Funnel is so 2019!
If you’re familiar with the basics of marketing theory and marketing and sales terminology, you have surely heard of a ‘Funnel’ model – often referred to as a ‘Sales Funnel’. For many years, most businesses have built their strategies with a funnel model in mind. The good and bad news is – the funnel is no longer enough! It does not consider some crucial influencing powers that are gaining in strength – customer referrals and word of mouth. While a funnel model may have worked for us in the past, it does not include customers as a driving force for the business growth. That’s why the inbound marketing strategy brings in a new model called Flywheel.
‘With the flywheel, you use the momentum of your happy customers to drive referrals and repeat sales.
Basically, your business keeps spinning.’ – Hubspot
If you want to run your business strategy based on The Flywheel model, you need to align your company around one clear goal – delivering an excellent customer experience. And why would you want to do that? Because your customers can have a huge (positive) impact on your business growth!
How Does The Flywheel Model Work?
As Flywheel is – yes you guessed it – a wheel, you need to spin it to make it work. So, the effectiveness and timing of specific strategic actions you take while following this model depends on:
- how big your wheel is,
- how fast you spin it,
- and how much friction there is during the spinning process.
For example, you apply more speed onto your Flywheel when you focus your strategies and tactics on areas of your business that have the biggest impact on growth; such forces can be things like online advertising or customer referrals.
As you apply force to spin your wheel, you must consider any negative forces that may cause friction and work against you. That would be anything that slows down your wheel spinning, e.g. poor internal communication or bad customer service. Reducing such frictions is key to making this approach effective.
The more speed and the less friction there is, the more advocates you create for your business. And those advocates can become the single most powerful force spinning your Flywheel even faster and making your business grow further.
Why Should You Use The Flywheel Model?
Why is it important to apply this new Flywheel model, rather than rely on the old and trustworthy Funnel?
According to the Harvard Business Review over half of the business to business (B2B) sales are currently completed before the customer reaches out to the service or product seller! And how those customers make their decision? Rather than relying on your marketing resources or your website as the main source of information, they are much more likely to be looking at the independent review sites and recommendations from their community, peers or other users / consumers of similar products or services.
The trust in businesses is dropping , while trust in family and friends recommendations is growing. This is why word of mouth is so important!
There was nothing wrong with the Funnel model, as it worked very well in the past, where communication channels, especially for B2B sales, were limited and much more specific. These days however, the sales process starts long before your sales team can directly influence or take part in it! Decisions are made differently today – your prospects ask their community for advice and recommendations first, then they take matters into their own hands and search online for best solutions that will fit their needs. The Funnel model does not consider the power of individuals to gather all of that important information that helps them make their purchasing decision. The Flywheel model does.
‘The Flywheel is a more comprehensive look at where your business is growing fastest,
and it reveals your biggest areas of opportunity.’ -Hubspot
If you want to find out more about The Flywheel model and how it can help your business grow, check out this article.