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Lead Management, Inside Sales

Sales Pipeline Management: 8 Tips to Drive More Revenue

Written By:

Stephanie Lanik;  Strategic Marketing Coordinator

An efficient sales pipeline is the key to building a profitable business. It’s essentially the backbone of your entire sales process. However, for a sales pipeline to remain valuable in the future, you need to learn how to manage it correctly. In other words, the more control and visibility you have over it, the more revenue you’ll bring in.

Streamlined Process = revenue growth

According to Harvard Business Review, companies that had established sales processes and effective pipeline management achieved 28% higher revenue growth. Indicating that if you want to build a healthy and successful pipeline—that generates revenue—you need to have a streamlined process. All this is possible through careful assessment and thoughtful sales pipeline management.

But, before you can benefit from the pipeline management process, you need a pipeline that’s built to perform. So ask yourself, do you know how healthy your sales pipeline is right now? If not, it’s time to get to work.

What’s a Sales Pipeline?

A sales pipeline is a visual representation—or overview—of a company’s sales process, broken down into actionable steps/stages. It’s a structured and simplified way of tracking potential buyers as they move through the stages of the buying process.

**Remember, no two businesses are the same, and neither are all sales pipelines.

Visualizations of your pipeline allow you to:

  • Easily track all your leads.
  • Add a layer of accountability.
  • Sell systematically.
  • Accurately predict revenue.
  • Create an integrated marketing strategy.
  • Close higher-value deals faster.
  • Indicate the overall health and future direction of your company.

In short, you end up running a more efficient and profitable business. To learn more about how to build a high-converting pipeline check out our blog: “5 Steps to Mapping Sales Success.

What is Sales Pipeline Management?

Sales pipeline management is the tracking of all leads through all stages of the buying process—from initial contact to closing. However, it’s more than just knowing who’s in the sales funnel and where they’re located.

A well-managed pipeline provides clear insights into the effectiveness of your sales team. This enables companies to gauge the amount of work needed at each step to successfully close a deal. It also helps identify where prospects are getting stuck in the funnel and what impactful improvements need to be made.

Wondering how the best companies manage their pipelines? Keep reading!

8 Tips to Better Sales Pipeline Management

Use these 8 tips to transform the way you manage your pipeline and stay ahead of the pack.

1. Refine Your Pipeline

Your sales pipeline is constantly changing as new customers are flowing in and out. This is why it’s important to be continually updating and evaluating the funnel to make it work more efficiently.

Defining each step of your pipeline helps standardize the selling process and makes sales goals more predictable. It also helps quickly identify high-quality opportunities, indicating where you should be putting more effort into closing a deal. By eliminating the variations and guesswork, you’ll be able to optimize your resources and increase sales pipeline effectiveness.

ProTip: Put the Customer First

Your product or service only exists because of the customer. This is why the most successful and effective sales pipelines are customer-centric—running side by side the buyer’s journey.

2. Bring in Quality Leads

The only way to increase the velocity of your sales cycle is by concentrating on the best quality leads. Focusing on quality over quantity will help move opportunities down the funnel at a faster pace. Therefore, a good place to start is by making sure your marketing and sales teams are on the same page. This is especially true when it comes to determining your ideal customer, buyer persona, and the lead qualification process.

3. Maintain Consistent Follow-up Practices

Did you know that 80% of sales require at least five follow-up calls after the first meeting? Yet 44% of sales reps give up after one follow-up (Source: Marketing Donut). For your pipeline to run as smoothly as it should, your sales representatives need to be patient and persistent.

A consistent follow-up system is what keeps prospects from slipping through your fingers. Keep your deals organized to nurture and convert them quickly. But don’t forget, following up doesn’t end once the sale is complete. Reconnecting with clients might lead to a return customer or a referral, reopening that new business pipeline for future deals.

4. Create a Uniform Sales Process

A uniform sales process can help save time, money, and resources. It also guarantees that your sales team will provide the same service regardless of which member is working with a lead. Not to mention it makes everything in the pipeline seamless and more manageable.

5. Identify and Track Key Metrics

Sales pipeline management is all about understanding the numbers and components of the sales funnel. Accurate metrics breathe life into your pipeline. Therefore, you need to monitor the key sales metrics that it produces in order to create accurate sales forecasts.

So, to get the most from your pipeline, determine and track significant metrics such as:

  • New leads produced per month by source
  • Number of current opportunities
  • Average won deal size in your pipeline
  • Conversion rates at each stage of the funnel
  • Close-ratio: The average percentage of deals that you win
  • Sales velocity: The average lifetime value of a deal before it’s closed

Remember, Metrics Matter!

[Our customized and engaging approach can give your company the results you’ve been looking for. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer.]

6. Use CRM to Manage Sales

Creating and managing an effective pipeline is time-consuming and complex. Luckily, a good, CRM can help make the process much easier.

Utilizing a CRM—properly—eliminates human error, ensures data completeness, and maximizes productivity. More specifically, it promotes team alignment and better lead management which helps prevent prospects from falling through the cracks.

7. Declutter Your Pipeline of Loose-end Leads

Stalled leads or leads that show little to no motion slow down the speed of your pipeline. This can be very detrimental to your bottom line. Therefore, overtime every pipeline is going to need some TLC in order to keep things running smoothly. Start by weeding out the low-quality/cold leads to ensure accurate forecasting. However, don’t just blindly abandon all the low-quality deals. Touch base with them one last time—see if the prospect can be added to any future nurturing campaigns.

This practice will essentially free up time and resources so you can get back to focusing on more promising prospects.

8. Regular Reviews

The best sales organizations regularly review their sales pipeline and techniques to make sure things are finely-tuned and highly optimized to ensure maximum efficiency and success.

Final Thoughts:

As you can see, the way you manage your pipeline is a vital part of any company’s success. Setting it up, refining it for optimal performance, and continually tracking results makes a huge impact on bottom-line results. So no matter what development stage your business is at, make sales pipeline management an active process. After all, it’s data that makes or breaks the growth of your business.

Are You Taking Full Advantage of Your Sales Pipeline?

At Techtonic Sales, we help simplify processes and maximize the flow of your pipeline—keeping it highly functional. This way, forecasts are nailed, quotas are hit, and both marketing and sales teams are much more productive.

With that said, if you’re ready to reap the full benefits of a highly functional pipeline, give us a call. Or simply click the button below to learn more about what we have to offer.

[Contact us directly at (612) 455-7100 or toll-free at (888) 326-6118]

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