To organize qualified prospects according to where they are in your sales cycle, you need an efficient sales pipeline management.
Sales pipeline management is done with data that you can track with the help of a CRM tool. A deeper level of analysis of the sales pipeline backed by data will help you spot bottlenecks at every level and optimize your sales process.
What is a Sales Pipeline?
A sales pipeline is a visual representation of the sales process, divided into stages. It’s designed to help sales reps and teams manage the often complex processes that drive deals towards closer.
Sales reps and managers forecast revenue and predict sales by looking at the leads position in the pipeline, in the given timeframe.
Every opportunity moves at a different rate through the pipeline depending on their level of interest, urgency, or how much research they’ve already done.
Certain leads may even skip stages in the pipeline – for example, if a buyer proactively introduces you to his boss before you’ve asked, you’d move the deal straight from “initial connect” to “meeting with the decision-maker.”
A firm grasp of the sales pipeline is essential to keep track of the lead’s progress and behavior. Effective sales pipeline management will keep you informed about what actions to take at each point in the sales cycle.
What is Sales Pipeline Management?
Sales pipeline management is the act of monitoring why leads succeed or fail in passing through the sales funnel before closing the deal. This analysis is done with critical metrics that are tracked with the help of a CRM tool.
For B2B sales, in particular, having a maintained sales pipeline will:
- Improve the sales process.
- Forecast future results.
- Analyze different sales strategies.
- Allocate resources according to the upcoming sales.
- Review progress for the current financial year.
- Let you track your targets.
Analysis of these factors plays a vital role both in closing more sales deals and indicating the overall health and future direction of your company.
What’s the Need of Sales Pipeline Management?
Staying on top of the game will need some severe sales efforts, starting with an analysis of your sales pipeline. Studying past trends will help you with predictions for plans and strategies to close the loopholes.
Before adopting any method of Sales Pipeline Management, you first need to know why it is crucial to have one.
Customer Relationship Management
Ten years ago, it took just 3.68 sales calls to close a deal – today, it takes more than 8!
Customer relationship management is vital here. To convert your leads and push them further in your sales pipeline, a rep should always follow-up with the leads to keep them from feeling ignored.
But, in reality, most sales professionals give up after two calls – so make sure you always follow up.
Following up isn’t easy.
It’s currently ranked as the third most significant challenge for sales teams.
Sales Pipeline Management will give you a thorough report of the leads who need follow-ups and when will be the right time to do so.
But doing this manually is a tedious and confusing task with a plethora of data to look and analyze.
LeadSquared’s CRM tool automates this process and reminds you to follow up on a specific date or after a particular period of time.
To be successful at lead nurturing, you need a customer journey map. The customer journey map outlines each stage of a buyer as they move through the sales funnel.
The goal of lead nurturing is to convert leads into highly qualified opportunities and, ultimately, customers. To nurture them efficiently, both sales and marketing have to join hands.
Companies understand that every lead doesn’t convert, and it can be a cost-intensive exercise. This has influenced them to focus more on lead nurturing for more significant benefits.
“Nearly 75% of top-performing companies are using lead nurturing and attribute the practice to their success.”
If your sales reports are incomplete, inaccurate, or just plain wrong, the outcome is simple. It will misguide you and your lead to ineffective selling. Misleading data of your sales pipeline will create havoc in analyzing the reports generated.
The tools that make up a sales technology plays an essential role in the accuracy of your sales reports.
In this increasingly competitive sales environment, most organizations are turning to a data-driven sales strategy. This essentially means entire departments rely on data and reporting to inform every sales decision.
As a result, it’s never been more critical to have access to accurate sales reports, which is the base of your pipeline analysis.
Little mistakes will slip through the cracks, but a little thought and communication, to avoid mistakes will be beneficial to make your analysis hold.
Sales forecasting is the process of estimating future sales.
Accurate sales forecasts help to make informed business decisions and predict short-term and long-term performance. Forecasting is a part of Sales pipeline management.
Future trends like average deal size, the number of customers in your pipeline and other vital data can be forecasted with Sales Pipeline Management.
Newly founded companies have to base their forecasts on less-verified information, such as market research and competitive intelligence, to forecast their future business.
Sales forecasting allows companies to:
- Predict achievable sales revenue
- Efficiently allocate resources
- Plan for future growth
It helps in finding out which territory needs more attention. Based on that you can reassess various sales programs, looking at their achievements.
[Also read: Everything you need to know about the MEDDIC sales process]
Let’s Get You Started
CRM Software providers like LeadSquared gives you all those functions that are necessary to maintain good sales funnel for a better Sales pipeline Management.
So that it is easy to maintain customer relationships and turn customers’ data into informative and actionable input in managing and predicting sales.