6 Ways to Better Manage Your Sales Pipeline to Win More Business

Are you searching for ways to improve your sales performance?

Improving your sales pipeline can benefit your whole sales process and increase your team’s performance, ensuring that your organisation continues on the path to success.

From qualification to marketing materials, this article will take you through how to improve your sales pipeline management to win more business.

What is a sales pipeline?

A sales pipeline is the sales opportunities a business has gathered which have not yet converted to customers. These sales opportunities are important assets to your sales team, needing to be carefully nurtured, and the communication with decision makers pro-actively managed to take them through the customer journey to sale.

Why is sales pipeline management important?

With sales and marketing budget being spent on the acquisition of leads, to get the best return on spend it is important your sales pipeline is managed effectively. 

Poor management could result in ‘lead bleed’ (leads falling out of the sales pipeline), your company missing key timelines such as submitting tenders, or decision-makers opting for your more engaged/aligned competitors.

How can I manage my sales pipeline better?

Here are 6 ways to manage your sales pipeline better and ensure your business becomes more successful:

1. Define your qualification criteria and don’t be afraid to disqualify leads

Ensure as a team you have a clear definition of what is considered a “Lead” for your business and even more importantly, what measures qualify that lead as an opportunity to pursue further.

With consistent definitions of what is a Marketing Qualified Lead or Sales Qualified Lead, teams can better prioritise opportunities that are a good use of time.

2. Clarity on lead allocation within the team

To increase effectiveness and avoid missing leads, make sure all opportunities are clearly allocated for specific people on your CRM with a clear timeline. 

This ensures your team takes ownership of pipeline opportunities, reducing lead bleed and helping ensure timely follow up.

3. What’s in it for them 

It is important to capture the motivation of both the prospect and their company – why are they engaging with you and buying your solution? Ensure teams explore what value your solution will bring, what difference will your solution make to both your prospect personally and the company overall? 

If the process stalls, your team can use their understanding of ‘what’s in it for them’ – i.e. the reasons the prospect should engage with you – to then re-engage the prospect and progress the opportunity.

4. Clear information handover

When leads are ready to be qualified, marketing should be able to clearly share all of the lead’s information with sales.

You may wish to review how information is captured on your CRM and whether your database could be managed or used differently to ensure information gathered is clear and easy to use.

5. Manage threats to the process

Early in the process teams should establish who the other key decision makers are. If their main contact leaves, the opportunity can then be picked up with others in the decision-making unit and/or nurtured until a replacement is found.

Another threat is lack of priority. Having established and agreed with the prospect how your solution is going to benefit them and the company, understand their timeline, with milestones of when they require the solution in place. 

Crucially, discuss “what might get in the way” of this happening, where is it on the prospect’s and the company’s priority list? You can then use this intelligence to mitigate any priority related barriers to sale.

6. Provide your team with materials for contact nurturing

Make sure teams are equipped with relevant materials such as case studies and whitepapers to share with interested contacts.

Sales and marketing will be better aligned with content that improves brand perception, and aids sales in nurturing contacts. Need help with your sales pipeline? We have an expert team here at Fast Track who can help you create a sales pipeline and win more business from it. Get in touch with us today.

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