For decades, the sales funnel analogy has been the perfect way to show how consumers go from awareness to consideration to conversion.

Over time, we’ve grown accustomed to its imperfections.

In recent years, mobile has changed buying behavior. And, as a result, the sales funnel has cracked.

No matter the industry, consumers now make purchase decisions in three basic stages—they search, they find products/services, and they check out. At each stage, your funnel springs a leak.

Small-scale web optimization techniques have traditionally helped you plug these holes. But they aren’t enough anymore.

The real problems with your leaky sales funnel are mismanaged context switching and a lack of positive reinforcement for buying decisions. The fix? Better customer conversations.

The Problem with Context Switching

This probably isn’t the first time you’re hearing about how context switching negatively impacts your business.

Industry leaders often cite multitasking as a root cause of lost employee productivity—a problem that costs businesses upwards of $600 billion every year.

But we can’t just think about context switching in terms of our internal productivity. It also applies to your customers and the sales funnel.

According to Chet Holmes, only 3% of prospects will be in buying mode when you first talk to them. You have to deal with the reality that 97% of customers aren’t going to go from searching to checkout in one interaction.

Instead, customers will switch between mobile, desktop, reading your blog, in-store visits, voice calls, and more before making a purchase decision. In a traditional sales funnel, these interactions are disconnected, making it impossible to maintain complete context throughout the customer journey.

The result is persistent leaks in an imperfect sales funnel. A problem that’s only made worse by a lack of positive reinforcement for customers who actually make it through to conversion.

Positive Reinforcement Is Critical for Lifetime Value

Traditional sales funnels are transactional. Even though we want to spark loyalty and increase lifetime value, we still look at each new buying process as a linear journey—from searching to converting.

This mindset, coupled with mismanaged context switching, makes it difficult to properly reinforce buying decisions.

You start a loyalty program and engage with converting customers, but the process is often impersonal. Customers don’t just want email blasts with rewards points and discounts. They want personal service in the right time and in the right context of their specific needs.

Consumers expect these personal, contextual interactions with your brand. Missing the mark puts holes in your sales funnel. Rather than seeking temporary solutions to these leaks, eliminate them altogether with a better customer conversation experience.

Thinking in Terms of Lifetime Customer Conversations

Traditional sales funnel has natural breaks that can lead to leaked leads. But when you think in terms of lifetime customer conversations, you can maintain context at each stage of an individual’s journey.

The key is to aggregate all of your input and output channels into a single conversation. Whether you interact with a customer via messaging, voice calling, video calling, or rich in-app experiences, all the context of your relationship is aggregated.

When context switching is out of the equation, you don’t have to worry about leaks. And better yet, you can deliver positive reinforcement on a personal level (and at scale).

Just because leaky sales funnels have been the norm in years past doesn’t mean you can’t change it. We can help you make the most of lifetime customer conversations.

Want to learn how? Check out this free white paper, Creating Delightful Moments Throughout the Entire Customer Journey.