Sales pipeline management creates the conditions for ongoing success in your sales process. Pipeline management, at its most basic, is the activity of building a healthy pipeline and winning deals.
Sales as a Managed Service can help keep your pipeline full.
This blog covers 10 best practices for sales pipeline management.
Do your research
Accurate data is essential to healthy sales pipeline management. Acquiring this data means doing your research. Your customers are doing their research on you. You should be continually doing your research on them.
Make sure you know who your customer is, where they fall in their buyer’s journey, and what information and content they’ve consumed.
Having this information on hand keeps you well-informed and prepared to make sales based on the needs of your deals.
Track data and analytics
Your pipeline is constantly evolving. In order to make sure it’s healthy and performing, you need to make sure you are measuring its success.
Useful metrics to follow are:
- The number of deals in your pipeline – both active and cold
- The number of deals created each month and where they are coming from
- The percentage of deals won
- The average lifetime of a deal
Perform regular sales pipeline management reviews and updates
Using the information you collected from your analytics tracking, figure out what is working and what is not working. Look for potential roadblocks in the pipeline and consider ways to improve the process to make it run smoother.
Continuously qualify your deals
Your sales team has better things to do than spend their time nurturing a deal, only to find out that the deal has gone cold.
Qualifying deals does require some research and open conversation with the prospect. When done correctly, you will know if the deal is worth pursuing.
Some things to consider when qualifying your deals: do they have the budget to complete a sale? Do they have the purchasing power to make the final decision? Do they actually need your product or service?
Provide content for deals in the pipeline
The occasional phone call or email will remind your deals that you still exist, but it doesn’t necessarily keep them engaged and could hurt your credibility. Your sales team needs to provide appropriate and helpful content throughout the entire sales process.
After your initial discovery call with a deal, follow up with an email highlighting the important parts of your discussion, letting them know you heard what they said and their pain points.
Make sure to reference their pain points in follow-up discussions. Provide support with blogs, white papers, case studies, and more to show you understand their needs and how you have helped other customers with the same needs.
Your ultimate goal is to convert your deals into paying customers. Give your deals the information they need to make informed decisions about your company. Then meet your prospect where they are to close the sale.
Prospecting is what keeps your sales pipeline full.
Take the time to do regular prospecting to maintain healthy and profitable sales pipeline management. If you don’t take the time to look for new prospects, you will find that your opportunities will begin to dwindle or disappear completely.
You cannot complete a sale if you have no one to sell to.
Forget to follow up
It is very unlikely that you are going to close a sale after the first contact. In fact, 80 percent of sales are made after the fifth call.
While your product and service might be great, desirable, and needed, your prospective customers are not thinking about you all the time. They also may have sent your information over to their boss for a decision and forgot that they never heard back.
People are busy and distracted. Giving a consistent reminder that you are still ready to help them will help you close the sale.
Leave dead deals in the pipeline
Leaving dead deals in your sales pipeline will definitely make the pipeline look full, but it will do nothing to help drive sales.
When a prospect tells you they are no longer interested in your product or service, when their emails start to bounce back or phone calls go unanswered, or you can’t get them past the first stage, it is time to move on.
Removing a dead deal from your pipeline cleans up your process, Now you can more efficiently focus on active and promising deals.
Forget to improve your sales pipeline management
Your sales pipeline is a living and breathing thing. It should constantly be growing and improving. Keeping it at the status quo will not improve your sales and revenue.
- What are my conversion rates?
- How long is my sales cycle from start to finish?
- What is my average deal size?
Once you have the answers to these questions (and any other you deem necessary) set informed, actionable, and measurable goals to maximize your results.
Miss your chance to upsell
What’s better than earning a profit? Increasing your profit margin!
Upselling is a useful technique to increase your profit margin. It also helps you build a relationship with your customers. It shows that you truly understand the needs of your customers and the product or services you are selling.
Understanding your customers’ wants and needs will help you maintain meaningful relationships after the sale and open opportunities for future purchases.
A sales pipeline is an important part of the success of your business and should not be underestimated. You risk losing customers and your business could suffer if you do not manage it properly.
Keep your sales pipeline full and managed. Download our Sales as a Managed Service brochure to find out how RaaStr can help.