They say “Change is the only thing which never changes”. It is applicable to sales.B2B sales also changed over the years. Visualizing the B2B sales funnel is a baseline for growing any business. Hence it is a proven method that sales pipeline is a crucial role for any business to be successful. So what keeps you ahead of your competitor is consistent review meetings &follows up on leads in sales pipelines. And the advent of the internet connected us digitally led to sales teams being more data-driven.
So what is Sales Pipeline?
A sales pipeline gives virtual representation or a simplified structure of potential buyers at every stage of the buying prospect in the sales process. The sales pipeline is often divided into various stages of a company’s sales process as shown in the above figure. This depicts the movement of customers at each stage of the sales process & gives clear clarity on how the prospect is qualified. This virtual presentation gives sales person crystal clear idea to analyze where money, deals & other efforts are available with respect to prospects. More importantly, sales managers can dwell on data to understand how well their sales process is working & keeping track of their progress to get maximum ROI.
Here are few things which need to be considered to build your own sales pipeline
- Getting the list of prospect buyers
- Progress on your sales process
- Revenue targets
Getting the list of prospects:
The first & foremost thing is getting a potential list of buyers who want to buy from you. This list should be detailed & it should be able to give complete details. This stage holds active information such as names, contact information, company, position, communication channel & more who can get in touch with you & liked to be interested in your product or services. So when you have all the basic details you can try to establish a business conversation & establish a sales pipeline that helps reps to keep track of their progress.
A Sales Process is the complete guide that is clear & structured to exactly guide you on what activities are required to close a deal. When you have a well-established sales process, reps can easily win deals with formulating procedures & policies.
Your sales pipeline is a tool to meet your revenue goals which allow you to design a successful pipeline to fulfill your business goals. This will help you to ensure how many deals are required to make your objective? How many of your leads come into the final stages of the pipeline & how many deals are getting closed & more.
What are the benefits of having a Sales Pipeline?
- Easily track all your leads
- Predictive revenue
- Establishing integrated & marketing strategy
- Ensuring Systematic growth
- Helps you to monitor teams progress
- Improves total sales volume & revenue
- Gives a more accurate forecast
Why Sales Pipeline is important?
Sales pipeline plays a crucial role in identifying & closing potential deals well suited for your company in aligning with your objective. This is directly proportional to effective management of leads & improving growth. Additionally, companies that have a well-defined sales process evaluate & improve the process. With the focused allocation of available resources, you can connect with prospects at each sales pipeline & take a further step closer to create a closed-won opportunity. It paves the way to examine your sales strategy planned for the whole year.
In general, the sales pipeline can be divided into different levels, such as Top funnels, middle funnels& Bottom funnels. The top of the funnel is considered as the initial phase of nurturing which consists of blog contents, Infographics & more. Middle of the funnel considered as post initial phase of nurturing which consist of research reports, case studies, podcast & more. The bottom of the funnel is considered as the final phase of nurturing which is used to convert leads from the opportunity to the close phase.
Establish an effective B2B sales pipeline for the best outcome:
Building a strong foundation:
Having a good selling base is essential for any B2B sales. This comprises of 3 P’s Product, Person & Pitch.
You must be well known to tackle all questions & answers relating to your product & services with full confidence. This enables you to establish a sales conversation with a prospective customer without any delay. Similarly, a good salesperson knows in & out about your product. This helps them to connect with the right prospect in an efficient manner through the direct pitch.
Determine your Sales pipeline Stages:
Any company would love to bombard your sales pipeline with fresh contacts. This complete sales process goes through various processes in deciding buying decisions. And this also differs from company to company. Based on your company goals & objectives this sales pipeline keeps on growing.
Classify your prospects:
Improve the chances of conversions with the crucial segmentation of your prospects. Grouping of prospects can be based on several prospects such as demographics, Behavioral, Geographic & more.
Demographics segmentation allows you to group leads based on factors like age, gender, income & more
Behavioral segmentation classifies leads based on factors such as buying patterns, brand patterns & frequency.
Grouping leads based on the location where they live helps you to understand their values & preferences.
Approach your audience with a clear pitch:
As a salesperson, it is important to present, explore & appreciate specific components of the solution before approaching the target audience. With the help of additional technographic information, tools & technologies you can understand better & act accordingly.
Create a follow-up plan with Lead Scoring Metrics:
This may be quite hectic for many salespeople. But yes creating a perfect follow-up plan might be the topmost priority job of any business. Whenever half of the salesperson doesn’t follow up it may end up missing some opportunities to close a business deal. Always following up with a lead after the first approach is a good move. Being consistent touch tells them how you value them & it is the perfect way to get attention.
Prioritize leads by establishing best practices for scoring. Lead scoring can be one of the smart mechanisms to assign lead points based on key attributes. The calculated score will be evaluated based on various attributes is associated with the lead’s engagement ratio.
Develop a Lead Nurturing plan:
The ideal business will generate an enormous amount of leads & not necessary that all loads must be converted. If you approach them today, there is a high possibility for them to become your client. Hence this process must be well established across organizations to make sure every company has its own lead nurturing plan or process to grow up on the sales ladder. Being in touch with the leads will help you to build key business relationships.
Benefits of Lead nurturing plan:
- High-quality leads are generated
- Improves customer base
- Reduces customer acquisition cost
- It helps you to maintain & grow the relationship
- Bring new sales opportunities
Identify & Track key metrics:
Metrics help you to get most of the information about prospects & track them to show significant growth over the period. Below are few metrics which can be used effectively to win the battle against any prospects with proper planning.
- Average time spent on each stage of lead.
- Cost per opportunity
- The average return on Investment
- Amount of deals closed
- Lead conversion rate
It is a proven myth that your prospect or lead can determine how good you are at sales. Instead of generating leads in every industry, you cater for. You can formulate an approach to pick account-based market tracking. This will fine-tune your sales strategies & generate good ROI in return. Account-based marketing helps to bind contact associated with that particular account in an effortless manner. This can be one of the key metrics in monitoring or establishing account & contact-based sales metrics.
Optimize your funnel:
In today’s fast-moving world, leads are exposed to a variety of content that differs from a landing page, blog post, social media clips, Infographics & more. Hence it is important to identify which buyer persona is really interested in your product or services. As the sales funnel narrows down it becomes easy for B2B marketers to provide better information about the prospect and their interests.
Refine your sales Process:
Ask yourself better questions to bring more sales than you’ve ever dreamed of. First, you need to evaluate your current process & find out which channel will produce quality leads for you. Take a close look at successful deals that have been closed so far. And analyze how they are different from each other. And the internet has made it incredibly easy for everyone to build their personal brand & engage with their peers & prospects through insightful content.
Use LinkedIn for prospecting:
LinkedIn is one of the well-established platforms to connect with prospects across the globe. It can be used as one of the excellent resources for networking & research. This can be used efficiently to identify prospects based on company, location, industry & more. Alternately, it can be one platform specifically to engage with thought leaders in the industries that are looking for your product or services.
The heart of any sales cycle is the sales pipeline. This helps any sales team in starting the sales process, monitoring, managing the flow to check if the process is moving in the right direction. This guide from Logichannel will help you in building the sales pipeline which can be used to start your sales cycle & manage it effectively. Build a strong pipeline to jump-start the top of the funnel & close deals effectively. Logichannel always delivers unique cost-effective strategies & ideas when it comes to building effective B2B sales strategies.