because in marketing, you’re not actually talking to anybody. You’re just putting things out there trying to attract them. It’s the sales team that are making the calls, talking to the customers, trying to, you, you know, talking to the existing customers. What problem did we solve? What does that enable them to do…

[00:32:30] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:32:30] Matt Bailey: …because the problem is solved? You, you know, now you’re getting to benefit statements, clear benefit statements, which, as a marketer, I can take that and rewrite some of our marketing content to be more focused on the, on the benefits, not so much just the features of, “We do this. We do that.” No, let’s focus on, “This will enable you to be more profitable. Higher, you, you know, have more time at home,” you, you know.

[00:32:56] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:32:57] Matt Bailey: Whatever, what’s the problem you’re ultimately trying to solve? And, and salespeople are a bit more tuned into that.

[00:33:03] Ashley Schweigert: They are, they’re your, um, thought leaders actually, because they’re having…

[00:33:06] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:33:06] Ashley Schweigert: …those conversations…

[00:33:07] Matt Bailey: Right. Right.

[00:33:08] Ashley Schweigert: …and they know what’s happening, where the pain points are with, you know, your customers or potential customers. So, yeah, marketers should definitely be looking at that. That’s white paper content, that’s blog content, that’s…

[00:33:18] Matt Bailey: And salespeople also know what content is working and what isn’t.

[00:33:22] Ashley Schweigert: Exactly.

[00:33:23] Matt Bailey: That, you know, I handed it off to them, you know what? Didn’t answer a question they had. It’s a pretty brochure, you know…

[00:33:30] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:33:31] Matt Bailey: …but didn’t, didn’t inform, didn’t educate, didn’t do these things. Um, as, as well as if you want to engage current customers. Salespeople know what they want. Salespeople know how to increase share of wallet.

[00:33:42] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:33:43] Matt Bailey: They know how to increase, uh, those areas. That needs to be communicated to marketing and marketing, unfortunately, are the ones thinking they know everything.

[00:33:52] Ashley Schweigert: They do. They do and I probably sounded like that a little bit too, but it’s, I, I just…

[00:33:56] Matt Bailey: You’ve been in marketing now for half a year.

[00:33:57] Ashley Schweigert: I know, I have, and it’s something I’m really passionate about ’cause I’ve dealt with it so much in the corporate side, but you’re absolutely right because you do need, you know, everybody needs to work together.

[00:34:08] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:34:08] Ashley Schweigert: And marketing has their faults as well, because they aren’t going to the salesperson and getting that feedback. They’re just writing it and they think that maybe just the keyword research alone is going to tell them that information. But, you know, you could find a question on anything in Google, in the Google, uh, Keyword Planner.

[00:34:24] Matt Bailey: Yeah. This reminds me of a, a situation when I, I had the agency and we were working with a company and they, they asked for an audit because marketing, when we went there, we had a meeting and, and like on one side of the table is marketing, the other side is IT. And…

[00:34:42] Ashley Schweigert: Oh yeah.

[00:34:43] Matt Bailey: …you know, and marketing is saying, “Something’s wrong with the website, people can’t check out, it’s broken.” And that, that’s all it was, it’s just fingers pointed at the IT.

[00:34:52] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:34:52] Matt Bailey: “Something’s wrong with the website.” We did our audit. Website was great. You couldn’t break it. I mean, it was well built. We found out the problem when we went back to share our results and I asked, “Who here on the marketing team has gone through the website and bought a product?” Not one of them raised their hand. Not one of them. And that was my news to them is, “Okay, look, IT is responsible for making the website work. You, as marketers, are responsible for making it attractive and useful and understandable. You’re to give the IT team, they’re not graphic designers.”

[00:35:30] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:35:30] Matt Bailey: “They’re programmers. You have the graphic designers. You are the ones that should be looking to eliminate the friction in the website and give feedback that, ‘Can we add, can we make this button blue?'”

[00:35:42] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:35:43] Matt Bailey: “‘Can we make it bigger? Can, you, you know, can we change the way this looks?'” So, the problem with the website is people can’t figure out how to go through it. They can’t figure out how to check out because the process is so convoluted, and I don’t fault the IT team. They built something that worked. You, you know, it, marketing, your job is to look at that and say, “Hmm, no, we need to change that, that, and that, because that is how we now get a, a customer.”

