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By Ramsha. 01 October 2020
10 Ways to Control the sales pipeline

Are your sales going stagnant? Are you looking for ways of enhancing the efficiency of sales? In your sales pipeline, the response may be.   If there is one thing that is well achieved by high performing sales teams, it's handling their pipeline. But, how can the pipeline and processes be enhanced?   Improving your sales pipeline means updating, from sales admin to follow-up, your entire sales process. Here, we share 10 ways for your pipeline to be better handled.

In any effective organization, it plays an important part.
72 percent of sales, managers conduct sales pipeline analysis meetings with their sales representatives multiple times a month, according to research by Vantage Point.

63 % of respondents, however, claim that their businesses are doing a poor job of handling their revenue pipelines, which indicates that there is significant potential for improvement!

Sales and in today's digitally-connected world is even more data-driven than ever before. This ensures that we not only have access to a wealth of data to work with, but we are much more responsible for it as well.

A recent CSO Insights study found that "Executives are under more pressure than ever to grasp their company's pulse"-and the sales pipeline is at the core of most companies.

What is the pipeline for sales?
A sales pipeline is a visual snapshot of where the sales process is for prospects. org shows you how many deals are expected to close by salespeople in a given week, month, or year and how close a rep is to reaching their sales quota.
If you have a contract value pipeline worth $100,000 and your conversion rate is 10 percent from lead to a sale, then you can expect a new company worth $10,000 to close.

If the sales goal is $20,000, so twice as many leads would have to be converted. This is where the study of pipelines comes in. If you can recognize changes within your pipeline that will allow you to transfer more prospects from one stage to another, then you will be more efficient in your job And what is the greatest reason for your pipeline to improve?

It is the growth of profits!      
A Harvard Business Review study found that between firms that described a structured sales process and firms that did not, there was an 18 percent difference in revenue growth.

Additionally, Businesses that have mastered three particular pipeline practices have seen 28 percent higher sales growth!   In particular, for B2B transactions, maintaining a healthy sales pipeline enables you to:
1. Enhance the method of revenue   
2. Anticipate potential market outcomes   
3. For your business, evaluate various sales strategies
4. To close or service upcoming sales, manage and assign capital
5. For the current financial year, and check your progress
6. Know how far from the goals you are
7. A sales pipeline has a vital role to play as a bot

10 best practices for handling the pipeline of sales

We’ve put together 10 best practice tips to help you transform the way you manage your pipeline. We’ll start with the more practical sales techniques and then we will show you how to improve the entire pipeline management process to make your business more successful.

1. Remember to follow up Today, consumers have more options than ever before and need more guidance to make the right choice and choose your product or service with it. It took only 3.68 sales calls to close a deal ten years ago Today, it takes more than 8!  In order to land the deal, the best salespeople can make sure they keep following up with leads. But, in fact, after 2 calls, most sales professionals give up, so make sure that you always follow up.       It is not quick to follow up. In reality, it is currently ranked as the sales teams' third biggest challenge. One way to follow up is to set up a reminder that notifies you each time a prospect needs to be followed up. Another option is to fully automate the process by using one of the sales email templates to follow up automatically on a particular date or after a certain time span (i.e. two weeks after the initial phone call).

2. Concentrate on the best leads   If you look at the sales process in more detail, you will probably find that it takes about the same amount of time to close each deal. Instead, make sure that you focus your attention on the strongest, most sales-ready, high value leads, and avoid distracting yourself from something that will not push the needle for you or your business.   For instance, if you sort your sales dashboard from high to low, you can immediately see the leads are the most important to your company instead of by date. You will determine which leads are the most involved and which ones you should then concentrate on by viewing your sales activities with each lead.  

3. Dead Leads Drop
As important as concentrating on high value leads are, it is just as important to realize when to let go of a lead as well.     Letting go can be difficult, especially when you have been building and maintaining a relationship with them for weeks or even months.      
When they explicitly indicate that they are not involved, when they cannot be reached, or you have talked to them many times, a lead is dead and they cannot be moved forward to the next step of the pipeline.

4. Pipeline metrics track A living, breathing organism that changes all the time is your sales pipeline. Therefore, you need to monitor the main sales metrics it creates, which include items such as:     In your pipeline, the number of deals   The average size in your pipeline of the deals   The average proportion of deals you win (close ratio)   A deal's average lifetime until it is closed (sales speed) Make sure you set aside time to periodically review these metrics on a weekly basis as they will provide you with an 'at a glance' view of the health of your sales pipeline and your business.   Watching the outcomes over time would also, provide you with a clear indicator of how any improvements or adjustments you make to your sales process lead to overall growth.

