Make More Money – Manage your Sales Pipeline
We all want to make more money right? Whether you are a business owner or a sales person moving toward a target, it’s important you are successful in sales. In this blog I hope to outline how you can be more successful by properly managing your sales pipeline.
What is a sales pipeline?
Put in simple terms, it is a concept or strategy which helps you understand the status of all your points of sales contacts. By putting your contacts into “buckets” it aids your understanding of likelihood of conversion and sales success.
Your “buckets” (or statuses) could be called anything which is meaningful for your business but typically includes: Qualified Lead; Face to Face (or telesales equivalent); proposal and agreement.
Using a sales pipeline will help you understand some key sales metrics such as volume and value of leads at each stage or status. Essentially the more leads you have the more chance you have of converting. Likewise, the higher the value of each proposal the more likely you are of converting bigger revenue. If you know all this stuff then you can spend more times doing the things which add value to your accounts.
Here are some ways to keep your pipeline lean and healthy:
- Look to qualify out. Time is money as they say. Look at the average value order of your pipeline. How many deals would you need to close in order to reach target or positively affect profit margin? Ask yourself if you realistically have time to close the required number then start to use this to qualify some of your deals out so that you are spending time on the ones which will make a real difference. This is a balancing act because you obviously need a balance of quick closing low value deals and high value longer term deals but in order to focus on the latter, realistically, you need to cut some of the former.
- Analyse your % success including at what stage you typically lose prospects. If you start to really analyse your sales pipeline you will start to be able to trend your results. Which types of businesses make it into your pipeline at each stage, and what stage do they drop out? Which are the types of leads you are you spending more time on? Are there any types or sizes of business where the decision making time is longer than normal? This will also give insight into areas of your performance you need to improve.
- Set goals for the amount of new opportunities you want to add into your pipeline. It’s a numbers game after all. You’ve got to feed the beast. I used to work on a principle that if I got ten good new opportunities a month I would always be able to fulfil my target. Your number might be different. Try a few out, and set it as a KPI on your sales dashboard to measure your success with it.
To talk to some people who can provision good sales pipeline software please get in touch.