The metaphor of the funnel is used because people drop away at each stage of a long sales process: for example, many of your unqualified prospects may have existing suppliers with whom they're very satisfied. Others may have needs which other competitors are better-placed to satisfy. Still, others may love your products, but not have the budget to buy them.
Qualified prospect: Qualification is the most critical and demanding stage of the sales funnel. In the qualification process, you verify that the prospect has a need for your product, that the prospect sees value in your offering, that there is sufficient budget for a deal, that you have access to the decision-maker, and that there is an agreed-upon timeline for the sales process. The qualification process can be complex and lengthy, and can be managed with a Sales Call Talk Track and stakeholder management chart.
If a sales opportunity does not move down the funnel, the sale will not happen and the opportunity should be removed, hence the “leaky” funnel. A leaky funnel is not necessarily bad; as a salesperson, you want to focus on opportunities that are likely to yield results. It is the nature of sales to have to remove an opportunity from your funnel. It does not mean that you will not sell to that account (a positive action by the customer can put them back into the funnel), but for the time being, you should centre your attention on opportunities that remain in the funnel.
Imagine an autoresponder that doesn't just send emails, but allows you to track which channels your visitors are coming from, segment them based on actions they take and who they are (what they do in your funnels, how socially connected they are, what they purchase and more!), create custom follow up sequences (email, text messages and more!) for each visitor and FINALLY see the TRUE Lifetime Value of each of your customers!