Sales Pipeline

Sales Pipeline

246% increase in sales!

That’s what having a proper sales pipeline would do for you.

Sales pipelines are crucial for growing a business and can help you understand the steps it takes to close a deal.

It’s basically like having an inside look into your sales process.

Sales pipelines also tell you where exactly your leads are in the buying process, which means you can focus on the prospects that need more attention from your sales team.

They also help you identify areas of improvement so that you can find new and better ways to close more deals faster.

So if you’re looking to increase your sales, having a well-defined sales pipeline is essential.

It will help you keep track of leads, prioritize tasks, and maximize efficiency throughout the sales process.

With a solid sales pipeline, you can be sure that your business will grow and reach new heights.

In this guide, let’s look into the basics of a Sales Pipeline to help you understand how to build one and use it for your business!

What is a sales pipeline?

“Content is king; Leakage is the antithesis.”

Ralph Chua

We are heard this phrase a thousand times: Content is king.

While we were busy creating content and neglected the Sales Pipeline, we were missing out on potential sales.

A Sales Pipeline is a way of visualizing the progress of leads from their initial awareness until they are closed as customers.

It provides an overview of the sales process and allows you to track each lead’s progress through the pipeline.

Sales Pipelines usually consist of stages such as lead generation, qualification, needs analysis, and closing.

By tracking each lead’s progress through the Sales Pipeline, you can determine where your organization should put its resources to optimize sales performance.

Why is the Sales Pipeline Important?

“Work On It, Not Just In It”

Emyth

If you ever thought of pulling yourself out of day-to-day activities and thinking about the big picture, Sales Pipeline is your answer.

It allows you to have a bird’s eye view of the Sales process and understand where are your Sales at any point.

One of our biggest concerns is what will happen if we’re not involved anymore.

Are they doing it right?

Sales Pipeline makes sure that each step of the Sales process is followed properly and effectively so that Sales targets are achieved.

Sales Pipelines also help identify areas for improvement, which can be further used to increase efficiencies in Sales processes.

It also helps to keep track of Sales activities, measure performance against goals and

Prospecting Sales Pipeline gives Salespeople visibility into the Sales process and helps them prioritize tasks, which can lead to more Sales.

In short, Sales Pipelines are an essential tool for Sales teams to optimize their performance and increase Sales.

If you want to be in control even if you are not actively involved in the Sales process, Sales Pipeline is the way to go.

Sales Pipeline Stages

“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”

Christopher Columbus

Again, the sales pipeline is the sales process whereby you move prospects from initial contact to close.

Yes… It’s pretty much the same concept as a sales funnel, but Sales Pipeline is more of a detailed version that shows the progress of each lead or prospect, from the first contact till they become customers.

Depending on your business and Sales process, Sales Pipelines typically consist of stages like:

  1. Lead Generation: Identifying potential customers and leads.
  2. Qualification: Assessing the lead’s needs and determining if they fit your target market.
  3. Needs Analysis: Gathering more information about the customer’s specific needs to determine how you can help them.
  4. Sales Presentation: Introducing your product/service and presenting how it can benefit the customer.
  5. Closing: Signing the deal and sealing the contract.
  6. Post-Sales Follow-up: Follow up after the sale to ensure customers are satisfied with their purchase.

By tracking each lead’s progress through the Sales Pipeline, you can better understand where and how to prioritize Sales activities.

It also helps Salespeople identify areas for improvement which can further increase Sales performance.

These are the basic Sales Pipeline stages, but Sales Pipelines can become more complex and detailed depending on your Sales process.

Now let’s look at some other explanations on sales pipeline so you can have a better understanding of it.

Pipedrive Sales Pipeline Stages

Pipedrive is a company that provides Sales Pipeline software.

So, it’s pretty obvious we need to take a look at what they have to say about the Sales Pipeline stages.

Here are the Sales Pipeline stages that Pipedrive considers necessary:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Qualifying
  3. Contacting
  4. Closing
  5. Following up with cold leads

If you look closely again, you’ll find that these Sales Pipeline stages are more or less the same as the ones we discussed earlier.

The difference is that Pipedrive gives a lot of importance to following up with cold leads in order to increase sales performance, which makes perfect sense.

As you can see, Sales Pipeline plays an important role in Sales performance.

It helps Salespeople keep track of Sales activities, measure performance against goals, and identify areas for improvement.

Sales Funnel Vs Sales Pipeline

You probably wondering why would I discuss sales pipeline in this sales funnel guide.

Sales funnel and sales pipeline are mostly discussed interchangeably, although there is a slight difference between the two:

  • Sales Funnels are broader
  • Sales Pipeline is more focused.

Sales funnels represent the customer journey from initial contact to close, while Sales Pipelines focus on Sales activities and lead progression through each stage of the Sales process.

