The term sales pipeline represents a systemic approach towards selling a product or service. It gives you a full view of exactly what’s going on with your sales prospects, deals, and other sales efforts throughout the process. A sales pipeline provides a timeline from initial contact to close.
There is at least a 20% difference in growth between a company that defined a “sales process” and company that didn’t.
A sales pipeline is a method of tracking the progress of deals you are currently working on.
Set your Stages
Depending on your industry stages may vary, but they could be as follows:
- Contact Made
- Needs Analysis
- Proposal Sent
Once a lead enters your pipeline, the next step is to determine whether or not they will be a prospective buyer. A few questions (and answers) that will help you determine your probability:
- What problem are they looking to solve? (Can you solve that problem?)
- What is the level of urgency in their search?
- Do they have budget, authority, and willingness to make a purchase?
At this stage of the sale pipeline, your prospective client has shown interest in what you offer and has already been qualified by your sales team. Now, they’ll be examining their options and evaluating what you can offer them. During this stage, your team should send a detailed proposal laying out what you’ll be offering them and at what price. Your sales team should focus on demonstrating your product, providing any technical information needed, and making a strong case to influence the buyer’s ultimate decision.
Effective use of a sales pipeline indicates a strong future for your company. When it all comes down to it, a clear sales pipeline means increased efficiency, and increased efficiency means greater revenue.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the business for years, it’s never too early or too late to start implementing sales pipelines into your work.