Odds are, your pipeline has you fooled.
You might think you have enough deals to make your number. But in truth, your pipeline may be clogged with dead ends, with new business opportunities, or new product buyers needing more convincing.
Overestimating 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 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.
- 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You’re relying on an outdated sales process.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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 skepticism. Never assume the pipeline is as it appears. It’s up to you to prove it.
ProAptivity specialise in the delivery of CRM solution. Supporting this we help organisation implement best practice with regards sales and account management. To find out more, contact ProAptivity on 028 90735630 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Sales Benchmark Index