[00:36:10] Ashley Schweigert: Well, there should always be A/B testing…

[00:36:12] Matt Bailey: Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

[00:36:13] Ashley Schweigert: …like, throughout, I don’t, I mean, I don’t care if you feel good about your process.

[00:36:16] Matt Bailey: Yep.

[00:36:16] Ashley Schweigert: You should con-, everything could always be better.

[00:36:18] Matt Bailey: Yeah. But that, that showed me, especially organizationally, very few people ever go through their own process.

[00:36:26] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:36:27] Matt Bailey: Very few people fill out that lead form. And, and, and I think every marketer in every organization should know that lead form back and forth. They should know what to ask for. They should know what you see after you fill out the form. They should know, you know, and that gets to customer journey. Have you mapped it out? Do you understand what’s going to happen? When does that email kick off to that customer after they fill out the form? What’s the time delay, and then what’s the follow-up?

[00:36:56] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:36:57] Matt Bailey: You, you know, every marketer should be very distinctly aware of the form, the timing, the response. Your job is to get rid of the friction.

[00:37:08] Ashley Schweigert: I think what’s really interesting, like hearing you talk, look at how many steps there are throughout that process.

[00:37:14] Matt Bailey: Oh…

[00:37:14] Ashley Schweigert: And that’s why a mark-, a good marketing team, like you have to have multiple people for, that are going to be able to help with every piece of that process.

[00:37:23] Matt Bailey: Absolutely.

[00:37:24] Ashley Schweigert: Like, you can’t have one person do it all.

[00:37:26] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. I, I, we, I, I hesitate to say, but like, when we do a customer journey mapping workshop with a company, I’m almost, I, I am, I am almost ready to say, “Money back guarantee if we don’t find a revenue opportunity.”

[00:37:46] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:37:47] Matt Bailey: Because every time we’ve done it, within the first two hours, we find massive revenue opportunities that are missing. And the main reason that happens is because people haven’t evaluated the journey, which means they, they haven’t evaluated their framework or process of lead generation.

[00:38:07] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah. And I think that gets into, too, um, yeah, I was just thinking as you were talking about this and how many steps goes into it versus like, you know, your process and your people that you have in place, their roles and responsibilities, making sure that you’re ready to, um, really build a good journey, um, if you’re B2B or B2C. So, how long of a process is that going to be? Because, um, here’s another thing with the funnel, like, is, does that still mean it’s relevant to a B2C company? I think so, it’s just not going to be as many steps.

[00:38:39] Matt Bailey: Yeah. It depends on the type of company. You know, like, so one of the companies we did the customer journey, one of their lead magnets was a free trial. And so, we did, we centered, you know, we were doing a long customer journey, but then we did a workshop just based off that free trial offer. And it was, “What, what’s driving them to the free trial? Let’s map that. Okay. Let’s look, they’re now on the page to complete the free trial. This is the data we’re asking for. Where’s friction there?” Oh, there was some friction in some of the, it’s like, “Do you want the lead or are you going to get rid of that form?”

[00:39:14] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:39:15] Matt Bailey: You, you know, you don’t, do you need it, do you not? After they complete it, then we looked at, and none of them had done this. Complete the form and then there was a confirmation, you had to click on the confirmation. After you clicked on the confirmation, then you got a follow-up email where you had to go somewhere and download the, you know, there was a download. Then there was an instructional. Then there was a, you know, all these things in order to do the free demo. And so, then we had to go look at the data. How many people complete the form? How many people download? How many people activate the demo? And immediately we saw like a 20% drop…

[00:39:54] Ashley Schweigert: Oh wow.

[00:40:00] Matt Bailey: …of, of lead, of forms to demo installs. Then we just watched the progression. It was a reverse funnel because we just watched where people just tailed off, usage stopped, and then at the end of the funnel there was no follow-up. No follow-up to ask, “How was the demo? What do you think? What…”

[00:40:16] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, see…

[00:40:17] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:40:17] Ashley Schweigert: …that’s, that’s why I think, you know, organizations like HubSpot are really trying to get companies to understand that it doesn’t end at the bottom. You have to have constant…

[00:40:25] Matt Bailey: Oh, yeah.

