When sales are flooding in, it’s common in business not to concern yourself too much with your sales pipeline. But when times are hard, you look to your sales pipeline as a source of comfort, reassurance and hopefully some quick wins.
But what do you do if your sales pipeline is dried up?
There’s only one thing that you can do in this situation, and that’s to start again. You need to start the process of identifying who to target. Which lead sources can you use and who can you qualify as hot prospects? You then need to begin learning about the solutions they seek and how you can help them with your products and services.
Some quick tips on building your sales pipeline;
- Source leads, ensuring you do it appropriately and compliantly. Match the leads to your ‘ideal customer profile’ as much as possible.
- Qualify leads using criteria which will help you categorise prospects into segments. For example, you may have some more urgent than others or want to select different contact methods for each segments.
- Design the activity and milestones for your sales pipeline. For example, will you use the phone or email, or do you want to meet face to face? What does success look like at each milestone?
- Begin your sales activity – think about which sales approach you use and why. When we say sales approach, we mean are you transactional or consultative, is the focus more on inbound or outbound, have your team been trained a consistent way to approach sales?
- Record your activity and outcomes so that you can spot trends and understand conversion rates. We’d advise you use a CRM for this, but you can always start with a spreadsheet until it becomes too big to manage.
- Remove any blockages or obstacles which limit your sales pipeline success. Make sure you understand what it is which prevents success.
- Seek training and coaching to help you improve conversion rates. It’s sometimes easier for a third party to see the opportunities and help you to maximise them.
- If you manage a team of people, make sure you understand variances in sales pipeline performance so that you can help and support.
Recording activity shows you how hard you try, whereas conversion rates show you how good you are when you try.
Founder of Momentum South West, Rachael Howourth, delivered a talk at the Like Minds Ideas Festival in Exeter. The talk lasts for 20 minutes and covers some key points to specifically help you grow your sales pipeline.
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