The success or failure of a company in relation to its business process at all stages depends on the correct pipeline management.
There is no magic recipe for better sales results. But if there’s one thing that can’t be overlooked, it’s undoubtedly the way companies manage their sales pipeline.
There is – and you should know this better than anyone else – no business that thrives in a disorganized way. Processes are important and cannot be overlooked.
From prospecting to post-sales, the best way to work to sell more and better goes through an organized, visual and easy-to-understand pipeline.
You may be reluctant, disagree on some points, but at some point it will be inevitable to realize that new business is tied to the pipeline and its assertive management.
In this article, in addition to defining its concept, we will talk about the importance of correct pipeline management. In addition, we will go through indicators that you cannot overlook and how managers can have greater control over it.
Stay with us.
What is pipeline?
Is Pipeline a new word for you? But what about a sales funnel? These are two terms that mean the same thing – the mapped steps of the companies’ sales process. It’s the trading workflow, especially when it comes to inside sales.
Here we are not just talking about what the seller, the so-called closer, deals with. Pipeline can be marketing, pre-sales, contracts, orders, success and as many others as needed.
Is there a defined process with well-structured steps? So it can be configured in a pipeline. There is no rule. Each company has as many pipelines as they need – it will just depend on the complexity of their business.
Every trade that is made with a prospect goes through the so-called cadence flow, flowing through all the trading steps you’ve set up in your pipeline.
If we think about complex sales, such as B2B sales, the need to have an efficient management of this resource grows even more.
After all, the trading volume is much higher. There are more contacts with potential customers, the sales cycle in general is longer, the average ticket is higher… and how can you keep track of all this if there is no record or organization of what has been done and what needs to be done?
Knowing where you want to go is important. But the way you get there, this one makes all the difference.
Which indicators are important in pipeline management?
For a correct pipeline management, it is necessary to pay attention to some indicators. Knowing them, having them very clear gives security to act in the commercial routine and, of course, what you always need: improve processes.
Among the benefits, we highlight 4:
- Open business – know what is being handled by your sales team in real time within your CRM Online, for example;
- Average ticket – how much did each sale yield on average for the company? Knowing is essential to be able to control the MRR of your business;
- Sales cycle – how long, from first to last contact with the lead, did the sale take to occur? Analyze, measure and seek to reduce time;
- Team Productivity – what is the ratio of open opportunities versus successfully completed opportunities? Identify this indicator and analyze how these numbers can be improved.
Regarding the latter: the bottleneck may not be in the work of the sales team.
Cold leads may be coming from marketing, or SDRs are not qualifying prospects for the sale, which will hurt the salesperson’s job and, of course, the sales result.
CRM PipeRun · Importance – Of – Structuring – the- Sector – of – Pre – Sales
But without the pipeline, without the business process control, how would you know that?
Organized funnels, strong processes: 5 benefits of correct pipeline management
It is necessary to give salespeople the conditions to achieve the desired goals and objectives – both professionally and personally. Therefore, training, the use of appropriate tools, a healthy sales routine and, of course, the correct pipeline management must be included.
This last point is up to the sales leader, but, of course, it can be everyone’s construction. After all, the sales process is a daily construction and it will hardly be 100% ready.
But what is the importance of using the sales pipeline in the daily lives of companies?
The truth is that, without its use, it is impossible to have sales control of any business that involves negotiation.
It is through its use that it is possible to identify where the business process fails and where it is strong. See which actions are productive and which ones just don’t work – and then take a decision to fix it in a much safer way.
Every company wants to sell more, better and always be a reference in what it does, right? But how can this be possible if managers simply cannot see, map the sales that the company makes?
Even better than knowing how and why the company sold, is understanding how and why the company did NOT sell. And if you know this, you will be able to greatly improve the commercial results of your business.
Shall we break this down? Check out 5 benefits of correct pipeline management in companies:
1 – Much more productivity
Focus on what is needed. Do not repeat tasks already done. Having an organized pipeline management, with well-defined stages, is essential for increasing the productivity of salespeople in particular.
After all, efforts are directed towards the steps that make the most sense to the prospect. That’s why efficiency and effectiveness when selling are not the same thing.
In this, the importance of having your journey recorded in the pipeline grows, knowing what requirements it has already fulfilled, helping to drive the sales pitch.
Focus on tasks according to their importance and on potential customers according to their maturity. That’s increasing productivity. That’s selling more and better.
2 – Know what to do and when to do it
When should I send an email? Request a phone contact or make an appointment? These are doubts that do not exist when the correct pipeline management takes place.
Within your business process you determine that, after completing an action, what the next step will be.
For example, if the prospect clicked on the CTA of your email that delivered rich material about some functionality of the service you sell, then it’s time to engage the pre-sales team. He gets in touch with that person, asks about his pains, and asks if he’s interested in making an appointment with the seller.
But how do you know what to do and when to do it if you don’t have your pipeline organized, right?
And to help you in the mission, with a CRM software you have alerts of stagnation of opportunities. If by chance the responsible professional forgot to make contact with the lead after so many days (you configure how many), an alert is issued so that this action does not cease to occur.
3 – Sales Forecast
It is a matter of strategy, but also of security, to obtain the so-called predictable revenue. This is undoubtedly one of the main benefits of efficiently managing the pipeline.
As negotiations evolve and follow a pattern that you identify in the pipeline, you can have a forecast of when the sale will be sealed. And, from there, understand how many can be done in a month, a year.
4 – Measurement of the sales cycle
The above item is directly linked with that. Inside the pipeline you can see when the lead entered the first step and how long it took to reach the last one. That is, understanding the duration of the buyer’s journey until he, in fact, becomes a customer.
Even better. By doing this, you’ll know which customers are the fastest close and turn your lead generation strategies to that ideal customer profile.
Then, with a shorter sales cycle, you will be able to sell more, have predictable revenue, hit more goals and see the sales team producing even more.
5 – Constant improvement
Business processes are never fully ready, as we said above. And this constant improvement of your pipeline requires a good understanding of your pipeline.
Identify in which stages there are bottlenecks – prospecting, qualification or sales? If there is churning, isn’t customer success being left out? The sale does not end after “acceptance” by the customer.
Feedback meetings are important to gather a 360° view of what is done in the sales sector. And, to speed up and share knowledge, attach everything that is valid and useful on a day-to-day basis into the sales playbook and make it available to teams.
So, how can we help you?
We hope it’s clear to you the importance of pipeline management and how it can make or break your business.
Enjoy and see two contents that may be useful for you.
The first is rich material that shows you how to build your sales pipeline. You can download it by clicking here.
The second talks about the importance of correct sales management for all companies.