The Funnel is a very popular toy on sales meetings. Misused, to accelerate competition inside sales teams. But with the right intention it can be an appropriate tool, to measure the maturity of projects with customers.
It was used a decade before in conjunction with a “blue sheet”. The blue sheet was designed to establish a comprehensive analysis about the structure of the customer. The funnel is used to establish a list of projects and provide them with a rating. This concept will not be used for the small daily business. It requires attention, focus and detailed work. It is important to decide if a customer project is of critical importance for the company. Once the project has passed this qualification, we need to start with the blue sheet. A couple of questions around the customer need to be answered. A significant part is to identify and to categorize the key contacts and stakeholders of the customer. This rating requires permanent update. The team can determine an appropriate style of approach to the different stakeholders. This enables a matrix-approach and communication between relevant contacts. Another benefit is that the team can validate and prove the value of all information from the customer. Finally this concept provides enhanced intelligence about the customer. He will realize this approach and will accept the startup as a serious professional partner. But no games please.
Basing on the blue sheets the team can build up a detailed overview of projects in the funnel. This funnel will be a valuable database for the forecast of the following year and provides investors and banks with solid information about the progress of the team.
It requires a fair estimation to decide which customers and project will qualify for the funnel-blue-sheet-concept. It will be valuable for forecasts and projections. The customer will appreciate this kind of project-management.