Did you know that over half of sales, 80% require five follow-up calls?
Before you start managing your pipeline, it’s crucial that you know what exactly a sales pipeline is. The sales pipeline refers to all the steps a sales representative takes in order to close a deal.
If you’re struggling to manage your sales pipeline or looking to improve your processes, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about sales pipeline management. Maintaining and growing your list of prospective customers takes some work.
1. Follow Up
Every industry is saturated with a lot of competition. If your team isn’t following up with potential clients, you’re losing business to your competitors. People aren’t always easily sold on products and services.
It typically takes more than one or two follow-up calls. It can be easy to get discouraged after you’ve received a few “no’s”. However, being diligent and continuing to follow up will prove to be beneficial.
Following up isn’t an easy task for your team to do. Leads are often lost and forgotten about. Setting up reminders is a great way to ensure you and your sales team don’t forget about contacting your potential clients.
Waiting too long will make it harder to seal the deal. You also don’t want to bombard your potential clients so that they become frustrated. Give your clientele time to consider your offer and then contact them.
2. Drop Dead Leads
While it’s crucial to follow up, it’s also important that you don’t waste your time. Don’t forget that quality is often better than quantity.
Knowing when to let go of a lead is key. You want to spend your time talking to and reaching out to people who are interested in your service or product. It can be hard to let go of a lead that you’ve spent weeks or months nurturing.
Once someone says they aren’t interested, it’s time to let them go. If your team can’t get a hold of a potential client, don’t continue to waste your time.
You and your team must learn how to determine the difference between qualified leads vs unqualified ones. Dropping stale leads will give you more time and resources to spend on better higher qualified ones.
3. Monitor Sales Pipeline Metrics
As a manager, it’s your job to ensure the sales pipeline stays in the best shape possible. In order to do this, you need to monitor the pipeline metrics. Tracking regularly will allow you to see the improvements your team is making.
If there are any issues, you will also see them right away. If you wait a long time to evaluate the metrics, there may be a lot of problems to fix.
There are several factors you need to consider when monitoring your sales pipeline. You’ll want to look at how many deals are in the pipeline, how long the entire process is, and the rate of conversion.
4. Review and Improve
Another one of the important sales pipeline stages is reviewing and improving. It can be frustrating, but sales techniques are always changing.
What worked last month, may not work next month. Your strategies may work for six months or they may work for a year. What works for someone else’s company may, not work for yours.
No matter how long your sales strategies have been working, it’s important to review your pipeline often. You may find minor changes that can be made or you may need to restructure completely.
Reviewing your sales pipeline will allow you to make maximize your efficiency and show you where you need to make changes.
It may require some trial and error. You may need to test out several before you find the right one. Take the time to review every stage and every step.
5. Automate Processes
As a small business, you may find it easy to do all the processes by yourself. However, as you continue to grow, it may be hard to handle everything on your own.
Setting up automated processes can be a huge benefit. It can help you grow and be more efficient. It can also help you be effective.
It can save a lot of time and may help you handle a larger number of leads. Automated emails and templates are an easy way to ensure you don’t lose leads.
Bonus: Create a Standardized Process
Creating a standardized process may not seem like a promising idea at first. All your clients are different and may seem to have different wants and needs.
However, your ideal clients are going to be very similar. Their reasons for investing in your company are going to be the same. Having a routine can prove to be very beneficial.
Similar calls, emails, and follow-ups will likely work for multiple clients. With time and strategy, you can create a standardized process that is just as useful as a customized process. However, a customized sales process can sometimes require a lot more resources and overhead.
Sales Pipeline Management Tips
Poor sales pipeline management can be detrimental to your company. You could lose clients and it can be hard to recover after that happens. Customized sales processes can be the most effective way to close a deal, however it’s also a costly strategy.
If you want to optimize your strategies and receive the ROI you deserve, Accumulate can help filter qualified leads and nurture them into customers that convert. See how Accumulate can help your business, contact us for more information.