An ideal sales pipeline never happens on its own. Some of the best sales teams find themselves faltering at times. Even if you already know how to manage a sales pipeline, here’s a refresher with some helpful tips to make it a more seamless process.
Step 1 – Do not forget to follow up
They say that people these days have a short attention span, but the truth is, they just have plenty of choices. With that said, buyers need more help in deciding which products or services to buy. According to research by TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group, in the past, it took an average of 3.68 calls to close a deal. Today, it takes at least 8!
One solution to this is to set a reminder that would tell you that you need to follow up with your prospects. Just call, don’t let one rejection slow your momentum.
Step 2 – Pay attention to the best leads, and drop your dead leads
Make sure to turn your focus to the most sales-ready and high-value leads and avoid getting sidetracked on achieving your target. You can do this by sorting your sales dashboard from high to low and not by date; in this way you can see which leads are more valuable to your business. Having a clearly painted picture of your ideal target customer will also aid you in strategically focusing efforts on priority targets.
At the same time, learn to let go of leads who clearly stated that they are not interested, or when you can no longer contact them. It may be difficult to let go, especially when you have invested your time building relationships with them, but you will have to move on to avoid wasting precious time.
Step 3 – Monitor your key sales metrics
Monitoring sales metrics is an effective way to see how any changes you make to your sales process contribute to overall growth. Sales pipelines are designed to be dynamic; they change all the time. This is why you will have to constantly track your key sales metrics, which includes the number of deals in your pipeline, the average size of deals, the average sales close rate, and the average sales velocity. Do this on a weekly basis.
Step 4 – Consistently improve your pipeline process
Take a cue from the best sales organizations and regularly review your sales pipeline and techniques to ensure that things are finely tuned and highly optimized. Everything can be improved, from the scheduling of follow-ups to the offers that you make.
If you make changes one step at a time, and evaluate as you go, your sales pipeline will quickly become more productive.
Step 5 – Create a standardized sales process
Your ideal target customers have a lot more in common than you think. Their needs and reasons for buying from you are all similar, which is something you can use to your advantage. The best sales teams follow a standardized sales process, and this enables them to win new business.
Sales teams create a buyer persona, a fictitious representation of their ideal customers that are based on actual research and real data. When done correctly, having a buyer persona allows you to position your products to meet customers’ needs.
Customizing sales techniques takes time and adds enormous overhead, and this impacts your bottom line. A standardized sales process can scale your business as it grows.
Step 6 – Create more content for your prospects
These days, phone calls and emails, while an essential part of the sales communication, may no longer be enough for your prospects. They often require more in-depth information to help them understand your products or services. Plan out the kind of content you can give your prospects for each step of the pipeline.
It even becomes more important as your prospect moves further down the sales funnel.
If you are not sure what topics to write about, listen to what your customers are asking and saying. Hearing them speak can give you insights on what they are interested in. Both the sales and marketing teams should work together to create content that prospects are willing to read. In fact, beyond written content, videos are conclusively shown to garner much higher engagement. Taking the time to create polished explainer videos for different aspects of your business can be high-impact content.
Step 7 – Manage your sales with a CRM
A CRM platform will help you manage all of your company’s relationships and interactions with current and potential customers, especially when your business grows.
Without a CRM, your sales pipeline would be in disarray. CRM software is now an integral part of sales, so much so that sales teams rank a CRM as their second most important tool, according to a LinkedIn survey. A CRM will help you track metrics, manage large volume leads, and give your team easy access to the right information when they need it.