A sales pipeline is a visual representation of where your opportunities are in the sales process broken down by various stages. It outlines the series of actions your sales agent should perform to convert a prospect into your customer.
The progress of opportunities through the sales pipeline differs depending on how interested the person or the prospect is in your services, their sense of necessity to purchase, their budget challenges, rush, etc. Sometimes, there could be prospects who may skip certain stages of the sales pipeline. For example, if your prospect has a good understanding of your services and is already prepared to buy, then you can get down to the minute details and move the opportunity to the final stage of the pipeline.
Sales pipeline management is the tracking and supervision of every sales opportunity through every stage to a successful close of a revenue-producing contract. The total task includes finding, qualifying, and winning not just in a single sale, but by doing the right things throughout the year to help salespeople to meet their expectations to achieve their sales quota.
The sales management system is pivotal for a growing business. Sales pipeline management focuses on one key element—the sales process unlike sales management which focuses variously like, on the application of sales operations, techniques, and processes to meet sales objectives. A sales process defines the way how to sell to customers, and pipelines help you break down the opportunity into different stages.
Three practices of the sales pipeline for higher revenue growth are:
1. Having a clearly defined sales process
2. Spending time on the process
3. Training sales managers in pipeline strategies and techniques.
Having a sales pipeline in business is important for many reasons, there are as follows:
By understanding the position at each pipeline stage for each customer or opportunity, some steps must be taken to allocate resources to help close business. Sales managers can select which deals are critical, and whether or not they’ll need more time and oversight to conclude.
Pipelines provide an insight into each sales agent’s activity, how close they are to making quota, and on the whole, how near or far the entire team is from meeting the target quota. Using that information spawned by the sales team, it’s easier to provide 30, 60, and 90-day (or beyond) revenue forecasting. Knowing the deal’s closing sales is critical to other company departments like finance, operations, and manufacturing.
If it’s taking too long to proceed with the opportunities from the array of stages, tracking data will make that apparent. it means there should be taken a look at individual performance, and take steps to make improvements based on the data gathered by the sales agents.
A sales pipeline management illuminates when to spend less energy on specific types of opportunities, what to remove from the process, and which situations to pursue more vigorously and help grow the size, amount, and number of the opportunities.
Behind each stage, there are activities to complete to successfully finish that stage and keep the opportunity proceeding through the pipeline. Tracking key metrics repeatedly means that sales managers can identify and ease challenges for each agent before they impede sales.
A well-managed sales pipeline is about continuously modifying the process itself and sharpening the skills of your salespeople. Everyone’s aim in sales pipeline management should be to keep the pipeline progressing as way as possible from one stage to another to achieve the goal of closing sales.
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