The middle of the funnel (MOFU) is often paid less attention than it requires. Marketing takes care of the top of the funnel to increase traffic and stack the database with new leads via email, social media, referral programs, paid ads, and other various channels. The sales team takes care of the bottom of the funnel to make conversions, help prospects make the purchase, and close the deals. Sometimes MOFU engagement gets a little lost between the two.
Middle-of-the-funnel contacts still require nurturing and focus to generate sales-qualified leads, and the marketing team needs to encourage prospects to engage with the content until they’re sales-ready. The middle of the funnel is often overlooked as it involves
details such as quality, quantity, transition speed, customer experience, and several other priorities; it’s the most challenging stage of the funnel to manage.
What is MOFU or the middle of the funnel?
The SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall describes the “middle of the funnel” as the phase where marketing hands over MQL to SAL (Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Approved Leads) to the sales. The sales development representative (SDR) further fosters the SAL to pass it on to the AE(Accounts Executive)to turn them into SQL.
The MOFU is the middle of the pipeline where you filter qualified leads, collate and pass it to the sales team.
In B2B businesses, the major marketing focus is to facilitate a successful hand-over of qualified leads to sales. The marketing team develops a content strategy to educate prospects with blogs, articles, and whitepapers to identify the qualified leads with intent using the behavioral lead scoring model. The marketing team also promotes campaigns to expedite the leads with product trial campaigns, case studies, webinars, summits, and limited-time offers.
In the middle of the funnel, marketing intends to provide more filtered, qualified leads with accurate information on each lead to save the sales team time to focus on other priorities such as closing deals and conversions. Simultaneously, the sales team focuses on turning as many leads as possible into clients.
Why do you need to fixate the middle of the funnel?
With so many transitions taking place during the hand-over process, the middle of the funnel has the highest probability of misalignment between sales and marketing teams as well as within the teams. Here are some of the common snags that you might face during this phase.
Marketing to sales hand-over misalignment:
● The marketing team doesn’t provide enough leads to sales to create sufficient conversions to adhere to their revenue target.
● The marketing hands over sufficient leads to sales, but leads are hard to strike a deal with as they aren’t yet ready and require more nurturing.
● The marketing team is sending over too many leads to sales, with inadequate information about the leads, it’s difficult for the sales team to prioritize them effectively.
SDR to AE hand-over misalignment:
● SDRs may face difficulties reaching out to the leads the marketing team has passed to them.
● Too much delay by SDRs to create a sales-approved leads list to hand over to the AE.
By establishing standard goals and definitions, you can eliminate marketing and sales misalignment. Here are some perspectives you need to understand and accept:
● The volume of qualified leads helps you determine whether the marketing efforts are paying off to meet the revenue targets.
● Lead conversions help estimate the lead movements at each stage and also evaluate marketing performance throughout the sales cycle.
● Estimate the velocity, i.e., the time required for a lead to move through the sales funnel, usually estimated in days.
These metrics help you acknowledge the impact on your business and determine where you need to prioritize your investments. Instability at any stage of the funnel will impact the revenue, so it’s necessary for marketers to keep a tab at the middle of the funnel at any point in time throughout the buyer’s journey.