[00:40:26] Ashley Schweigert: …uh, nurturing, constant touch points. And it’s from really every department…

[00:40:29] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:40:29] Ashley Schweigert: …within the organization, not just sales and marketing.

[00:40:32] Matt Bailey: Yeah. And traditionally a free, uh, you know, other organizations that have a, a free demo, that is a huge lead magnet. And it was for this company. They were still getting leads off of it. But when we examine the process, uh, you know, when we examine the funnel of using that lead magnet, it was so full of holes and they had no clue ’cause they’d never taken the time to take a step back and evaluate, “How are we using this in our funnel and where’s the, you know, where are the leaks? Where’s the friction?”

And once they did it, I, I mean, once they fixed that, I mean, it, it, it was amazing the transformation it made in their sales process. But they had to, they had to take the time to evaluate it, which no one had ever done before. Before, and I think that’s how a lot of marketing funnel or lead magnet processes, they’re, they’re thrown out there. “It’s a good idea. Let’s put this out there.” But no one maps out the follow-up, or maps out…

[00:41:31] Ashley Schweigert: No.

[00:41:32] Matt Bailey: …and that’s funnel. That’s a funnel because you got to make the funnel work.

[00:41:37] Ashley Schweigert: Yes. I completely agree with you.

[00:41:39] Matt Bailey: Yeah. I, I think part of it is the concept of a funnel relies on gravity and no one goes through your sales funnel based on gravity. They do it based on process. That you have to work to get them from this stage to this stage. And you have to make them want to go from that stage to that stage. And their need…

[00:42:04] Ashley Schweigert: Yep.

[00:42:04] Matt Bailey: …has to be strong enough. There’s no gravity involved. No one is falling through your funnel.

[00:42:09] Ashley Schweigert: No, they can stay in one stage…

[00:42:11] Matt Bailey: Oh…

[00:42:11] Ashley Schweigert: …forever.

[00:42:12] Matt Bailey: Yes. Yes.

[00:42:13] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:42:13] Matt Bailey: You have to invite them…

[00:42:15] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:42:15] Matt Bailey: …to move. There’s no gravity involved, and so, I think in that way, the concept of the funnel, we, we tend to think of it like water just naturally moving down.

[00:42:24] Ashley Schweigert: No.

[00:42:24] Matt Bailey: And no. It, it’s not right.

[00:42:26] Ashley Schweigert: That’s why your call to action is so important.

[00:42:28] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:42:28] Ashley Schweigert: But then at the, at the same time, if somebody is in, say, that consideration stage and they’re in there for a really long time and, um, you know, it may not make sense, they may need to see, they may need to see another white paper. There may need to be more lead gen type content, which is, it’s interesting ’cause if, I think about this whenever I’m putting emails together that have a goal in mind.

And say, if this string of emails is going towards one stage within the funnel, and I’m trying to get these people to go to the next stage. So, that call to action for every email that is sent to those people is typically the same to get them to the next stage. So, you may have people and you send like 10 emails of the course of, I don’t know, like five months or something, um, that never move to that next stage. So, you’re providing the same type of content over and over and over again. And it could be in the form of a white paper. Um, so that’s why you can’t just have one white paper and expect that to do the job.

You may need a white paper and then use that same type of content and just rework it into being a webinar, into being, um, a blog post. Um, that’s, that’s why you want to do those type of things. Um, and then look at your call to action and bring them into the next step.

[00:43:50] Matt Bailey: And everything could be measured. Everything is measurable. Um, that’s one of the things when we come to content marketing is not only am I measuring the effectiveness of the channel, I’m measuring the effectiveness of that content piece in that channel and I can compare it. But again, if I don’t have access to closing data, sales data…

[00:44:11] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:44:11] Matt Bailey: …then I’m only looking at it against, did it generate a lead? A lead. And I don’t know the value of that lead. I don’t know the qualification of that lead. And I’m waiting. I’m just generating.

[00:44:24] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:44:25] Matt Bailey: It’s almost like generating impressions.

[00:44:27] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah. You know, it, it just kind of reminds me of, uh, years ago I did a quiz on Facebook, and I was just trying to build some email lists and just did this quiz. It’s not one of the quizzes you were thinking of because I can tell by your face. It’s…

[00:44:38] Matt Bailey: “What kind of potato are you?” Yeah. Yeah.

