Sales pipeline management refers to the efforts put into organizing and monitoring a company’s goals, prospects, and quota. Various sales teams subscribe to different pipeline management strategies, but there are elements you will find in virtually all successful sales pipelines. It is those across-the-board elements that help us determine the rudiments of successful pipeline management. Read on for vital tips to keep in mind while creating your own strategy.
1. Monitor your sales metrics
Having statistics and useful insights into the various elements of your pipeline is a basic ingredient for proper sales and pipeline management. If a sales manager knows the precise numbers from their sales team, they are well-positioned to evaluate progress and make accurate sales and revenue predictions.
With the help of a comprehensive sales pipeline excel template, you can track both your prospects and team members and arm yourself with numbers for informed decision-making. Your template should cover new weekly/monthly/quarterly leads, lead generation difference between subsequent periods, conversion rates, individual sales personnel performance, pipeline velocity, and deal close rate.
2. Perform regular reviews
Increasing the number of open opportunities is one of the easiest ways to improve pipeline velocity. This has something to do with the fact that there is a positive correlation between scaling and the effort put into defining a lead generation system.
Most managers perform regular forecast meetings while paying little to no attention to pipeline reviews. This results in inadvertent neglect of top and middle-based opportunities in the sales funnel, causing a detrimental informational gap in the quantity and quality of new opportunities. With reviews, sales managers and their teams can have a clearer view of their pipelines and, consequently, greater sway on the outcome.
3. Adopt a meticulous follow-up strategy
A strict follow-up program is what ensures high-quality prospects do not walk away over petty reasons. A good sales team will constantly contact leads until they purchase a product or service or make it clear that they are not ready for business. A simple way to remain on track involves setting a reminder, but you can use automated software if you are monitoring a larger group of prospects. Periodically, get rid of prospects that don’t respond anymore and note down the forward movement of leads.
4. Follow a predetermined sales process
Creativity and flexibility are crucial to modern-day marketing and sales. However, when the whole team follows a known, predetermined sales process, teamwork becomes easy, and your dependence on the division of labor and specialization decreases.
A team unified by a central one-directional anchor has it easier to push customers and prospects down the pipeline compared to a pragmatic one. When sales representatives have no clearly defined basis for decision-making, they are bound to occasionally drift out of track and draw out their team’s progress. As an added advantage, sales process standardization simplifies recruit onboarding, as it saves them the hassle of building sales routines from scratch.
There is no universal strategy for sales pipeline management, but there are elements you can’t afford to ignore. Hopefully, the above tips come in handy as you look to bring fluidity into your sales pipeline and efficiency, productivity, and accountability into your department.