Introduction to Sales Pipeline
A sales pipeline is a must-have for every business regardless of the vertical. Let's begin with looking at what a sales pipeline is in the first place and then proceed to how you can manage it.
What is a Sales Pipeline?
A sales pipeline lets you visualize where the prospects are in the sales process. It involves all the steps you have to take as a salesperson to take a potential customer from the starting point of the sales process to the end of it.
A sales pipeline represents the health of your business in the present moment and enables sales reps to find out what they have to do to close deals.
What is sales pipeline management?
Sales pipeline management refers to overseeing and managing the deals in the pipeline. It helps perk up the sales process. When you manage the pipeline well, you can track the activities involved in each stage, such as generating leads, cold calling and cold emailing them, and scheduling meetings to close the deal.
With the proper pipeline management, you can find out how well your sales process is working and what changes you can make for further improvement. It helps in finding out the roadblocks in the sales process and why some deals fare better than others.
What should the structure of your sales pipeline look like?
For sales pipeline management to work, you have to build an effective pipeline in the first place.
The pipeline structure may vary from business to business but most often have the following stages,
- Qualifying leads
- Reaching out to prospects
- Building relationships
- Following up
It is a good idea to decide beforehand what you need to do at each stage of the pipeline.
Maintaining the sales pipeline
To enable the smooth functioning of the pipeline, you have to do the following,
1. Use metrics
By using certain metrics, you will know how the sales pipeline is performing. The key metrics include,
- Number of deals - When you know the number of qualified deals in the pipeline at any given point, you can know where you stand.
- Deal value - By adding up the value of each deal, you get an idea of the expected revenue. It will help you find out whether your sales team is meeting the sales quotas or not.
- Deal size - Find out how many deals you need to meet revenue goals.
- Deal close rate - It will give you the percentage of deals your team closes.
- Sales velocity - it involves the time taken to turn a qualified lead into a customer.
2. Conduct periodical health checks
By reviewing the pipeline regularly, you will be able to track the pipeline's performance and find out when a metric is off balance and what you need to do to correct it.
3. Review the stages of the sales process
Regular review of the sales process stages helps you find out which of them are working well and whether you can add or remove any of them.
SalesBlink and Sales Pipeline
You have to understand that once you create a solid sales pipeline, it becomes pretty easy to manage it, and SalesBlink helps you with that!