Tracking progress of your deals is vital for the success of any sales team. The entire predefined path from the contract to the closing of the deal is a long process, and it is crucial you can follow it to the completion. That’s why it’s important to create an effective sales pipeline, as it is the best way of tracking the progress of a deal.
But, how to create an effective sales pipeline? Educating yourself towards this goal is the first step of the entire project.
How to create an effective sales pipeline?
We live in the age of technology. With that in mind, there are many software solutions on the market. However, to create an effective sales pipeline, you’ll need more than applications. What you need is a solid plan to follow. In just a few steps you can have an organizational structure to help you track every business deal. Not just those currently in motion, but all the deals in the future as well.
Customer relationship management
As mentioned, many industries use applications to improve their business. Just as movers use CRM software for their industry, so can you. Researching customer relations is the prerequisite for any successful plan you wish to make.
Here is how to think if you wish to create an effective sales pipeline:
- identify the ideal customer profile
- pinpoint target companies and accounts
- build a network of internal contacts
- reach out
- get busy with the pipeline
- closing handoff
It sounds like a lot to process, so let’s dive deeper into each of these steps.
Identify the ideal customer profile
The world of business and financing is full of potential customers. However, identifying the ideal customer profile is the key to success. Find the one who is buying what you’re selling, and success is guaranteed! Spend your time and resources only on the right people.
CEO or the founding team should be responsible for identifying ICP, but it’s important to know that this is not a fixed number, and it will change over time. That’s why the entire process should be repeated every year, so you can identify new ICPs’ that may emerge.
Pinpoint target companies and accounts
Once you know the ideal customer profile, it is time to locate companies that match. These companies will be your clientele. Just like when identifying ICP, the cadence of the step should be 1-year minimum. People responsible for this part of the organizational plan are CEO, founding team, or VP of Sales.
Build a network of internal contacts
Once you have a foundation you can work on, define the essential criteria you’ll look at when reaching out to customers. Next step would be to build a list of internal contacts you can use to reach out to clients. Every contact should have the name of the person, and the title in the company with contact details. A clever way to improve this list is to research the company and the person and add personal details to the list.
You can do this in two ways:
- Buy a list of predefined clients and contacts. While it has the advantage of automation, the information may be stale, and there is no personalization.
- Make a list manually, adding all contacts with details yourself. This is a longer process, but the return is more beneficial since you will be familiar with all contacts. And, you can add all the personal details you deem needed.
Reach out to clients
Here is where the fun part begins. Your SDRs and BDRs should start reaching out to the contacts from the list. Whether it is via a phone call, e-mail, social media or a visit, outbound sales representatives should reach out to clients at least once in the three-month period. Furthermore, when reaching out, contact a minimum of three people from the list.
“Get busy” with the pipeline
In simple words, this means to get to work! You’ve achieved the most basic organizational structure of the sales pipeline, and now you have to work on it. Your sales representatives are the ones who talk with people, making schedules and appointments.
The primary goal is to build an authentic relationship with your clients. You have the service they need, and sales reps should work daily on improving relations with their contact.
The last cog in this machine is the Account Executive. He is the primary person who should be in charge of completing the deal. Once a sales representative reaches out to the contact person in the company and starts making a business deal, they have to make sure the entire process is without any hiccups.
However, in the end, the closing handoff goes to AE, so they can work on the finalizing the deal or assessing other needs. You should re-evaluate the entire process quarterly, to make sure everything runs smoothly. Organize meetings with sales reps and account executives, and discuss any improvements or problems that may arise.
Create an effective sales pipeline made easy
As you can see, it is not so simple to create an effective sales pipeline. It requires a lot of planning and dedication, but it pays off in the long run. Furthermore, it is a necessity for any business. Investing your time and money into research adds to the value of your business, and increases the rates of success.