Your sales pipeline is probably an integral part of your sales process, but how well is it managed on a daily basis? I have clients that spend far too much time simply staring at pipeline reports, unsure what to make of the information, and others that admit they don’t know how to successfully manage their sales pipeline. If you hope to close more sales, successfully manage your sales team, and attract more prospects you’ll need to start managing your sales pipeline much more effectively. The following three strategies will be extremely helpful as you begin to reevaluate how to manage your pipeline.
- Commit time daily and/or weekly to review and manage your sales pipeline – Don’t be afraid to allocate time to review and adjust your pipeline daily or weekly. Your sales pipeline is an incredibly important part of your sales cycle, give it the time it deserves. Reviewing your sales pipeline requires analyzing the robustness of your opportunities – are you constantly adding to your pipeline without closing sales? A slim, well thought out pipeline tends to produce stronger, more significant sales. Spend time with your sales team going over successful pipeline opportunity examples and strategies for maintaining a slim pipeline. If you are having trouble finding the time to incorporate daily sales pipeline management into your schedule, be sure to avoid these common time management mistakes.
- Analyze results – In order to understand how your pipeline is working (or not working), take the time to analyze both your wins and losses. This will help to paint a clear picture of who typically moves through your timeline, and the strategies that closed the sale. Start by looking at your results twice weekly. Use these metrics to set up consistent, regular data comparisons.
- Number of opportunities at each stage
- Average size of the prospects in your pipeline
- Average number of opportunities that make successfully make it through your pipeline
- Average amount of time deals stay in each stage of your pipeline
- Designate a member of your sales team to be the Pipeline Manager – A pipeline manager will be able to pull metrics every week or so, analyze the results, and commit time to pipeline management. If your team is small, consider rotating the management position. This will allow your team to participate in the management and analysis of your sales pipeline without taking too much time away from sales calls and activities.
Starting with these steps will create a good foundation for your pipeline management. For more information on sales success, download my 10 Tools for Sales Success and get started today!