[00:44:40] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah. Right, it’s not one of those, but basically, I did this quiz to, um, build this email list and it actually did very well in a very short period of time. Um, it had very surprising results, but in order to get those, uh, leads to the next step I had to figure out, you know, really what stage were they in because it’s kind of like what you were saying. It doesn’t mean that they’re, that they’re ready.

[00:45:04] Matt Bailey: Right. Yeah.

[00:45:05] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah, ’cause you’re, you’re not really sure if they are in that awareness stage or in the consideration. So, that’s where you kind of have to feel them out.

[00:45:10] Matt Bailey: Yep. Yeah. So critical. Um, and there are things you can do in-process to move them and, and also to gauge where they’re at based on how they respond to certain emails or content, that you can gauge are they still at that beginning level or are they, you know. And, and, and part of that, too, is, is, and, and that’s where I love lead scoring as…

[00:45:32] Ashley Schweigert: Oh yes.

[00:45:33] Matt Bailey: Lead scoring is such a valuable way, but then ultimately someone can have a, you know, a very high lead score until you find out that, “Oh, they’re a college student researching this topic.” You know, and then, but they can have a high lead score ’cause they’re attending webinars, they’re downloading white, but, you know, they’re looking at all your research. It looks like a great client until you find out they’re, well, wrong market. There, it’s…

[00:45:56] Ashley Schweigert: Well, and they could just be a big fan, too.

[00:45:58] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:45:58] Ashley Schweigert: Like, I’ve had that where it’s like, “Oh, they just really like the type of content. They’re really not interested.” Like what…

[00:46:03] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:46:03] Ashley Schweigert: …you were saying. They’re really not interested in buying, like…

[00:46:05] Matt Bailey: Oh yeah. Yeah. I collect lots of articles.

[00:46:06] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:46:07] Matt Bailey: I, I collect lots, I’m a collector.

[00:46:09] Ashley Schweigert: I, I know.

[00:46:09] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:46:10] Ashley Schweigert: I know. I do the same thing. I, you know, I was telling you about, you know, some of the influencers I follow just because I think their content is really good. Uh, I had no plan on ever ordering their courses, but…

[00:46:21] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Well, and it’s a thing now, and, and, and this will be a, a discussion for another day. I find myself collecting bad articles by good companies.

[00:46:30] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, really?

[00:46:31] Matt Bailey: That, it’s surprising, you know, typically the level, you, you expect a certain level of content from some companies, but then the, where the conclusion of the article does not match the headline. And it turns into a sales pitch where the headline said this is what I’m going to get, the content starts saying this is what I’m getting, and then it turns into a sales pitch for something other, like a bait and switch.

And so, I’m starting to collect articles because I think more and more people are realizing that a significant percentage of people do not read the article. They read the headline, read the first couple of words, maybe they go down to the end to see, you know, where’s the, the infographic that I’m promised? Where’s the, the quote that I need? Where’s the piece of information that I need? Uh, and, and, and realizing more and more that the actual words that you’re putting into the article maybe don’t mean that much. And so, I, maybe it’s just me, but I feel like the quality of articles is dwindling because of the amount of content that’s being pushed out.

[00:47:39] Ashley Schweigert: Oh yeah. Well, that’s what we were talking about before, you know, this podcast is about how a lot of online publications, there’s such a demand to constantly put stuff out. So, they’re starve, starved for content. They’ll take pretty much anything, you know?

[00:47:54] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:47:55] Ashley Schweigert: So, unfortunately, so you can’t really trust a lot of those outlets.

[00:47:59] Matt Bailey: Yeah. It, it’s, it’s, it’s really strange how, because of Google, it has made everyone publishers.

[00:48:08] Ashley Schweigert: Well, and the Google wants timeliness and I, I thought, I think you’re the one that told me this. I thought I was being clever by removing dates from my blog posts.

[00:48:15] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Don’t.

[00:48:17] Ashley Schweigert: It doesn’t even matter.

[00:48:18] Matt Bailey: It, it doesn’t.

[00:48:18] Ashley Schweigert: I thought I was being so clever.

