How effective is your sales pipeline management?
According to a 2021 study 64% of business admitted that their sales pipeline management was ineffective.
I personally thought it would be a lot higher as of all the businesses I help performance manage and coach there are only two I would identify as effective in this area.
And it confuses me as to why businesses do not take it more seriously!
Why is pipeline management so important?
If a sales process was a living organism the sales pipeline would be its beating heart.
An effective sales pipeline allows CEOs and CFOs to forecast monthly and quarterly earnings, manufacturing businesses can rely on its accuracy to procure raw materials, business owners can predict when to scale up or down, and it can even measure market trends.
The sales pipeline, this beating heart is constantly filled with prospects.
Consider for a moment that the prospects are the blood and one thing we all know is that the heart pumps the blood, it is constantly on the move.
If it is not there is a problem,
Any slowing down will result in a change to blood pressure and if there is a blockage, a clot, things can get serious quickly.
And this is the root of most businesses issues when it comes to their sales pipelines, they are clotted.
Clotted with stalled deals and prospects who are not going anywhere.
They are a slow-moving toxin that poisons the businesses sales pipeline to the point that it is, for the most part, useless.
Businesses ignore sales pipeline management at their peril.
How do you keep your pipeline moving?
- First hold your sales team accountable for their own sales pipeline and monitor it with them monthly
- Tracking the larger deals individually and setting an expectation, based on length of sale metrics how fast each prospect moves.
- Train your team to identify and remove bad leads quickly. It is all part of the client selection criteria.
- Every business will have prospects that are WOFTAMS (Waste of freaking time and money). Identify them early and move them on.
- If deals stall or go dark (ghosting is a real thing these days) invite your client to tell you NO, that they are not interested, it is amazing how often this re-engages customers.
I have an email template I use for exactly this purpose; send me an email and I will share it with you.
The benefits of a CRM in sales pipeline management
With so many alternatives available to businesses at various investment levels there is no excuse for any business, even a start-up not to have a CRM.
I do not endorse one CRM over the other but a few I see in regular range from Salesforce and Hubspot to active campaign, Pipedrive and Odoo.
When I first started in sales computers were only just starting to be used and in the late 80s, they were the days of rolodex, tracking your leads manually by cards (I had this massive manual filing system supplemented with notes) and eventually started using a computer programme called Lotus 123.
The fact is today with the amount of leads being generated there is NO WAY any company can manually track leads without losing or forgetting them but more importantly, there is no transparency in the daily, weekly and monthly activities of your sales team.
A great CRM helps you manage your business and your team.
Take sales pipeline management seriously
I work with a large number of businesses in their sales pipeline strategy, from start ups to billion dollar multi-nationals. No one is immune from a clotted pipeline so the secret is taking action, sometimes drastic action to get things moving again.
If you would like to talk sales pipeline management just click the link below
A CRM will help measure your sales conversion rate – read the blog here https://thesalesstrategist.com.au/lead-conversion-rate/