The Atlanta marketing technology community has been buzzing lately with talk about the recent FlipMyFunnel event hosted by Terminus. It is an interesting concept and got us thinking about how exactly the hyped up “Flipped” funnel fits in with a traditional sales funnel. Was this truly a new approach that was going to turn our industry upside down (pun intended!) or could it simply complement the existing lead conversion process like we thought it could? Eager to learn more and be part of the conversation, we sponsored the one day FlipMyFunnel conference that brought together marketing thought leaders and practitioners to discuss this hot topic.

While we all know there no longer is a truly traditional sales funnel due to the way buyers define their own journey and hop around, it is still practical and necessary for companies to define lead progression and understand how leads move through the buying process. By creating this with conversion rates from one stage to the next, a marketer can determine the volume of leads needed to meet sales targets. One of our favorite models for this is the SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall.

Demand Waterfall

So, the question then is, how can the “Flipped” funnel as defined by Terminus fit in with a more standard approach? The idea around FlipMyFunnel is that marketers would be more effective to identify the key accounts they want to go after, find the decision makers within those accounts, engage with them and then turn them into brand advocates.


Flipped funnel

We couldn’t agree more with this approach. Marketers need to define their target audience, reach, engage, convert and turn them into raving fans. However, at the event, marketers were asked to draw what their sales funnels looked like. Here are a couple of the stand-outs:

The frustrated, long funnel.

frustrated, Long Funnel

The delicious but equally long funnel cake funnel (this was our favorite).

Funnel Cake Funnel

Funnel cakes and scribbles aside, understanding which funnel your organization should align itself to is difficult. With that in mind, it’s also important to understand that the Flipped Funnel isn’t mutually exclusive of the Traditional Funnel.

Joseph Jaffe brought it all together for us in his presentation. He and the CMO of Terminus had a few good laughs since Jaffe actually wrote a book called “Flip the Funnel” several years ago about a similar idea focused on the need to create advocates. The idea for his flopped funnel was to use fewer resources on acquiring new customers and spending more on acknowledging and retaining current ones. Bringing both the Traditional and the Flipped funnels together, Jaffe is able to illustrate the importance of turning customers into advocates. In fact, he goes so far as to say, “Customers are your most influential salespeople and employees are your most valuable spokespeople.”

Joseph Jaffe Funnel

He offered a couple of great tips:

  1. Say “Thank You” to your customers. These are two of the most important words.
  2. Don’t spend too much time and money on acquiring new customers that you neglect nurturing the ones you have.
  3. Recognize outstanding customers. Even B2B can have a customer of the month.

We all enjoyed the event and give a big shoutout to our friends at Terminus. They did an incredible job bringing together so many great speakers, thought leaders and marketers to explore a topic in a whole new way.