[00:48:20] Matt Bailey: Oh no.

[00:48:20] Ashley Schweigert: I’m like, “Oh, they’ll never know…”

[00:48:22] Matt Bailey: Oh yeah, yeah.

[00:48:22] Ashley Schweigert: “…if I remove this date.”

[00:48:23] Matt Bailey: Yeah. I, I love it. Yeah. You think you’re being clever…

[00:48:26] Ashley Schweigert: Oh, I thought I was being so clever.

[00:48:27] Matt Bailey: …and they have thousands of people trying to figure out, “Now, what would someone do trying to game us?” and that’s, that’s what…

[00:48:33] Ashley Schweigert: Well, I was. I was trying to game them and I’m like, “Ugh, they got me.”

[00:48:39] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, no. The, is, your page is still that same URL. There, they…

[00:48:42] Ashley Schweigert: Oh yeah.

[00:48:43] Matt Bailey: They come and see what’s changed since the last time they were there. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah.

[00:48:47] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah, so they constantly want that new content. That’s why a lot of people like to take content that’s older and just, you know, rework it, rewrite it, and have it be a newer blog post so it’s still going to do well. But then what happens is you’re competing against…

[00:49:00] Matt Bailey: Yep.

[00:49:00] Ashley Schweigert: …potentially some older pieces, but over time Google is going to want that newer piece.

[00:49:05] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:49:05] Ashley Schweigert: So, it’s a game, right?

[00:49:06] Matt Bailey: It is, well, in a way.

[00:49:09] Ashley Schweigert: Uh…

[00:49:10] Matt Bailey: In a way. I, I don’t know. I, I guess maybe I just don’t play the game as hard as I used to.

[00:49:17] Ashley Schweigert: I’m all about the game, Matt. Like, bring it Google.

[00:49:21] Matt Bailey: Oh no. Well, I, this has been a fascinating talk. I’m, I’m glad we brought up the subject of the funnel because I, it, so what I have done, I’m going to change how I teach the funnel.

[00:49:33] Ashley Schweigert: Oh yeah.

[00:49:34] Matt Bailey: I’m going to change it. I’m going to change it because gravity is a factor.

[00:49:39] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah.

[00:49:39] Matt Bailey: And gravity is constantly working against your funnel, not for it. So, I’m going to change and I’m going to put the top of the funnel at the bottom because I need to push people through the funnel. And it takes work to get them through it. And so, from now on, I’m going to start my funnel at the bottom and at the top is where I work with customers who already know me. And I might have a little bit, a little bit of gravity on my side which is…

[00:50:00] Ashley Schweigert: I like that.

[00:50:06] Matt Bailey: …which would be like my reputation with that customer, my, how they, you, you know, the credibility that I’ve worked up. So, I have a little bit of gravity on my side that people kind of loop around. But this has, this has challenged me now to think about funnels completely differently. I, I…

[00:50:22] Ashley Schweigert: I am so glad.

[00:50:23] Matt Bailey: So, thank you. I’m, I’m glad you brought this in today.

[00:50:26] Ashley Schweigert: Well, you got to hear my quirks too.

[00:50:27] Matt Bailey: Yes.

[00:50:27] Ashley Schweigert: I had some venting going on…

[00:50:29] Matt Bailey: Oh man.

[00:50:30] Ashley Schweigert: …as a marketer.

[00:50:31] Matt Bailey: Well, no, it’s, it’s true. I mean, sales and marketing, they have got to work together. We’ve got to break down these silos.

[00:50:37] Ashley Schweigert: I just, I can’t do it anymore.

[00:50:39] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:50:39] Ashley Schweigert: It’s like, it’s really, it just hurts because there’s so much great software out there. There’s so many great tools and it’s just unfortunately I think that, um, while I love, you know, we talked about artificial intelligence. I do like it, um, but there are some like kinks in some of it. And I, you know, I still think that there is a lot of value with having a person and just, just, “Let’s just work together.”

[00:51:05] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Absolutely. And, uh, yeah, I know a lot of these legacy organizations, I think it was, well, last time I did a, a, a training with B2B marketers, more than half could not see into the sales.

[00:51:18] Ashley Schweigert: No.

