Sales pipeline management is a continuous process that involves monitoring and updating sales opportunities, leads, and deals throughout their life cycle. It’s not something that you can set and forget; it needs constant attention to stay effective. If you aren’t keeping track of all your different sales stages, then the effectiveness of your sales pipeline management will be greatly diminished. We’ve put together some tips on how you can improve the quality of your sales pipeline management effectively.
- Automate as Much as Possible
A large percentage of your sales pipeline management can be automated if you’re using a CRM platform. If you aren’t already using some of the automated features of your CRM software, then there may be room for improvement to streamline any admin tasks you may currently be doing manually. CRM’s such as Agentbox have many automated features that can help you improve your sales pipeline management. For example, you can set up a rule so that every time an email is sent to a potential customer, it creates an opportunity in your CRM. You can also use email automation to automatically send out sales emails to people who have expressed some level of interest in your products or services. You can also make sure that your emails are tracked so that you can see who has opened them, clicked on links, and if they have been marked as spam.
- Be Clear on What is in Your Sales Pipeline
The first step in improving your sales pipeline management is making sure that you are keeping track of the different stages of each sales opportunity. The sales pipeline is a very important part of your business, so you need to make sure that you are clear on what valuable information is actually in it. An efficient way of doing this is to use a CRM sales pipeline management software. This will allow you to keep track of different sales stages digitally and in real-time, which will provide your whole agency a holistic view of what’s happening at any given time. It’s also much easier than keeping a paper-based system or using software such as spreadsheets which won’t reflect real time data.
- Provide Real-Time Tracking for Deal Progress and Status Changes
Keeping track of deal progress and status changes is crucial to effective sales pipeline management. It’s important that you know the stage of each individual opportunity. You will also want to make sure that you know how much time is left in each stage of the sales pipeline. Being able to see where opportunities are in the sales process will help you to stay more organised and keep track of which prospects need attention. It will also make it easier to spot potential problem areas. If one particular sales stage is taking too long, then you need to find out why. You should also have a method for tracking the deal status of each opportunity, which you can do manually or you can use a sales pipeline management software. If a deal is set to be closed in the next 30 days, and then it goes into contract negotiations, it will likely take longer to close. By having greater visibility over these changes, it allows you to adjust your forecast appropriately and provides greater insight into your prospects buying cycle.
- Define what’s involved in your lead qualification process
If you are in the sales pipeline management phase of lead generation, then you need to qualify each lead immediately. It’s important that you maintain high standards when it comes to who gets into your pipeline. Think about your ideal customer, and put measures in place of how you’ll ideally attract them. Your sales pipeline needs to be filled with qualified leads that have a high probability of converting to customers. It’s better to cut out low-quality leads right away than to clog up your sales pipeline with low-quality opportunities.
- Know the stages of your entire sales process
It’s important that you know the stages of your sales process inside and out. You need to know what each sales stage involves and how long it usually takes. This will help you to tailor communications appropriately for each prospect and keep track of each opportunity in real-time. You can do this manually or you can use a sales pipeline management software that has a built-in sales process such as Agentbox. Make sure that you are consistent in how you use your sales process. It should apply to every lead and deal, no matter who is involved.
- Track your current opportunity stage
Knowing the stages of your sales process can help you to track your current opportunity stage. However, you also need to know where each individual opportunity is located in the sales process. You need to know if each opportunity is in the qualification stage, the discovery stage, or the negotiation stage. Keeping track of the current sales stage can be helpful when you are trying to forecast sales and analyse your realistic closed-won sales for the month.
- Define the Unique Value of Each Stage
Every stage of your sales pipeline has a specific value. If a lead gets logged into your sales pipeline, then it will be assigned a sales stage based on how likely they are to make a purchase. This is where the value of each sales stage comes into play. Once you define the value of each stage, it will be much easier to manage your sales pipeline. Sales stage values can help you to find prospects who are a good fit for your business, as well as prioritise your follow-up activities and timelines. It’s important that you keep your sales stage values consistent. If you have a reason for changing the value of a particular stage, then make sure that this change is reflected across all current opportunities for complete transparency between your team.
- Use lead scoring to determine your selling process
If you are having trouble deciding which sales stages go where, then you may benefit from using lead scoring. With lead scoring, you will assign a certain number of points to each sales stage. Once you have a lead score, it will be much easier to determine which sales stage each lead should be placed in. It will also help you to prioritise your sales activities when you are tracking sales stage progress. If one prospect has a higher lead score than another, then you know that they are more likely to convert to a sale. It’s important that you are consistent with how you score leads to ensure accurate nurturing of your prospects, and even more important that everyone on your sales team is scoring leads the same way.
- Don’t be afraid to change up how you traditionally generate leads
It’s important that you don’t get too attached to your lead generation strategy. It’s important that you are able to adapt to changing circumstances. You need to be flexible and make changes where necessary. If your lead generation strategy is not working, then you need to make changes, using past sales & marketing activity to predict what will work in the future. You can keep track of your lead generation efforts so that you can see where you may need to make changes based on current campaign performance. You can do this by keeping track of the sources of your leads. Doing this in a CRM platform such as Agentbox will allow you to automate a lot of these processes and maintain insight into new lead generation avenues.
- Have frequent meetings with your team to track progress and identify any problems
It’s important to keep track of your sales pipeline progress on a regular basis to ensure the leads are current and are in their accurate sales stage. You need to know what is happening with your sales team and which sales stages each opportunity is in. These meetings will help you to spot potential problem areas and make changes to your pipeline, keep track of current sales stage progress and identify problems before they arise.If you’re interested in learning how Agentbox can assist your agency in streamlining and growing your prospecting database, you can book a demo here.