Sales pipelines can give your business the vision it needs, but how? This guide lists 10 simple ways to improve your sales pipeline.
Approximately 44% of sales agents give up after a single rejection. While the average attempts needed to close a sale sits around five.
The sales pipeline tool can keep track of these attempts. See why they work or don’t work, allow for adjustment, and return to the sales process once again.
This pipeline is essential for a strong sales department. But what factors make a strong sales pipeline? We’ll explore what they are and how to get them working in your business.
Revisiting The Sales Pipeline
Formulating a strategy to improve the sales process requires revisiting the concept to keep it fresh in your mind. You must fully understand the core properties of a “Sales Pipeline”
It is the tool used to track buyers and sellers through the entire process of sales. This begins from the lead and ends at the close of a sale or deal.
This allows for higher levels of accountability and collection of data to judge the health of marketing and sales efforts.
In a sense, it is both the process and the method of keeping records at every stage.
1. Consistency is Key
The efforts of your sales force need to be the same on the first day of the cycle as they are on the last day of the cycle.
The team must always be on the lookout for sales, leads, and anything else that could contribute to growing the sales base. As they say, the market does not sleep. Your efforts shouldn’t either.
There are always things to research, people to email and call, and there is always room for improvement in refining your sales process.
2. Business Automation
This is especially important once the business grows to a certain size. The use of customer relationship management (CRM) software is all but required to efficiently churn out sales.
Automation can be an amazing tool for many aspects of business, but the benefits to a sales department are particularly influential.
Repetitive tasks can be automated, allowing you to allocate manpower to other needs and expansion. Automating the lead qualification process is a huge time saver. This will enable you to eliminate leads before they even enter the hands of any sales member.
However, not all functions can be automated. Follow-up communications must be done by an actual salesperson or customer service individual.
3. Evaluate Leads and Adjust
You’ve got 150 leads. Great! But if they are not leading you anywhere, they are useless. Thirty strong, effective leads will do far more than the group made up of five times as many.
Beyond this simple comparison, prioritizing leads is key. All healthy leads are important, but high value, better-prepared leads should be given priority.
With proper tracking, you can adjust priority as needed, when needed.
4. Monitoring Relevant Metrics
Monitoring leads provides metrics. It is important to understand what metrics to track and keep on record.
Important metrics include, but are not limited to:
- Opportunity Age against Win Cycle: time in sales pipeline compared to the time that they close
- Opportunity Dollar Size against Average Deal Size: if deals come up that are larger than the ones you normally seal, they might not convert. This helps with resource allocation.
- Win Rate: Most basic and speaks for itself
These are the basic metrics that exist across any sales pipeline and there will be others that surely play into yours.
5. Standardization in Process
Everyone on the sales team, managers and agents alike, has the same goal. However, each person likely has a different method of getting to that goal.
With each person using a different process to meet the same result, the timeline for results has a strong potential for getting delayed or, at the very least, not working as efficiently as it could.
Standardization is the answer to such an issue.
By having a standard sales process, even down to developing a template as a foundation, you make every step easier and quicker. This could be as far-reaching as the new hiring process.
When the process becomes standardized a new hire can learn more quickly and be able to adapt on the go.
With standardization, you are additionally able to see what is working best and where the sales process breaks down because all workers are on the same pathway.
6. Content is King
Cliche as it may be, it is true. Content rules the world. The internet has made that even more obvious.
It is important that, at each level of the sales process, as the relationship grows, you must offer further content to the customer. Even if they have been a long-time customer, you need to keep them coming back!
It is key to have sales collaborate with marketing on content generation, at least to some degree.
7. Always Reconnect!
This presents a personalized experience to the customer. After a sale closes a customer should not just be left alone. You hope that they will return and spend more money.
Reconnecting in the proper amount of time works for both buyer and seller.
8. Humanize the Process
Any business can offer a product that a consumer will choose to buy. However, those that succeed beyond the rest offer an experience that feels, even slightly, more personal to each consumer.
You can do this in many different ways without adding large numbers man-hours. It could be as simple as the language that you choose when communicating with the customer.
Taking the experience even further, you can offer marketing related to their behaviors, return messages, simple email campaigns, and even just greeting the user by name.
It’s about humanizing the experience. The customer needs to know that they are more than simply a number.
9. Testimonials and Proof
Real, non-employee people are the best way to sway the undecideds. That’s exactly why social media influencers are making large sums of money. It comes down to trust, and confidence.
Providing case studies, showing that there are other people or businesses using your company to solve their issues, and offering an invite to events or demos all help garner trust.
Offering a realistic view of the business makes people feel more comfortable. This is especially relevant if the customer feels they are doing business with someone they know on a deeper level.
10. Continually Review and Update
Just because it worked once, or even for multiple cycles, does not mean it will always be effective.
You need to continually check, update, and adapt your sales pipeline. Customer interests and habits will change, as well as trends in your particular marketplace.
If there was no reason to change, there would be no need to spend the time collecting and analyzing the data.
You should evaluate every level and step of the process regularly and adjust. Take a compartmentalized view of the pipeline. Adjust individual steps that may need refinement. It’s not usually necessary to rebuild the entire process.
Building A Clear Sales Pipeline
The sales pipeline, while essential, can take time to effectively adjust and optimize. You know the steps and can create a strong strategy to get to that point in no time.
If you still need help after reading this guide and want to hit the ground running, there are solutions. Contact us at: (402) 858-6246 and see what OSX Sales Solutions can do to help get your sales efforts running at their best.