A healthy pipeline generally indicates healthy sales. Every business leader knows that in order to hit growth targets, building a strong sales pipeline is imperative. The basic idea of a sales pipeline is to estimate the upcoming sales that managers are aiming to close. For this, businesses tend to follow different approaches; while most businesses prepare spreadsheets forecasting sales for every month, quarter and year, others rely on gut instinct and assumptions.

However, such practices can be detrimental to a business. Not being able to predict customer metrics leads to an inaccurate sales pipeline which could leave a company in a lurch. To combat this, and to stay on track to meet the quota, sales reps and managers should pay attention to how the pipeline is built and sustained.

The smartest way to do this is with a CRM software. It can track information by month, quarter and year and eliminates the need for repetitive and endless spreadsheets. There are smart tools like sales management software that help sales managers to not only fill the sales pipeline, but also accelerate movement through the pipeline converting leads to prospects and finally to customers.

The more you are in control of your sales pipeline, the greater will your revenue generation be. This is the key to sales success that most managers swear by.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you build a solid Sales pipeline:

Understand The Sales Pipeline

A sales pipeline is a snapshot of the organisation’s sales process; it is the amount of business that sales managers targets to close in a given timeframe. It provides a formula to estimate sales, allowing you to better manage inventory, cash flow and workforce. Following a proven sales process ensures that your entire process is in lieu with the customer’s buying cycle, which maximises conversion rates.

Outline Your Basic Sales Pipeline

A strong sales process with clearly defined stages is the best framework for creating an effective pipeline. Your pipeline is the visualisation of your sales processes that will help progress leads throughout the sales cycle until they are converted into happy customers. Each step within a sales pipeline represents a pre-determined set of actions that need to be taken into account in order to progress the lead to the next stage.

Define Your Sales Process

A solid sales process with clearly defined stages that are understood and followed by the sales team is the foundation of building an effective Sales pipeline. The data generated by a trusted sales CRM software helps in this case as there is no guesswork involved, especially when it comes to gaining insights of customer behaviour, taste, patterns and trends.

Find Your Prospects

There are many ways to generate leads. UsingLead Management Software Solutions will help you build your sales pipeline efficiently. It gives you the ability to capture information from prospects, ensuring greater conversion rates. With the leads generated through these tools, you can reach out to these prospects and start building a relationship.

Using Sales Analytics

Once all the stages of your sales pipeline are clearly defined, install and generate metrics with the help of Sales CRM to measure each stage’s actions and monitor them. This will also provide support and help in taking corrective actions as needed. Sales analytics is a crucial element that controls your sales process and will bring about the actual realisation of its purpose.

Choose The Best Software

Another aspect a manager needs to reflect on is choosing the right CRM solution that is relevant to their sales process. This has to be done with great consideration, weighing its adaptability to the pipeline, its utilisation of sales analytics, and its overall usability to the sales team.

Once the sales process is fully defined and metrics in place to monitor it, you need to test your sales pipeline. You won’t know how well your sales process works until it is proven in the field. Provide consistent feedback so that the process can be refined, streamlined and usable. However, the most effective sales processes are dynamic; they are flexible and can be changed as per the market scenario.


About The Author

[The author of this post is Ajay Chauhan – CEO and co-founder, Salezshark.]

Note from Inc42: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.