A Healthy Sales Pipeline

Sales Funnel

A healthy sales Pipeline is critical to an organisations sales success.

You might think you have enough deals to make your number. But in truth, your sales pipeline may be clogged with dead ends. A healthy sales pipeline is one where new business opportunities are well qualified with your business offering the most convincing sales proposition.

Overestimating the sales pipeline size is a common trap. For many sales organizations, the problems run deep. Their systems and processes are inadequate. They just can’t keep the pipeline full and flowing.

The keys to a healthy sales pipeline involve 5 elements

1. You’re Neglecting Your Leads.

Your lead management process is inconsistent or incoherent. You’re not making optimal use of marketing automation, content and data. Sales receives too many unqualified leads, and neglected leads fall through the cracks.

Likely issues

  • Your Sales, marketing and account executives aren’t receiving proper on boarding and training.
  • Your nurture pathways are ineffective.
  • You’re relying on the wrong campaign KPIs.

2. You’re Not in Tune with Your Customers’ Buying Process.

You’re relying on an outdated sales process. It doesn’t reflect an accurate decision making journey. Leads aren’t being verified, and your sales team is spinning its wheels, or turning off prospects completely.

Likely issues

  • You’re unclear about what buyers want from you at later stages of the decision process.
  • You have no way of knowing when buyers exit one stage of the funnel and enter the next.

Nothing is more important than understanding where your buyer is in their purchasing journey and anticipating their questions.

3. You Struggle to Turn Buyer Interest Into Sales.

Your sales team can’t access the resources they need to execute the sales process. Conversion rates remain low, and reps go their own way. Technology isn’t making the sales process any easier.

Likely issues

  • Reps aren’t prioritizing and qualifying opportunities.
  • Your CRM technology isn’t optimized for reps’ use.
  • Your sales enablement efforts aren’t having the desired impact.

You need a comprehensive buyer engagement plan that outlines your approach in detail.

4. You Don’t Have a Process for Pipeline/Forecast Management.

You haven’t established a process or the sales team isn’t trained on it. No one is regularly monitoring your pipeline’s health. End-of-quarter surprises are the norm.

Likely issues

  • You’re relying on periodic CRM snapshots.
  • You’re making one-off changes to win percentages.
  • You rush through deal-by-deal reviews when data is changed.

5. You’re Not Diving Deep Into the Data.

You look at high-level indicators without considering the details that feed into them. Without the proper context, you draw faulty conclusions about your pipeline.

Likely issues

  • You haven’t considered the sub-metrics.
  • You only focus on late-stage deals.
  • You don’t know why deals are assigned to their respective stages.

You Hold The keys to a healthy sales pipeline

Lead management, customer insights, sales process, pipeline management. These are the first four keys to pipeline health. The fifth is a healthy dose of scepticism. Never assume the pipeline is as it appears. It’s up to you to prove it.

How a CRM can help

A CRM system benefits an organisation through the visibility of its sales activities. This visibility is fundamental to managing sales performance and control of the sales process. This visibility enables management to understand why, when, who and how opportunities are being won, stalled, or being lost.  If it cannot be monitored, it cannot be managed. The visibility offered within the CRM system also allows management to make educated business decisions based on hard data. A CRM system will enable structured data to be used to access performance. This assessment should indicate which sales person is out performing others.

ProAptivity are an independent CRM solutions provider. We focus on the implementation, training, and support of highly customised CRM software solutions. Our CRM software supported by our sales training provide customers with the tools needed to deliver successful sales process management.

Fundamentally, we help organisations embed CRM best practice throughout their organisation. This helps organisations become more competitive, customer focused and ultimately more profitable.

If you need help in understanding why my business needs CRM, maybe some of our  eBooks could help! Alternatively visit Maximizer CRM for more information. Contact us today in Belfast on 028 9099 6388 or at our Bedford office on 01234 214004. Alternatively email us on info@proaptivity.com. Contact us today for a free CRM consultation that will assess if your business is CRM ready.

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