We can’t emphasize enough how crucial it is for sales leaders to know how to make the most of their sales pipeline.
It’s the lifeblood of your business: A healthy pipeline with a steady flow of prospects exponentially increases the likelihood that you’ll meet your quota.
Top-performing sales teams manage their sales pipelines religiously. They make incremental improvements to their bottom line by regularly reviewing their entire sales process. They know that their customers and processes are ever-evolving, and constantly tweak, adjust, and test their methods to see what works best for a certain client or a specific scenario.
Take a page from their book and power up your team’s sales process with these sales pipeline review tips.
Look for prospects who have been in your sales pipeline longer than your average sales cycle.
Letting go may be difficult at times, especially if your sellers have already invested a lot of time and resources to cultivate unresponsive leads. However, in this situation, it’s not only necessary but also healthy.
This holds especially true for dead leads, which could be identified by these characteristics:
- They cannot be contacted
- They have clearly stated their disinterest
- They already have or use a similar product or service
- They cannot afford your product
- They are resisting your team’s efforts to steer them onto the next stage of your pipeline
Think of your sales pipeline as a plant that needs pruning in order to properly grow. Your sellers should learn how to identify leads that need more nurturing and quickly decide on the best course of action: whether to let go or to nurture more. They should strongly consider dropping an unresponsive lead—even if they have already invested a large amount of time, effort, and resources to cultivate it—so they could channel their energy and effort into more promising opportunities
Send follow-up messages.
Sellers need to work harder to help buyers make the right decision about a product or service. However, 44 percent of sales professionals say they would give up after receiving just one “no” from a customer.
What they fail to realize is that in sales, tenacity is the key.
“If you want to get people out of the ‘dead zone,’ you have to get into the mindset of the customer and start giving,” says our CEO Jamie Shanks.
“Provide them with competitive intelligence reports, market best practices, upcoming pitfalls, challenges, roadmaps of what it’s like to be in the first hundred days of success. That’s the type of information you need to be focusing your energy on.”
Aim for a balance of consistency, tact, and sensitivity when following up. Be mindful of how often you’re reaching out and how you’re doing so.
Know when it’s a lost cause: If you’re not getting any engagement, walk away respectfully.
Ensure that your data is always accurate and updated
Your sales pipeline should be able to give you an overall view of your business at a glance.
Each day, new leads are added, customers move from stage to stage, deals are closed, and unresponsive leads are taken out—and your sales pipeline should accurately reflect these changes.
Keeping your pipeline regularly updated can be time-consuming, but it’s necessary. Otherwise, your sales pipeline could easily spiral into an disorganized, outdated mess. This could have several repercussions, ranging from inaccurate reporting and team inefficiencies to lost sales.
Your sellers should monitor your key sales pipeline metrics and set aside some time to review them on a regular basis.
These include the average deal size, the deal close rate, and the sales velocity. These metrics function as benchmarks, and help in predicting future sales trends. Since numbers can’t lie, an accurate, updated matrix can tell you the real status of your sales in a snap.