Everything done in the sales industry is based on the successful implementation and management of an organization’s sales pipeline. If you can manage your sales pipeline effectively, you will observe that apart from the constant revenue growth, your teams become more organized.
The sales pipeline visually depicts all your deals and prospects in an organized manner so that any information regarding any particular prospect and deal is available all the time.
Your daily sales related activities constitute your sales pipeline. Organizing your prospect related details, completing your sales goals, and achieving the to-do in an efficient and profitable manner can be defined as a successful sales pipeline management.
Benefits of a Well-Managed Sales Pipeline
For a successful sales pipeline management, you need to properly define the sales pipeline for your business. The next step is setting up the critical sales metrics that will help you assess the status of your pipeline at the weekly/ monthly meetings. These steps help in establishing a constant flow of high-quality prospects for your salespeople and at the same time help in scrutinizing the rate at which the prospects are being converted into customers.
The numerous benefits of a well-managed sales pipeline are:
- Helps you analyze the individual performances and stay focused on the sales goals.
- It helps you map a successful journey of the prospects as well as the sales representative success charts and other sales related ratios.
- It keeps your sales reps on the same page as their prospects and helps them in guiding those prospects along the sales pipeline until they are converted into regular customers.
Best practices of sales pipeline management
Properly Define Your Sales Process
Define every single step of your sales process so that it helps you identify the opportunities quickly. Have a flexible sales process and update it as per the feedback that you get from your customers or after consulting with your sales team.
A successful sales pipeline is the one where the prospects and deals move smoothly through the stages and these are the major persons that play a pivotal part in this smooth flow:
- Marketers: Nurture the prospects with inbound and outbound tactics. Once the connection is established they move the prospects into the top of the sales pipeline.
- Sales Reps: Once the qualified prospect enters the sales pipeline, it is the duty of the sales reps to help them smoothly move through the various stages of the sales pipeline and successfully complete the journey.
For closing a successful deal, you must map out the interaction with your prospect at an earlier stage. Construct a perfect sales process that gives your organization a stability; in terms of team and customers both.
Have Better Sales Pipeline Metrics in Place
There are various metrics that can help you maintain the smooth flow of your sales pipeline. These can be reviewed on a weekly basis to have the required discipline of the sales pipeline.
Deal won over time
Once you map the customer journey, you have a brief idea about what those stages are and how you are going to help move every prospect through those stages. You must treat sales opportunity based on the volume of business they bring, individually.
Won deals help you find out the efforts it took for winning a deal.
Sales manager analyze the won opportunities to see the pattern of the sales process and how it differs when opportunities were lost.
Sales reps make use of assorted opportunities for converting their prospects into sales and it is important to know the conversion rate that has a massive impact on your profit margin.
Wisely Use the CRM
An easy to understand CRM is easy to use. Don’t complicate the CRM for your sales reps because it will hamper their productivity. Having too many functions and features or metrics in place makes your sales reps worry more about the metrics and forces their focus away from the major responsibilities. Use your CRM system wisely to create and manage your sales pipeline. It will help you achieve more in less time.
After you have had some experience with your sales pipeline meetings and you’ve got accustomed to the various sales metrics, focus your attention on revenue forecasting. Doing so will help you gain insight into the cash flow in your business.
When you define the distinct stages of your sales process you can synchronize it with your customer’s decision-making process. This helps you dictate the sales criteria for the stage a prospect is in your sales pipeline. You can easily understand the conversion rate for each of the stages because you now have the value of each opportunity. This enables you to forecast the perfect sales revenue for your business.
Discipline Is Necessary While Filling Sales Pipeline
Once you have the basic structure of where you want your contacts to be in your sales pipeline and what actions you want to take for each of them, developing a routine for finding new contacts becomes a necessity which is also known as filling the pipeline.
Check out more on ‘How to fill your sales pipeline with high-quality prospects?‘
Plan out all your activity in advance with the help of your sales CRM. Until your next sale happens you cannot be idle, for that CRM helps you seamlessly plan and schedule your next activity. Activity-based sales is crucial for a successful sales pipeline.
Having your sales pipeline filled with contacts at various stages is the sign of a healthy sales process. But it is advised that you must clean out your sales pipeline occasionally so that your sales team does not get distracted due to rotten deals. We are not asking you to give up on deals and prospects but if you don’t let go of the dead opportunity, you might not find another great one.