Without a doubt, a healthy sales pipeline is essential to ensuring leads convert to sales. A pipeline enables you to visually see where potential buyers are in the sales funnel, allowing you to be a step ahead. However, it is not enough to know where they are in their buying journey. You must also be aware of where others are dropping and why. A pipeline is invaluable to reinforcing the relationship between you and customers. Yet, many companies are misusing or not utilizing this powerful tool. Thus, significant opportunities fall through the cracks and are lost to competitors. Do not let this be your business. Here are a few ways you can effectively manage your pipeline so you can increase profit and meet sales quotas.
1. Standardize Your Sales Pipeline
If you find your team is not able to funnel efficiently, then it might be time you focus on formalizing the sales process. Having multiple sales representatives trying to create and advance leads without structure leads to chaos. Soon, leads begin fading away and sales forecasting becomes muddled. A defined sales process is essential to ensuring your team works towards a common goal.
Begin by mapping out your pipeline. How do you want customers to progress through the sales funnel? For a pipeline to function multiple stages are needed. This includes prospects who are being qualified, have been contacted, are ready to meet, or that received a final agreement for approval. The buying cycle may look different for each of your prospects, but it is important to set a foundation. If you need help building a sales pipeline, there are many resources available.
Moreover, customer relationship management (CRM) software can help standardize your efforts. For instance, a CRM can assist with mortgage loan pipeline management, ensuring you get to closing swiftly and effortlessly.
2. Schedule a Monthly Review
By scheduling monthly meetings to review your pipeline, you are positioning your business for success. Make sure to allocate enough time to discuss the entire pipeline. Let your sales team walk you through it and work together to find the cracks in your system.
Additionally, take this time to confirm the sales team is on the same page about every step in the pipeline. For instance, are they qualifying correctly and effectively? How are they doing this? Asking a few questions about their process ensures no unqualified prospects waste your employees’ valuable time. In the long run, this will save your company money.
Remember, this is not the time to forecast and make predictions for the future. That is a separate conversation to have with your team. Instead, focus on filling the gaps in your system that hinder prospects from moving forward. Ask yourself, is there a way to funnel leads more efficiently to closing?
3. Make Technology Your Best Friend
A CRM is an essential piece of software to implement. By using the right software, your team will be equipped to close deals faster, thus increasing sales. A CRM stores all of your prospects’ data: email, name and phone number. It also holds more complex details, such as newsletter preferences, purchase history, and where the contact is coming from. These bits of information are pieces of a larger puzzle that ultimately improve how your team communicates with prospects.
4. Marketing and Sales Go Hand In Hand
For any business to grow, marketing and sales must constantly work together. The sales department is in charge of contacting prospects to generate profit, but where do they get them from? Marketing campaigns for social media or email, help grow your business. It can facilitate the conversation between your customers and sales representatives.
You want both of these departments to work in tandem with one another to help your bottom line. You do not want either of these teams taking a step ahead without the other following closely behind. To do this, you need a good project manager that can communicate effectively and be transparent about what each department is doing.
Do not let pipeline management become something you dread. In reality, it is the key to ensuring your business keeps making a profit and sustaining your business. Good pipeline management makes all the difference in determining the closing of a sale. By incorporating the best practices mentioned above, you can expect to see an increase in sales.