There’s a lot that goes into sales pipeline management. After all, it’s your future revenue, so it pays to keep a careful watch over it. By regularly monitoring your pipeline, you ensure that it’s always stocked with fresh opportunities. When you take the time to identify and target your ideal customer, you’re practically guaranteed to get higher quality leads. And by finding new and different ways to enrich your lead records with trusted data to get key insights, you are gaining the opportunity to personalize the buying experience for customers with relevant messaging. As such, it’s important to remember to develop a plan for nurturing lower-scoring leads and developing a strategy for taking immediate action for high-scoring leads.
So, how can you keep your pipeline running smoothly to maintain a repeatable cycle of success? Here are six tips that will help you accomplish that goal.
1. Score the Right Leads
Want to accelerate your sales pipeline? Then evaluate your leads as soon as they come in. If a lead has a serious interest, an immediate need for your product or service, and that lead has the authorization to make decisions and allocate their company’s budget, that is, without question, a well-qualified, high-scoring lead and should be inputted into your pipeline immediately.
However, spending time on just any leads will not accelerate your sales pipeline. You need to be spending your time flushing out the right leads. When you do, you avoid clogging your pipeline with deals that simply are not ready for primetime. So, if you want to increase your forecasting accuracy, your goal should be to add qualified leads into your pipeline that are actually expected to move through the process.
2. Nurture Those ‘Not Ready’ Leads
Remember that all leads are not ready to buy, so you don’t clog up your pipeline. Make it a priority to create a separate list of casual browsers and those who you know don’t expect to make a purchase in the foreseeable future. Those are the clients that should be classified as leads to be nurtured. In the end, this will speed up your pipeline sales efforts as it allows your team to focus on the well-qualified leads.
3. Execute a Well-Defined Sales Process
Your business should identify potential pain points, obstacles that may prevent sales early in the sales process. Sales Managers need to commit the time and resources to discuss the pipeline with their teams in an effort to define a good sales process and gain incremental commitments.
4. Manage the Pipeline with CRM
Along with having a well-defined sales process, Sales Managers also need to carefully manage the pipeline, an activity which is more than simply looking at daily or weekly reports. The best Sales Managers are always asking themselves – and their teams, “What can I/we do differently today to win more deals?” For starters, they need to understand that sales pipeline management is much more than simply tracking numbers. Yes, sales pipeline tracking produces reports, but good sales pipeline management also allows sales departments to drill down into the numbers to see where their actions can accelerate the sales cycle. Customized CRM software, such as Salesforce’s Sales Cloud, is what is going to give Sales Managers easy access to that data, which in turn will allow them the necessary time to coach their teams and manage their company’s pipeline.
5. Coach Your Sales Team
Speaking of coaching the sales team, the best Sales Managers use CRM reports to understand and analyze data that gives them the information needed to coach. Remember, good sales coaching isn’t just a daily “rah, rah” speech. Good coaching is drilling down into your company’s CRM pipeline reports with your team and planning specific steps for each and every deal in your pipeline.
6. Where Possible, Automate
Once up and running with a CRM, take the time to look at the various stages of your pipeline and decide which tasks can and should be automated. Automating sales activities helps in both lead scoring and in improving the sales process, ensuring that leads are not ignored or forgotten.
Remember, accelerating the sales pipeline process is about knowing which leads to enter in the pipeline and which leads to nurture. Accelerating the sales process also means defining your company’s sales process, coaching your team, and managing your pipeline.
And last, but certainly not least, the other key to achieving the sales cycle speed you’re after is in finding time-saving ways – like implementing a custom CRM – to help your team have more face time with their customers.
At Ad Victoriam, our skilled team of Sales Cloud developers and consultants are experienced in cloud computing, CRM, and Salesforce solutions, delivering proven results to small and large sales teams in any industry. We are fully prepared to help you grow your business starting today. Let’s talk!
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