6 Great Strategies for Getting the Best Results from your Sales Pipeline

6 Great Strategies for Getting the Best Results from your Sales Pipeline

Do you have a well working pipeline system or process that delivers healthy sales results month-on-month with measurable increases and records of achieved milestones?

There’s a lot in that question. Let’s unpack it.

You might have elements of it but not all, or you might do all of it but not very well.

Either way reviewing your sales process with a particular focus on managing the opportunities from lead to customer, larger revenue transactions, and commissions received is time well spent!

A sales pipeline is a crucial aspect of any business, as it helps to track the progress of potential customers as they move through the sales process. By having a clear understanding of where each lead is in the pipeline, businesses can better allocate their resources and focus their efforts on closing deals. However, simply having a sales pipeline in place is not enough to guarantee success. In order to get the best results from your sales pipeline, it is essential to implement a number of strategies that will help to optimise its performance.

A good way to understand the value of your pipeline is by calculating your conversion rate as a percentage of the value of deals you are working on.

For example, you have €2,500,000 worth of sales deals that you are currently working on that you hope to close this quarter, however, your usual conversion rate on deals is 20% – then the formula looks like this:

6 great strategies for your sales pipeline calculation - outsource sales director

In other words, you will likely close 20% of the €2.5M or an estimated €500K.

So how do we go about improving our pipeline and processes in order to increase revenue?

Here are 6 strategies to achieve results:

1. Set SMART Goals:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

It might sound obvious but not all businesses set goals, and in fact you would be surprised by the amount of organisations that are reporting the revenue turnover without measuring it against a previously agreed and hoped-for target or goal. It’s important to push yourself toward bigger and better results. 

2. Develop Systems:

Develop a system for proactively bringing leads through the various steps of the sales process and ultimately closing deals in a final meeting or call. A brief outline of how to go about developing the system could include- 

  • Identifying and targeting potential leads: This includes researching and identifying potential customers who are most likely to be interested in your product or service.

  • Qualifying leads: Once potential leads have been identified, they need to be qualified to ensure they are a good fit for your product or service and have the budget and authority to make a purchase.

  • Nurturing leads: After qualifying leads, they need to be nurtured and engaged with through various methods such as email marketing, phone calls, and social media. This helps to build a relationship and keep the lead interested in your product or service.

  • Moving leads through the sales process: As the relationship with the lead develops, they can be moved through the various stages of the sales process, such as the discovery stage, the proposal stage, and the closing stage.

  • Closing deals: Once a lead has been moved through the sales process, it is important to have a system in place to close the deal and convert the lead into a customer. This includes having clear call-to-action and following up with the lead to ensure they are ready to make a purchase.
  It doesn’t have to be fancy but it does need to be effective. So you need to use it and remember to stick to it routinely.

3. Accountability:

It’s important for you to be accountable to someone other than just yourself. You need someone to ask you those awkward and difficult questions such as, “why hasn’t this opportunity progressed since last week/last month?” Accountability is crucial for achieving ones’ sales goals and targets, as well as accounting for actions and results.

Similarly, this is important for ensuring that you and/or the team are effectively generating revenue and contributing to the overall success of the organisation.

Someone you don’t want to let down would be good!

4. Implement CRM/Sales Management Software

Properly implement a sales management software or CRM and have it integrated with your work calendar to set up scheduled calls, meetings, demo’s, follow ups etc.

This can be done yourself or by a third party integration company who specialises in business process automation. 

By automating certain tasks you can save time and increase efficiency. Automation also allows you to personalise your sales efforts and ensure that leads are receiving the right information at the right time.

If the funds are there to outsource it, then we would recommend you do so and work with the professionals to have it installed.

5. Lead analytics and Prioritisation:

Ensure you are working smart and not just hard. 

What does that mean? 

It means determining which leads are most likely to convert into customers and determining those with the highest value of potential revenue, which can be closed in a realistic time frame – and focusing your efforts on these individuals/companies. 

Too often we spend time dealing with contacts who will never purchase from us, or they’ll buy for small figures, consuming huge amounts of time and resources.

To qualify leads, you can use a variety of methods, such as lead scoring, which assigns a numerical value to each lead based on a set of predefined criteria, or by using a lead qualification form, which helps to identify leads that are ready to make a purchase. Similarly, by tracking key metrics, such as conversion rates, lead sources, and sales stages, you can gain valuable insights into the performance of your pipeline and identify areas that need improvement. With this data, you can make informed decisions that will help to improve the performance of your pipeline and increase your chances of closing deals.

Ensure that you regularly make time to review these metrics. 

Ultimately – Time Taken To Close and Deals Closed as a percentage of Deals Created, in other words, your ratio to close sales from leads generated.

6. Review Results

Finally, to get the best results from your sales pipeline, it is essential to continuously improve. This means regularly reviewing your pipeline to identify areas that need improvement, testing new strategies, and making adjustments as needed.

Set a recurring scheduled and high priority meeting, digital or in-person with the sole purpose of analysing your pipeline. This session should be sacrosanct in your diary and in that of the individual who will hold you accountable for your results. 

By continuously reviewing and improving your pipeline, you can stay ahead of the competition and increase your chances of closing deals.

There are many other considerations when it comes to your business and your sales pipeline, these are just a few favourites that might be the start of you asking better questions about how you do things currently. Remember that it’s not just about having a sales pipeline, but also how you use it, and how you adapt it to the ever-changing market. There is always room for improvement in every company so take reassurance if you recognise this about your own business. 

In fact, take some reassurance in knowing that if you are not doing everything right, it means that there is considerable room for improvement and growth.

Every journey begins with the first step!

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