5 Whys Meets Sales Funnel

5 Whys Meets Sales Funnel

The sales funnel concept refers to the process of tipping sales “leads” into the top of a “funnel”.  They then progressively move through the sales process ideally converting them to a sale at the bottom of the funnel.

The 5 Why technique is a method of working out why something is not working or has gone wrong.  As there is a great deal of uncertainty in the Sales Funnel process, applying the 5 Whys to sort through the unknowns can be useful.  Yellow Belt

But First, What is the 5 Whys?

This is a technique of asking ‘why did this happen’ a number of times.  The idea is that you get a number of possible reasons and then pick those that seem most likely and repair them.

There is a full article on 5 Whys that you can read to learn more on the technique. (Visit here)

5 Whys Meets Sales Funnel

The 5 Whys approach to resolving problems is a valuable tool as discussed before. To learn this approach see the article “5 Whys Problem Solving Technique”.

This 5 Whys approach can assist you with problems that have arisen in the layers of your Sales Funnel.

1. Take each layer of the Sales Funnel to represent the first level of their own 5 Whys:

  • Leads, Prospects, Conversion, Sales, Retention

2. Set up problem/solution pairs to address issues that arise at each of these levels.

  • Have the view of improving the performance at each level.


  • Identify reasons why your retention rate is not working well.
    Add them to Layer 2 of the 5 Whys analysis, behind the Layer 1 heading, Retention.

See this in the following Mind Map graphic:

Sales Funnel 5 Whys

  • Tease out more detail on the potential root causes of the problem for each layer of your Sales Funnel in Level 2.
    Identify solutions to those problems.
    As you work through those solutions mark them off as done.

In the one 5 Whys diagram:
You have a list of potential problems and solutions to your issues for each layer of your Sales Funnel.

This is a particularly useful tool if you do it in an electronic Mind Map.
The information can be updated as you progress towards a solution.

There are several free Mind map tools. 12Faces uses Mindomo as it can be shared with a team in real time.

Mind Map Process:

  • Mark the current most important activity.
  • This is often the Constraint activity.
  • Do this for each of the levels in your Sales Funnel.
  • This ensures that you always focus on the most important issue for each level.

In the example graphic above, the constraint is boxed and shaded red.

See the “Theory of Constraints” menu for general information on constraints in your business.  See TOC applied to Sales Funnels at this article.

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