For any business owner, having a working sales pipeline is critical to their success. Modern business is all about growth and scalability, and the only way you can reach those goals is by closing deals consistently with your clients.
Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult for business owners or sales managers to know where to start when building a sales pipeline. In this article, we'll give you a step-by-step guide to building a sales pipeline from scratch that will help your business close more deals and hit its growth goals.
There are a few scenarios where you might need to start from scratch and build a sales pipeline:
Regardless of the reason why you may need to start from scratch and build a sales pipeline, it is important that you approach this process carefully. Your sales pipeline will be the foundation of your company's success in generating new leads and closing deals, so you want to be sure that it is as effective and efficient as possible.
Also, with 73% of Chief Sales Officers expecting sales budgets to increase in 2022, now is the perfect time to focus on optimizing your sales pipeline and making sure it is up to par.
Sales pipelines have many stages, and as a business owner, it is important to understand the sales cycle if you want to effectively connect with potential customers and close more deals.
The most common sales pipeline stages are:
By using the four stages of the sales pipeline, you can better understand your customers' needs and how to connect with them at each stage of the buying process.
To begin building your sales pipeline, start by identifying your target market and defining your ideal customer profile. You can also create buyer personas, which will help you identify the types of leads that are most likely to convert into sales, so you can focus on attracting the right prospects to your business.
To implement this step, you may want to conduct market research, use data analytics tools, or collaborate with your sales team to identify key trends and opportunities in your industry.
Once you've identified your target market, the next step is to develop a strong value proposition that resonates with potential customers. This involves clearly articulating the unique benefits of your product or service and how it can solve your customer's specific problems.
Your value proposition should be concise, compelling, and differentiated from your competition. It should also be aligned with the needs of your target market. This step is critical in building a sales pipeline that generates quality leads.
As we mentioned earlier, sales pipelines typically have four stages: prospecting, engagement, negotiation, and delivery.
It's important to understand the steps involved in each of these sales stages so you can effectively connect with sales prospects and close more deals. This will also help you develop targeted content and messaging for each stage of the buyer's journey.
You can also identify your average sales cycle length and the average amount of each sale to better plan your sales processes and budget. This may involve implementing lead tracking and CRM software to collect data on your sales pipeline.
Once you've built your sales pipeline, it's important to qualify your leads to determine which ones are most likely to convert into customers. This helps you focus your time and resources on the most promising sales prospects.
There are a number of criteria you can use to qualify leads, such as budget, authority, need, timeline, and fit. You should also develop lead scoring criteria based on factors like lead behavior and demographics to help you prioritize your leads.
With the right lead qualification process in place, you can identify which leads are most likely to buy from you and focus your sales efforts on closing more deals.
Now that you know your target market and the types of leads you're looking for, it's time to start generating leads. There are a number of lead generation tactics you can use to attract potential customers to your business, including:
To make sure you can meet your sales targets and revenue goals, it's important to have the right sales team in place. From your sales managers to your sales reps, each member of your team should be properly trained and equipped to sell your products or services, as this can affect just how many deals you can close.
You should also ensure cohesion between your sales and marketing team. This will help you generate more leads and drive greater sales results.
In order to make informed sales decisions, you need to have access to accurate and up-to-date data. This may include your target market information, sales forecasts and forecast revenue, lead generation metrics, and sales pipeline data.
You should also track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as revenue, conversion rates, or average deal size. By tracking your KPIs, you can make sure your sales efforts are having a positive impact on your business. You should also identify your key business value drivers, such as sales revenue or profit, and use these metrics to set your sales targets.
As your business and market change, it's important to review and update your sales pipeline. This will help you fine-tune your marketing strategy, identify new lead generation tactics, and reprioritize your existing sales efforts.
You should also be prepared to make changes to the way you recruit and train sales reps – or even hire new ones – as your business grows. By regularly reviewing and adjusting your sales pipeline, you can ensure that it's always aligned with your business goals.
Using the steps outlined above, you can effectively build your own sales pipeline from scratch. However, outsourced sales pipeline management can be a great way to supplement your in-house sales team.
An outsourced sales team can provide expert support and guidance, as well as a fresh perspective on your sales operations. Outsourcing can also free up time for your in-house sales reps to focus on selling, rather than managing their pipeline.
An outsourced sales rep, team, or even sales manager can also help ensure sales qualified leads, as they are experienced in working with leads and can quickly identify any potential issues.
At Pace Digital Sales, we can help you create and implement an effective sales pipeline from scratch that will drive results for your business.
Our team of sales experts can provide support and guidance at every stage of the process, from lead generation to sales pipeline management. Then, if you want to take over once we've got your pipeline off the ground, we can offer your team all the resources and sales training it needs to succeed. We also offer a range of outsourced sales services that can manage your pipeline from start to finish.