A sales pipeline is critical in closing more deals and showing your business's overall health and future direction. It enables business leaders to make profit predictions, analyze process efficiency, identify areas of problems, plan corrective measures and take other critical actions.
However, to get more control over your sales, you need a strategic approach to pipeline management. You can drive growth, avoid unnecessary activities, and save time with the right process. Here are the seven best tips for managing an effective sales pipeline.
Customers have a lot of solution providers to pick from, so you need to follow up on your sales consistently to avoid losing out on sales. While following up isn't easy, it's a crucial element in the sales process.
Set reminders in your CRM system (customer relationship management) so sales representatives receive timely alerts to call or send an email to the prospect. Integrate your CRM with proposal software to allow you to send a proposal instantly after ending a call.
That way, your sales team will save time and can also customize collateral using CRM data to give your brand a customized and professional image. You can also invest in deal intelligence software to help your revenue team win big leads and build stronger connections with the customers.
Sales velocity is different in each lead and may depend on several factors, such as how much the deal is worth, the phase they are at in the sales process, and how you expect to serve that particular customer. However, although persistence and patients with leads are key, it's also important to know when to stop hunting.
One vital aspect of managing your pipeline is eliminating the leads that aren't progressing. Regularly clearing out these dead ends helps you prevent them from distracting your sales forecasting and wasting your sales team's time.
If you haven't moved with a lead for some time and have been nurturing them to no avail, clear them from your database and direct your efforts elsewhere.
Your sales pipeline is continuously changing, so you should keep it up-to-date to ensure it remains efficient. Your sales team should regularly update their leads whenever they move into a new funnel stage, when they close a deal, and when a new lead is added to the funnel.
Keeping the sales pipeline updated ensures it remains organized and current, and it's also essential for sales funnel review and updates. Most sales representatives work on a commission base, so they will be required to give regular feedback to their line managers, reporting on leads in the pipeline and when they expect to close deals.
Identify your high-value leads by examining each sales activity to see which are the most engaged. Focus on the best leads and drop those taking too much time with less promise of success. Dropping leads that have been in the pipeline for some time can be challenging.
However, it's unlikely your team will be able to push them to the next stage of the sales pipeline if they seem indifferent after months of nurturing.
Managing a pipeline is about what happens before the sale and what transpires after a prospect becomes a customer. You should therefore design a process that helps you get paid, manage your numbers and measure the overall health of your business.
No matter how hard you work on your sales process, it will all be valueless if you can't properly manage your accounting and ensure your customers pay on time.
Your sales pipeline metrics help you see how your sales team is doing. It will, of course, change over time, so you need to keep on top of essential sales metrics, including the following:
You also need to schedule routine meetings to review these metrics to ensure you have an overview of your sales pipeline's health. Over time, your trucked results will show you whether your improvements or changes are working and if they are leading to business growth.
Content is vital as you take prospective clients further into the sales funnel. Although emails and phone calls are the core of most business communications, prospects usually need deeper information to help them know whether your product or service is right for their needs.
Figure out what kind of content you can offer your prospects for each pipeline stage. Your content should reinforce your message and take prospects through to the next phase.
A sales pipeline is the heart of your business, so you can hardly overlook its importance and value. However, with many sales managers claiming that their business does poor work managing their sales pipeline, chances are you need to improve the way you do business, too.
Use these best tips on managing your pipeline to help you increase your revenue while bringing growth to your business.