How You Can Increase Your Sales Pipeline by Improving Lead Generation
What is a sales pipeline and how is it different from a sales funnel? We'll help you differentiate the two and give you tips on how you can increase your pipeline.
The Sales Pipeline is a major part of maximizing sales revenue. If your average sales cycle takes months to close, it is even more important for you to have a clear Sales Pipeline that would allow you to better track the progress of each deal.
Building a powerful Sales Pipeline is vital to growing your business. It is a very powerful way of enabling sellers to track the status of each deal. Focusing on the sales pipeline will enable your company to maximize sales revenue. Using the proper tools and sales methodologies can help you grow your sales pipeline.
But before we get started, we must be clear on what a Sales Pipeline is because many people often confuse it with a Sales Funnel.
- A Sales Funnel is about leads. It is composed of the stages in the sales process that your leads go through before becoming customers.
- A Sales Pipeline, on the other hand, is about deals. A Sales Pipeline is a specific sequence of actions that a sales rep has to do in order to move a prospect towards becoming a paying customer.
So. How can you improve your entire Sales Pipeline in order to make your business more profitable?
1. Focus on the Most Qualified Leads
It all starts with leads. Leads are qualified prospects who will most likely become customers. Qualified leads are those who have shown interest in your product or service through their actions. If you have got a page on your website that collects leads for your business by asking web visitors to share their contact info, you can add fields to the form that can help you gather information and help you decide if a lead is qualified or not.
If you don’t know who you’re targeting, you won’t be able to get qualified leads - so, create the right marketing strategies. Choosing the right marketing tactics requires a deep understanding of your industry, your ideal client, and, overall, a thorough comprehension of which marketing strategies will benefit your business the most.
2. Remember to Follow-Up
The best salespeople will make sure they keep following up with leads in order to land the sale. When you are in discussion with a potential client, you need to understand that you’re trying to create a win-win situation. The client needs your services and you need the business. So, don’t feel guilty about following-up.
Arrange for a ‘thank you’ email or phone call to be made within 12-24 hours after a lead comes in. Email is an excellent way to stay in touch with your prospects.
Following up via a phone call isn’t easy, since most people don’t usually buy on first contact. Make an appointment to check-in again after about a week, and don’t forget to ask appropriate questions that can help you determine if the lead has the means or permission to make a purchasing decision. If they are not in the position to make decisions about purchase your product or software, ask if the deciding person would be interested in a phone call or an email exchange.
A sound sales follow-up strategy with new clients is a surefire way to boost your revenues – it allows you to sell more to existing customers and to get referrals that can be potential customers.
3. Monitor Your Sales Pipeline
A Sales Pipeline is a set of stages that a prospect moves through as you guide them towards becoming a new customer. It shows you how many open deals you have, which stage they’re in, which need your attention, and if you can reach your targets.
A Sales Pipeline plays a key role both in closing more deals and in indicating the future direction of your company. Pipelines provide an overview into each sales rep’s activities. By understanding where you are at each pipeline stage for each customer or opportunity, you can take steps to allocate resources to help better close deals.