To put it simply, Sales Funnel is the big picture and the Sales Pipeline is the details.

So, in order to better understand Sales performance and Sales activities, Sales Pipelines are an incredibly useful tool.

It’s kinda like driving a car with your eyes closed – sure, you might make it to your destination but it’s probably not the smoothest or most efficient journey.

Sales pipelines keep us from making such mistakes and ensure that Sales performance is optimized.

So, if you want to take control of Sales activities and maximize Sales performance, Sales Pipelines are definitely something you should consider.

Sales Process Vs Sales Pipeline

The Sales Process is the series of activities Sales professionals need to follow in order to close a deal.

It includes things like prospecting, researching, identifying buyer needs, presenting solutions, and closing deals.

On the other hand, Sales Pipeline is the visual representation of those Sales Process Stages.

It helps Salespeople monitor Sales activities and lead progression in order to better understand Sales performance.

In other words, Sales Process is the what and Sales Pipeline is the how.

So, by having a Sales Pipeline, Salespeople are able to track progress through each stage of the Sales Process and make adjustments along the way if needed.

This helps Salespeople to better plan Sales activities, prioritize Sales tasks, and identify areas for improvement.

Thus, sales pipeline management is equally important to Sales performance and Sales success.

How to build your own sales pipeline

Lazy people are likely to be smarter, more successful, and better employees.

Cnbc

I am not sure about you… I do love to explore gadgets or tools to make my life a lot easier.

One of them is freshworks.com.

This is how they think about how to build your own Sales Pipeline.

Building a Sales Pipeline requires deliberate planning and thoughtful execution. Here are the key steps to consider when crafting your own Sales Pipeline:

  • Identify Prospective Buyers and Stages: Identify all potential buyers who could be interested in purchasing your product or service, as well as what stage each buyer is currently in within the sales process.
  • Assign Sales Activities for Each Stage: Based on the individual buyer stages, assign appropriate activities that should occur during those stages such as initial outreach, follow up emails, phone conversations, etc.
  • Define Sales Cycle Length: Set realistic expectations around how long a customer typically takes to move from one stage of the sales process into another. This will help you identify which deals may be cooling off or require more effort in order to advance them along.
  • Decide Ideal Pipeline Size: Estimate how many potential buyers you would like to have in your pipeline at any given time; this will depend directly on the size of your team and they types of products/services that you offer.
  • Remove Stagnant Deals: Be sure to regularly review your pipeline and remove any deals that are no longer active or have not made progress within an acceptable amount of time. This will help ensure a higher success rate with other prospects.
  • Define Sales Pipeline Metrics: Determine what metrics should be tracked in order to measure the performance of both individuals within the team as well as the overall effectiveness of the sales process itself.

What tools you’ll need to build and maintain a pipeline

Imagine managing a group of sales reps that are responsible for hundreds of leads and multiple Sales Stages without any tools in place – the task is arduous, right?

What’s even worse is how could the sales managers present sales pipeline review meetings both to the Sales team and to the other stakeholders.

Therefore, Sales Pipeline software is essential for Sales teams to properly manage Sales activities.

In fact, Sales Pipeline tools provide a way for Sales teams to organize their Sales process and track progress with each lead.

It also helps Salespeople visualize their Sales Process so they can better assess Sales performance and make more informed decisions.

Depending on the Sales software, Sales Pipeline tools typically allow Salespeople to track lead information, monitor Sales activity, and generate reports for Sales managers.

A Sales Pipeline tool should be easy-to-use yet powerful enough to accommodate your Sales process – so choose it wisely!

Here are a few Sales Pipeline tools to consider:

By leveraging Sales Pipeline software, Sales teams will be able to more efficiently track progress through each stage of the Sales Process and make adjustments along the way if needed.

This helps Salespeople to better plan Sales activities, prioritize Sales tasks, and make data-driven decisions.

So, if you’re looking to build your own Sales Pipeline – consider using Sales Pipeline software. (Some are free)

It’ll make your Sales Process easier and more efficient!

And who knows you may even be able to close more deals along the way.

Effectively managing a sales pipeline requires an understanding of the average sales cycle length, healthy sales pipeline, and sales velocity.

Good sales pipeline management helps forecast revenue and ensures periodic review meetings to assess the number of deals and prospective values.

Sales prospects should be factored into the entire sales process, including the creation of a template or guide for setting up pipelines to track metrics such as sales-qualified leads.

With a well-organized approach to managing pipelines, marketing teams can more accurately forecast revenue even when facing long sales cycles.

Sales leaders are in charge of overseeing this process and must use their experience to maintain a healthy pipeline.

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Article By:

Ralph Chua

I'm a husband and a father. I'm also an entrepreneur who's on a mission to find sales funnel mastery. I love watching football, but not as much as my wife loves it. She is the best quarterback in our family!

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