The sales pipeline is the lifeblood of any organization. There will be many stakeholders who have an interest in business that is coming down the pipe from a net new perspective or what further/repeat business there is. Therefore I have picked out 8 tips that can help you successfully manage your sales pipeline:
- Track your lead sources – Ensure you are tracking whether they are from Email, SEO, Social, Direct, etc. Focus on the ones that yield leads and drop those that don’t.
- Follow up – a simple yet often neglected activity by salespeople. Make sure you are following up with what you said you were going to in the agreed timescale.
- Focus – focus on good leads and drop the dead ones. Winning the right deal takes no more time than winning deals that are not a good fit or profitable so double down on those good fit ones.
- Metrics – track your progress over time. When this habit is adopted, the area of concern or the area of the machine that is spluttering will become very obvious.
- Review and health – a CRM needs to be kept up to date, and healthy. Make this a requirement for reps outlining how critical this is to your wider vision.
- Reduce the sales cycle – in 75% of cases, the average B2B sales cycle is 4 months, with 18% taking 12 months+ so ensure that the process focuses on ways to reduce this as far as possible.
- Adherence to the sales process – if reps follow the process and worry about that, the results come. Non-adherence to process means no deals, no money and unhappy reps/managers.
- Content machine – your prospects like content and creating a content machine that is constantly releasing useful, market-relevant content will help not just the nurturing process but also give your reps reasons to keep going back to prospects.
Underpinning of all this is data. Therefore having a good CRM that can produce reports is a fantastic tool, so taking the time to understand how to create these, or get a specialist who can do this for you, will yield serious results. However, the data you get out is only as good as the data you put into it, so front line salespeople have to buy into the fact that this is going to be a requirement for them to ensure everything is up to date (Deal Amounts, Percentages, Close Dates, Next Steps, etc.) so the business can forecast properly.