There are various processes that built a successful business, and one of them is a pipeline, or we can say sales pipeline. In this article, we will discuss:
- What is the sales pipeline?
- Why it’s important?
- How to build and manage it?
.So read this article till the end.
Table of Contents
What is a Sales Pipeline?
A sales pipeline is a process that helps in turning your leads into customers. Moreover, a sales pipeline defines the stages that a company sales team goes through in converting a lead into a customer.
You can also say that pipeline is a visualization of each stage the customer goes through in terms of sales.
In the financial world, the word pipeline is used to define the progress toward a long-term goal, which includes several stages. But in the marketing world or in the business world, the term pipeline is commonly referred to as a sales pipeline.
It gives a visual representation of where your opportunities are in the sales process broken down by stages. Furthermore, it online all series of actions that the sales team has to perform to convert a prospect into a customer.
The success that any company gets with the sales pipeline depends on the opportunity they have. Success depends on factors like:
- How many people are interested in your product?
- What their budget is?
- And what challenges they need to overcome to buy your product?
However, there are chances that some leads will skip certain stages of the sales pipeline. If any prospect already has good knowledge about your product, then that prospect can quickly move to the final stage of the pipeline.
The probability of converting a prospect into a customer depends on the outcome at each stage of the pipeline. Moreover, it also depends on how effective your sales team is in preparing real-time reports and taking actions based on the report.
Stages of the Sales Pipeline
Typically it consists of the five stages. Moreover, it is always a good idea to design custom pipeline stages according to your business needs. Below we have discussed the five usual steps of the sales pipeline.
- Lead Generation/Awareness: Let the buyer know about your company and your product or service. Firstly you need to attract the audience towards your product or service. You can use various brand awareness techniques to do this.
- Lead Nurturing: Once you gather some audience. You need to develop criteria for selecting the leads from your audience. People that fulfill the company criteria become potential customers. Now you only need to focus on these potential customers.
- Lead Qualifying: Once you get some qualified leads. You need to engage these lead with your company. You can do this by sending the content that helps in solving their problems or give information about your product or service.
- Deal Closing: This is the step when your prospect will be converted into a buying customer. Now your lead will come in contact with your company and ask about the price of your product. At this time, the buyer will ask about all the necessary details, and if everything goes right, the buyer will purchase your product or service.
- Post-Sale: Once your lead is successfully converted into buyers, stay in touch with them. Don’t ignore them because they can help your company in various ways. If they like your service, then they will become your regular customer. Moreover, you can also ask them to refer your company to friends and family, which eventually helps you to get more sales.
If your company selling process is very complex, then you should create longer sales stages in your sales pipeline.
How to Build a Sales Pipeline?
There are some necessary steps that you need to follow while creating the pipeline for your business.
- First, clearly define the stages of your sales process. You can do this by keeping your company goal in mind.
- Estimate the no of leads that can go from one stage to another stage.
- Try to go backward and come with as many opportunities as you can. You need to work on each stage of the sales process if you want to create a successful sales pipeline.
- Keep an eye on converting prospects and try to find what is common in them at each stage. It will help the company to decide further actions of the sales team.
- Create a sales process that is customizable according to the real-time reports. So you can easily optimize your sales funnel to generate maximum sales.
However, the above method is a general way for all companies to design a primary sales pipeline. The sales pipeline of any company depends on various factors related to their product and the buyers who are going to purchase their product.
Why Should You Focus on Pipeline Marketing?
Nowadays, the power of CRM and data put a lot of guesswork on the wayside due to which it is easy to do the lead generation and determine how much lead you can get by implementing different-different strategies.
Moreover, if the company has a lot of lead, then they can potentially close a lot of deals. However, it is not entirely true because, at different stages of the sales pipeline, you might lose some of your leads.
At this time, the quality leads are more important as compared to quantity leads. In pipeline marketing, the company tries all the channels and marketing campaigns to fulfill the company’s primary goal of generating sales.
3 Best Practices to Manage Sales Pipeline
1. Focus on Best Leads
If you take a closer look at the stages of your sales, then you can quickly identify the amount of time you take to close the deals.
Instead of focusing on a bunch of people on focus on your best leads because, in this case, the chances of conversion are high. Moreover, if you focus on a lot of lead, then you need to utilize more time and more resources, but there is no guarantee of results.
2. Drop Dead Leads
Focusing on quality leads is essential, but at the same time, let the dead lead go. Letting a lead go is hard, especially when you already have spend a month of hard work on converting that lead into a customer.
But let me tell you the hard truth if you do not allow the dead lead to go. There are chances that dead lead will consume more time and effort, and still, you will not get any result.
It is because now your lead is not interested in your product. Now you cannot change their mind no matter what tactics you use. However, sometimes there are chances that you can convert a dead lead into a paying customer, but it only happens a few times. So it better not to focus on dead leads.
3. Review and Improve Pipeline Process
A technique to attract leads working today may not work tomorrow. So keep yourself aware of all the new ways of building brand awareness.
Always find a way to improve your pipeline process because the same method will not work for years. You need to review your pipeline process regularly. If anything is not going on properly, try to find where the error is. Try creative solutions to solve that error.
Moreover, the world is evolving very fastly, and you also need to change your pipeline process from time to time. Do not change the whole process at one time.
Only do the few alternations and test it. If everything goes right, then change to a new method otherwise, switch to the old plan and find out what else you can do to improve your sales pipeline.
The sales pipeline is one of the essential parts of any business.
Without this, it is difficult for companies to generate sales in the long term.
Moreover, if you can’t manage your sales pipeline successfully, then you have a risk of losing our various new customers. So hire a good sales team who has experience in building a sales pipeline that can give effective results for your business.
I hope this informative guide of the Sales Pipeline is helpful for you, and it helps you to understand how the importance of pipeline in business.