One thing that remains the same in any industry and for most brands is that getting prospects to approach our company and make a purchase in one go is a dream. We all want a 100% closing rate, but the process of converting a prospect into a customer takes time.
The process is usually long. From the beginning of the customer journey until the end – the sales funnel is what marketing and sales teams have to tackle in order to hit revenue goals.
So is there a magic process to follow to close more deals? If you have been dealing with prospects for some time, chances are you’ve already got a sales pipeline – you just haven’t realized it yet.
When you’re focusing on the right sales process, the more control you’ve got over the sales pipeline, and the more likely you are to succeed.
So What’s a Sales Pipeline?
A sales pipeline is the goal you set for yourself in terms of the amount of sales (in dollar value) you want to achieve in a given period of time – a month, a quarter or year. According to research, only 56% of sales reps feel their pipeline is accurate. That’s why in order to manage a pipeline, you have to put a process in place that builds and tracks each stage of the sales cycle. If you succeed at managing it well, you will be more in control of the amount of business you close.
According to a report by the Sales Management Association, 44% of execs think their company is ineffective at managing the sales pipeline. But how do you know you are actually good at it? Let’s look at the top two warning signs you should be paying attention to that may show you that you are heading in the the wrong direction in your sales process.
1. Leads aren’t moving fast enough from one stage to another.
So you’ve got lots of opportunities, but you’re struggling to manage them along with your activities in order to complete the sales process. To be successful, you should focus on making sure that each lead is managed and organized. And this takes effort. Moving the sales process forward means being keen on following up with customers and leaving meetings with a confirmation of the next touch point – like a phone call, or a booked time for a follow-up presentation.
2. You’re losing focus of opportunities.
Top performers keep focus on their opportunities and are better able to recognize priorities without losing focus of the most important buyers. Focusing on sales-ready leads is a key priority. These are the ones that are ready to close. By keeping focus on this segment of buyers you are close to following through with a sale.
By avoiding these paths, you will ensure that you are in control of the sales pipeline. And when you are in control of it, you are on your way to closing more deals. What kind of processes have hindered you from following through with prospects and customers in the past? It’s time to make sure you are on the right track to fixing up that sales pipeline.