Building Your Funnel to Raise Capital
Finance leaders know that the best way to raise capital is to gain trust. But in the digital age, that process can feel difficult and time consuming to navigate — and it rarely begins with a cold call. GK3 builds a smoother flow from investor or advisor interest straight to your sales team. A smoother flow means new inflows, faster.
Let’s take a closer look at how a funnel can take shape.
Before We Begin
Right at the beginning of our relationship, we ask the important questions so we can build the funnel in the way that works best for our clients. At GK3, we emphasize the importance of having a well-structured strategy and a properly-built funnel so you can greatly increase the quality and quantity of sales team leads.
When our clients come on board, many lack the technological and strategic infrastructure required to support new inflows using digital, including a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, a Content Management System (CMS), and all the connections between them.
Because we may start from zero — or from anywhere — our mentality is that we can construct the funnel from any direction. Whether you want to run a set of ads today to promote brand awareness or you want to arm your sales team with a new pitch deck, your marketing and sales activities will contribute to the construction effort.
Now that we’ve defined our philosophy, let’s talk about the steps required to build a funnel that generates more qualified leads and ultimately raises more capital.
The first step in building a successful funnel is to understand what it is and how it works.
What does your funnel look like?
Simply put, a sales funnel is a logical and functional representation of the customer journey, from initial awareness of your firm to a closed-won deal. It's a way of understanding how potential customers move through different stages of the inflows process and identifying where your team should expend their effort.
Not only does a well-designed, customized funnel improve the customer experience, but it should also do the work that your sales team should not have to do — build trust starting from day one.
With the right funnel structure, 70% of your investors’ research and movement toward the investment can happen without your sales team lifting a finger.
See How We Helped One Fund Sponsor Crack the RIA Market and Raise $350M
While we can construct a funnel from any starting point, it helps to think of our prioritization like a barbell. Building the very top and the very bottom of the funnel first is the best way to ensure that you’re creating both new leads and new sales conversations. In practice, this might look like building a LinkedIn ad for an ebook and building a “schedule a call” page at the same time.
Everything Starts with Content
Content should address the needs and pain points of your target audience relative to the current stage of their investment journey. It may include blog posts, white papers, videos, pitch decks, or anything else that will be relevant and informative to your audience — even the offer of a meeting with your team. Any good content program will also include optimizing your website to allow access to and movement through your content, or getting it in your sales team’s hands so they can allow access.
The content is designed to attract or convert potential investors and increase their progression toward investment. Think of all of your content like water on a slide. The whole slide is the funnel — and your sales team is waiting in the pool.
Of course, we can’t create content without a strategy. That should happen right away as part of any funnel build.
But because we prioritize actions at both the top and bottom of the funnel, we suggest repurposing a current piece of content about your brand. This will help you capture leads and facilitate sales conversations; both ends of the funnel are created at once with this simple action. There’s room for people to swim and room for them to get in line for the slide.
And don’t forget! During this time, we have to construct the water slide itself — or those people in line will never make it down! What does the staircase look like? The platforms? The slope of the slide?
Getting Leads to the Sales Team
A major factor in the strength of a funnel is the unification of quality data. To capture that data and unify it, our strategy and tech teams help our clients create the full technological infrastructure. Building the funnel requires a CRM either already filled with or ready to be filled with contact information. Therein, each prospect or lead remains a distinct, single data point.
We use HubSpot to link all of the technology required for a smooth flow: Investor actions should produce clear signals within the system and push those signals to sales. This ensures that your sales team receives well-informed leads who they can qualify as accredited investors ready to engage.
Some leads may be more qualified than others, and it's important to prioritize the leads that are most likely to convert into customers or investors. At GK3, we use lead scoring to help identify the most qualified leads.
To summarize: We set the strategy and connect all of the elements:
- Your website and the content on it
- Your contact data
- Your email marketing automation
- The scoring system
- Automation that progresses the contacts toward your sales team
- Notifications for your team about signals from qualified investors
Next Up: Raising Capital
By building the infrastructure (of which content is a part) and prioritizing the most qualified leads, GK3 can help you create a seamless and engaging customer journey for potential investors.
But wait! There’s more! To truly optimize your funnel for raising capital, we’ll want to launch multiple campaigns and run them at once in multiple channels and with multiple target audiences (as needed). That’s why part of building a funnel is setting up your sales team to scale.
This is where pipeline planning comes in. Think of your pipeline as the very end of the sales funnel. Just like the other parts of the funnel, it should be customer-focused and include both content and automation. On your journey toward successful digital distribution, pipeline creation and optimization happens closer to the “end”; that is, the point when you’re fully prepared to handle new volume and velocity. Optimizing the pipeline is a priority, not a luxury, but it comes “last” because it relies on volume in. At this point, leads should be flowing smoothly to your sales team and into your pipeline.
(Remember, because you can construct the funnel from any direction, if you were already experiencing volume in, you could start with the pipeline optimization right away.)
Testing and Optimization
GK3 is a data-driven group. We believe successes often require iteration. So, we test and optimize the funnel to ensure that it is generating the desired results. A data-driven decision-making process helps us fine-tune strategy and ensure that each piece of the funnel (from ebook to workflow, from sales email to Linkedin ad) is performing at its best. We track key performance indicators (KPIs) like conversion rates, lead-to-opportunity, and even movement through the pipeline.
To this end, the final steps of funnel construction involve reporting and analysis. You have to understand where people get stuck in the funnel if you want to craft a plan for getting them out. Dashboards for tracking funnel performance are a must-have, allowing you to optimize content, automation, timing, and more to ensure the smoothest possible inflows.
Once GK3 has reached this point with our clients’ funnels, we’re in a great rhythm and ready to proceed with everyone rowing in the same direction.
To attract and get to know your future clients, you have to create ways to engage with them on their terms, and you have to be willing to learn those terms over time, hence the testing and optimization criticalities of a funnel build. Working with GK3 covers both short and long-term funnel requirements: We prioritize work on the stage that makes the most sense for your AUM strategies first, while helping you pour a flexible foundation for growth.
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