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5 Step Guide for Developing a Strong Sales Pipeline
A sales pipeline is a reliable and efficient tool for growing your revenue. It represents how prospects move through the sales process, usually depicted visually by a CRM. In GreenRope, you can create unique phases that make up a path or sales pipeline.
A healthy sales pipeline allows you to better understand your clients, engage strategically, and monitor your revenue streams in a better way. Since the sales process differs among companies (and even for different products or services), you should map out and create unique phases and pathways (or pipelines) if necessary.
In this guide, we unpack the five vital steps you need to build a strong sales pipeline. Check them out:
1. Develop Your Pipeline Phases
Every phase (or stage) of your sales path should effectively match each customer's buying journey. For this reason, you should have unique pipeline phases which cover the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel. Phases typically include, but are not limited to ‘New Lead’, ‘Qualified Lead’, ‘Proposal’, ‘Deal Won’, and ‘Deal Lost’. This is what a basic path might look like with these phases.
Each category should be related to your sales cycle. For instance: new lead, qualified lead, proposal, deal won, and deal closed. You can also write your categories: service request, proposal stage, deal won, and deal closed. The key is to make each phase as granular or general as you need for your specific business process.
You can review the phases with your sales team and make the necessary changes with time once you know how your sales pipeline work.
2. Create a Common Vocabulary Between Your Sales And Marketing Teams
Your sales and marketing teams need to be on the same page when it comes to defining your leads as well as the different phases in your pipeline. For example, what is a Marketing Qualified Lead? What is a sales qualified lead? What is the difference between a new lead and a prospect? These definitions matter. So update your marketing and sales team and come up with a common vocabulary to define your types of leads and stages in your funnel.
3. Determine What Happens At Each Stage In Your Pipeline On Both The Customer Side As Well As Internally.
What emails or information do your customers get at each stage of your pipeline? For example, your marketing qualified leads should get different messaging than your sales qualified leads. A lead that is further down the funnel will need more generalized information, while a sales qualified lead who has had an appointment with your team already, is looking for specific information.
This can go for sales touchpoints as well. Do certain phases require certain actions, such as phone calls, follow ups, presentations, etc? Clearly write out your phases and what happens at each phase, both with digital and human touchpoints. With GreenRope, you can create checklists for all items/tasks that must be completed at each stage of the path. This keeps your team on track and accountable.
4. Define Your Conversion Points
A conversion is any action that is of value to you. For example, if you offer a free trial, someone signing up for the free trial can be one conversion, and then signing up as a paid customer is the next conversion. By defining the conversion points, you are setting yourself up for better tracking, as well as revenue
5. Decide What Automation Needs To Happen At Each Stage
Are you automating emails? When your sales pipeline is automated, you can trigger actions at each stage of your funnel. For example, when someone signs a contract, is your team automatically alerted? Does that trigger a new client workflow? At any stage of the funnel, you can trigger automation that will not only save you time, but also create consistent customer experiences.
Every stage of the sales pipeline can be automated, but you need to develop a great strategy for automation. For instance, you can use email automation in all stages of the sales pipeline to deliver the most relevant information to the lead or customers. The most effective way to determine your automation is to review what happens at each stage and decide what can be automated and what cannot.
Create and Automate Your Sales Pipeline Today
Pipeline creation doesn't have to be complicated. It is necessary for effective sales, as well as customer journey mapping, marketing, and more. For effective results, you can emphasize automation to save time and better sales estimates.
GreenRope is a CRM and marketing automation platform. Our goal is to help you get more leads and enjoy long-lasting relationships with your customers. Contact us or visit our website to learn more about our all-in-one CRM, its features, and how it can be helpful to your sales pipeline.
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