The secret to any growing business is a healthy sales pipeline. Although this is a tool that is often overlooked by those who are just starting their business, it is essential to manage your leads right away. A sales pipeline helps you visualize where both potential and current customers are in the buyer’s journey. While some might barely be setting up demos or consultations with your company, others may be ready to close. It is a valuable tool for any business and team to ensure all customers are taken care of. In return, this ensures the increase of your profits. However, if your team is beginning to let sales opportunities fall through the cracks and not meeting their goals, it is time to revise your pipeline. Here are a few excellent tips to help you manage your pipeline.
1. Have a Defined Sales Process
According to the Harvard Business Review, companies that use a formal method of managing their sales pipeline, generate more revenue. But how exactly does one formalize their sales process? For starters, your sales team should have a clear way to funnel leads from start to finish. Moreover, having milestones along the way helps with the overall movement of the pipeline. Everyone that is involved with sales should understand what the goal is and how to do so. By having a pipeline customer relationship management (CRM) system, sales tracking is no longer an inconvenience.
Additionally, a CRM can help you leverage customer data to stay ahead of the game. For instance, mortgage pipeline forecasting can help you predict how much customers are willing to spend.
2. Allocate Time for Monthly Pipeline Maintenance
Ideally, you want to dedicate a minimum of three hours a month to manage your pipeline. Take this time to discuss your current pipeline with your team. Here are a few questions to ask:
- Are there any bottlenecks preventing leads from moving forward?
- At what point can your sales representatives create a stronger connection with potential buyers?
- Is there a way your team can improve the funnel to close faster?
These are just a few questions to take you in the right direction. It is important to note that all leads are individuals that have different needs. One strategy for success is to also discuss the qualifications for each lead and if your team is qualifying correctly. Not all leads will buy and that is okay.
3. Use Technology To Your Advantage
When you implement a CRM, your team can set up reminders to follow up with leads in your pipeline. This is a great way to make sure no potential buyer gets left behind. Following up is by no means easy, but can make the difference when trying to land the sale. Consider also automating the follow-up process. For instance, sales representatives can use the CRM to send out automated emails to remind buyers of their previous conversation or schedule a call to move forward in the funnel.
Additionally, a CRM will keep track of all the details pertaining to your customer. This includes the basics such as name title, email, and phone number. However, this can also store data about their purchase history, newsletter preferences, events attended, and if the contact was a referral.
4. Align Sales With Marketing
Without a doubt, sales and marketing go hand in hand. A CRM can help you easily organize your sales and marketing efforts so they are working in tandem with one another. The marketing department can help you reach more leads and improve your customer service. A few examples of how to do that are by implementing social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
By using popular social media platforms, you can maximize your reach. While your social media campaign is in full effect, you will also send emails to leads about deals and sales. Lastly, SEO aids in getting your website to the top of result pages, ensuring your products are seen first.
Pipeline management is the key to making your sales team run like a well-oiled machine. It is a task that needs to be proactively regulated to ensure the success of your business. With these tips, you can guarantee your qualified leads become customers in no time.