5. Evaluate the pipeline processes (and strengthen them) Tomorrow, a sales tactic that works today does not work (remember cold calling?).   With the implementation of GDPR and how it affects sales teams, this is particularly true. To ensure that things are fine-tuned and highly optimized to ensure optimum performance and profitability, the best sales companies periodically review their sales pipeline and techniques. When it comes to sales, everything can be changed and modified over time before you find a good formula, from the first sales pitch, the number of follow-ups to the deals you make.   The best way to handle these changes is to look at where you think your pipeline has bottlenecks or blockages and explore ways they can be cleaned out. You may test improvements or run mini "sales tests" from there to try to constantly develop each part of the process.      
Your pipeline will become a well-oiled sales machine in no time if you look at making these adjustments bit by bit and one at a time!

6. Regularly update the pipeline Your sales pipeline is evolving constantly.  Fresh leads are introduced, leads from one point to the next pass through and deals are closed. Your sales pipeline will begin to get a little disorganized and messy if you're not careful, which will render you inefficient and may lead to lost sales. To prevent this, you need to ensure those specifics on every single lead are kept up-to-date by adding daily notes and information for each sales point. Yeah, this means you need to spend more time on admin, but if you use this time to delete dead leads or update outdated contact data, then it's well-spent time.

7. Keep a fast sales period The sales period for B2B businesses can belong, unlike B2C. 75% of all B2B sales currently take at least 4 months to close, with 18% taking 12 months or longer! 27 percent of sales reps believe, according to CSO Insights, a long sales cycle is one of the greatest obstacles to sales effectiveness. The explanation for this is simple: the longer your sales process, the more likely you are to change your mind or find an alternative product or service to solve your dilemma.   That's why keeping your sales process as short as possible is crucial.  If you find that most of your leads are cold and you don't sell enough to meet your sales goals, then you may have a problem with the duration of your sales process. Lowering the duration of the sales process does not mean that you should bombard the leads in a single a day with all 8-12 follow-ups, but it does mean that you should consider ways to shorten it where appropriate.   This may mean reducing the number of days between follow-ups or finding ways to provide more details upfront for your prospects to help shorten their decision-making time.      
Try to play with a different, quicker, sales process and keep an eye on how the sales outcomes are improved.  

8. Create a standardized sales process
It’s easy to think that each customer is different and requires their own custom approach to closing a sale. More so, you may notice that your sales reps are employing varying sales techniques. They may create their own routines, be it outreach, sales calls, one-on-one meetings, live demonstrations, or follow-ups.   But, if you really think of it, your ideal target customers have a lot of things in common. The truth is that their underlying needs and reasons for buying from you are all broadly similar – and it’s this you should use to your advantage to standardizing your sales pipeline.   Not to mention that the best performing sales teams do follow a standardized sales process, which enables them to scale and consistently win new business.   This is why 1 in 3 sales managers rank optimizing their sales process as a top sales management priority. It takes time for custom sales strategies to add huge overhead, which affects the bottom line. A structured, repeatable, overtime sales process can be fine-tuned to perfection and can scale up as the company expands.  

9. Giving more material to your prospects
Although telephone calls and emails are at the center of most sales contact, prospects may also need more comprehensive information to help them understand whether their company is right for your product or service.     Think about what kind of content you can offer your prospects for and stage of the pipeline that will help strengthen your message and carry them through to the next level.       Content plays an even more significant role in pushing prospects forward. As for subjects, the solution lies in listening to what your prospective clients have to say.   They'll give you insight into the types of content they want at each point of the pipeline during sales meetings. For instance, they might ask you for something as simple as "Do you have an article explaining this feature?" or "may I download a product sheet?" ”.Send it if you have this sort of content!   If not, then your marketing department should be fed back with this data. The problem here is that only 27 percent of sales managers who are out in the field and meet with prospects work with content development marketing.   You will generate content that potential consumers want to buy (which is a crucial part of the consumer journey) by allowing sales and marketing departments to work together, rather than putting out content that ends up being wasted.  

10. To control your sales using a CRM (consumer relationship management)
You need to make sure you handle it efficiently because the sales pipeline is full of leads and leads are all at various stages of the process. If you are a one-person sales company with a small budget and only make a few sales a month, then you can monitor all the information in your pipeline using a simple Excel spreadsheet. However, you'll need to start using a CRM (consumer relationship management)a framework to keep track of all your sales activities as your company expands. A CRM (consumer relationship management) can not only automate many processes for you, but it will help you monitor metrics, handle large volume leads easily, and allow your team to access the correct information quickly at the right time.  

It is possible to equate a sales pipeline to the beating heart of your business. That's why it is hard to overestimate its meaning and importance.    
This means that if you don't effectively manage your pipeline, then you risk missing out on potential customers and your company will suffer from more than 60% of sales managers claiming that their business does a bad job of handling their sales pipeline, you may need to change the way of working, too. The 10 best practices we have provided will help you keep your sales pipeline beating at a healthy rate, make your job more structured and coordinated, shorten and speed up your sales cycles, and achieve your sales quota faster, all the while giving your company growth and benefit.