[00:51:18] Matt Bailey: Um, and, and, and, you know, I almost wanted to throw up my hands because I’m like, “Well, there goes the rest of the day.”

[00:51:24] Ashley Schweigert: Oh yeah. Well, and then they’re not even interested in hearing about it. And I, I personally love hearing about the sales side of stuff because that’s, you know, it was where I came from.

[00:51:33] Matt Bailey: Yeah.

[00:51:33] Ashley Schweigert: So, I do like hearing about it, but then like you go on the opposite side with the sales team and they’re, they just look at the marketing team, “Well, they’re not trying to learn about, like, what the pain points are or they don’t understand. I’m just going to do it myself.”

[00:51:48] Matt Bailey: Well, yeah.

[00:51:48] Ashley Schweigert: So, then you have this problem happening where it’s like, and then as a marketer you don’t feel valued ’cause you’re like, “Come on, man. I know how to like put together a great white paper for you or whatever you need.”

[00:51:57] Matt Bailey: Well, and these marketers that I was teaching, they felt like they were missing out on, on half the world, which they are.

[00:52:03] Ashley Schweigert: Right.

[00:52:04] Matt Bailey: That, “Wait a minute,” you, you know, “We’re, we’re two hours into this training and you already started talking about cost per lead, you know, cost per channel, value per channel,” and, and, and, and they’re like, “That’s a world we can’t ever access, you know, we’re limited to our measurements, to this,” and now I’m working with the rest of the room on, “So, here’s what we can do,” you know…

[00:52:24] Ashley Schweigert: I know.

[00:52:24] Matt Bailey: “…and here’s how cool it is and here’s, this is amazing.” And the fireworks of analytics are just going off and, and they’re on the outside looking in because, and, and yet these were big names, big brands, you know, very well-known companies, but their marketers were limited in scope because they couldn’t see past that handoff between marketing and sales of that lead.

[00:52:48] Ashley Schweigert: I know. That’s why I think it’s such a bigger conversation than getting into how like a marketer needs to be strategic these days, they need to understand creative problem solving, it’s a lot bigger than that. It gets into understanding how to really work with other departments. You’re getting into like interpersonal communication.

[00:53:09] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Marketing.

[00:53:12] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah. I know, right?

[00:53:13] Matt Bailey: True marketing.

[00:53:13] Ashley Schweigert: I mean, come on. I mean…

[00:53:15] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:53:16] Ashley Schweigert: These days I think a lot of digital marketers, I think that there’s the perception that, “Well, they’re just sitting behind a computer, you know, eating Cheetos in their basement.”

[00:53:23] Matt Bailey: Yes. Yes.

[00:53:25] Ashley Schweigert: “Then playing video games as a, a side gig,” you know, like, “They’re not, they’re not doing anything.”

[00:53:29] Matt Bailey: Well, no, they’re making the chatbots do it all.

[00:53:31] Ashley Schweigert: Right. Exactly.

[00:53:32] Matt Bailey: That, that’s, you know, that’s the new shiny thing, so. Well, man, we’ll talk about that.

[00:53:37] Ashley Schweigert: Alright.

[00:53:38] Matt Bailey: Oh. Well, hey listener, thank you so much for hanging with us on another, another issue? Another episode of the Endless Coffee Cup. Thanks for laughing, Ashley. I appreciate it.

[00:53:48] Ashley Schweigert: Yeah. Not a problem.

[00:53:50] Matt Bailey: I hope this has been, you know, we had fun doing this one…

[00:53:54] Ashley Schweigert: Yes.

[00:53:54] Matt Bailey: …uh, despite the technical difficulties, and I hope this has helped you with your understanding of the funnel. And maybe you can apply this to what you’re doing and whether it’s the bow tie, the fish, the flywheel, or the upside down funnel, as I have recently discovered, you, you know, it’s a great way to visualize what’s happening in the progression of visits as they become leads and they work through your sales process. So, I challenge you, find a funnel that works for you. Thanks again, listener. We’ll see you next time.

Featured Guest:

Ashley Schweigert

Marketing Communications Consultant

LinkedIn profile: Ashley G. Schweigert | LinkedIn

Website: Marcom Content by Ashley

Listen to Ashley Schweigert on a previous episode:

Endless Coffee Cup: “The Need for Digital Literacy Skills”