Sales pipeline management is the tracking and management of every sales opportunity through every stage to a successful close of a sale. Without proper management, you could be missing out on profitable opportunities. Over time, poor pipeline management can also cause inaccurate sales forecasting, which negatively affects critical planning information such as resource allocation and budgeting. Inaccurate and poorly managed sales pipelines can eventually lead to the demise of a business. Here are three tips to help you to effectively create and manage your sales pipeline:
- Find the right prospects
The focus needs to be on the quality of leads you are bringing in rather than on the quantity. This is an opportunity for you to review your buyer personas, if needed. This can be done by using lead capture forms on your website or generating interest on your business social media platforms. Once this is done, obtain accurate information from the prospect to optimise their choice of doing business with your brand. A prospect could be walking the walk, but it’s your job to try to work out their intent when it comes to following through with your offerings.
Following up is crucial to gaining new business and is easier than you might think. Send an email to thank them for their time and summarise next steps in their buying journey. Also call to see whether the lead is still interested. Document all follow-up actions you agreed to complete for all clients and prospects, then track and complete these actions accurately within the agreed time frame. Genuine effort is sure to win over a prospect who ultimately has a pain-point that needs to be resolved.
- Measure results
It is important to remember to track and measure your successes as well as your failures. Tracking the results of your sales pipeline helps with accurate sales forecasting and gives a better idea of future revenue. This is also helpful for learning where your sales team needs improvement. Reviewing your sales pipeline provides insight into how efficient and effective your sales process is. Analyse the data regularly to determine which processes are working and which are not.
Properly developing, tracking, managing and analysing your pipeline can directly increase sales and build revenue for your business. Also regularly audit your pipeline to ensure that opportunities are of a high quality. The smartest way to do this is with a CRM solution like Maximizer CRM, where you can track your information by using user-defined fields and eliminate the need for trivial, repetitive spreadsheets. With Maximizer CRM, you can analyse these stats to help you manage and enhance your sales pipeline.