Sales executives use the sales pipeline as a strategic tool to plan and prioritize sales activities. The sales pipeline isn’t a tangible thing. This can cause confusion for salespeople about how to manage the various stages. This post will explain how to create a sales pipeline and how to use it to manage the sales process.
Sales pipeline management helps sales reps deliver consistent value to customers by helping them understand what value they are delivering. Sales reps can often believe they are delivering value, and they will write reports that show how much they deliver. They are more likely to make sales calls based on their feelings than how the customer will respond if they don’t have feedback.
All of us have felt the pain caused by a shrinking pipeline. Sales leaders and product managers alike feel frustrated when their sales pipeline isn’t as full as they should. There are many reasons why the pipeline shrinks. These include a lack in activity from key accounts to product launches or declining sales trends, as well as a decrease or no new product sales.
All we do in sales is about managing our sales pipelines. Your sales reps stare at their funnels every day.
It helps sales reps stay focused and organized, making mastering the sales funnel a highly effective way to generate revenue. This is an essential step in the sales process. The following topics will be covered sales pipeline management best practices
What is a sales pipeline and how does it work?
The sales pipeline shows the prospects’ position within a sales funnel. It shows the stages a prospect experiences as they move from lead to customer. Also, it outlines the actions salespeople should follow at each stage. It shows how many salespeople are expected to close in the next few years in relation to their sales targets.
In simple terms, a sales pipeline is a sequence of stages that prospects go through to move from a new lead to a client. It can be divided into seven stages.
- Creating Leads: To attract and engage prospects, salespeople use customized advertising, marketing campaigns, and customer information like name and email address.
- Nurturing a Leader: Keep in touch with the prospect and keep them informed about leads. This involves sending the prospect relevant information, usually via email.
- MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead): This lead is more likely to become a customer than other leads.
- Accepted Sales Lead: Sales accepted leads are those that have met the requirements and are ready to be sent to sales.
- SQL (Sales Qualified Lead): A qualified sales lead is one that has been assessed and considered a potential customer by a sales staff.
The deal is done
This is a potential client who buys something and then turns it into cash.
Post-Sale This is a series of steps that occur after a client completes a transaction. The post-sale process includes billing, collections, returns, complaints and customer service.
What’s the difference between a pipeline and a funnel?
Many people confuse sales pipeline with sales funnel. However, they have two different meanings.
The sales funnel shows the conversion rate and quantity of these prospects through your pipeline phases. Both words describe the progression of prospects through a sale. A sales funnel is a visual representation of all the possibilities available to your team.
The sales pipeline, however, focuses on the activities performed by salespeople at each stage. Sales prospecting, lead generation, sales calls and outbound emails are all part of the sales pipeline.
What is a sales pipeline and how do I create one?
Now that we have identified the phases of a sales pipeline, let’s see how to build one. This process can be broken down into six steps.
- Create a list with potential customers and identify your target market.
The Ideal Customer Profile (or ICP) can give you an estimate of the number of consumers your company can service. For businesses less than three years of age, the ICP is usually updated once per year.
The CEO, founder team and other high-ranking executives create and update the Ideal Customer Profile and target market.
- You will need to make a list of businesses that you wish to target.
Your ICP will generate target businesses. These are companies with which you wish to do business. This is usually overseen by the CEO of the company, Chief Revenue Officer and sometimes Vice President for Sales.
- Do your homework
By working with target contacts, create an internal list to target businesses that is based on your ICP. These are some tips to make this process more efficient.
Find the names of people you wish to reach.
- You can add additional information, such as phone numbers or email addresses to these contacts.
- You can find out more information about the person and the company by conducting further research.
Two ways to approach this procedure are possible
The list includes names, contact information and any other personalized information. While this is the cheapest route, it’s important to consider the quality of the list. Low quality lists are common, even though list providers take great care to keep them current. Quality quickly deteriorates when people move jobs, businesses, or professions.
This is a tedious process that requires you to manually search for names and other personal data. This is the best way to ensure the highest quality list, even though it takes longer.