You know that your sales pipeline is your most powerful resource—and yet developing and managing a sales pipeline can be complicated. There are many moving parts, and your pipeline can easily become cluttered with stagnant leads if you don’t stay on top of it.
Ready to build a strong pipeline that delivers a constant flow of paying clients? Check out our guide to learn more about the purpose of a sales pipeline, how to build one, and how to set sales pipeline goals that drive results.
What Is the Purpose of a Sales Pipeline?
You may know the basics of what a sales pipeline is, but if you’re still asking yourself, “What is the purpose of a sales pipeline?”, here’s our take.
A sales pipeline is an essential part of moving people through the sales journey, from when they first learn about the brand to the closing of the sale. The sales team learns to recognize each stage of the pipeline so they know what needs to happen to move the lead forward.
While there are many examples of a standard sales pipeline, you can customize your pipeline to fit your business’s needs. Just remember, a pipeline is most effective when it is organized and actionable.
How Do You Build a Strong Pipeline in Sales?
Now you understand that a sales pipeline is all about moving leads through the sales process more quickly and efficiently. If your pipeline fails to accomplish that goal, it probably needs an overhaul.
And how do you build a strong pipeline in sales? Here are some steps that will teach you how to create, manage, and increase your sales pipeline.
1. Create a Client Profile
A strong pipeline starts by identifying your target market. Without knowing exactly the type of customer you’re selling to, you’ll fail to connect with consumers.
2. Define the Stages of the Pipeline
No two companies are exactly alike, so it’s smart to create a pipeline suited to your company’s products and services. Each stage is a benchmark for future success, so take time to create stages that make sense for your brand and target audience.
3. Define Your Goals
What does a healthy pipeline look like for your business? How many opportunities do you want to have at each stage? What are your goals? Answer these questions before you take further action with your pipeline.
4. Analyze What’s Working
With every sales pipeline, there are leads that turn into sales and leads that are lost along the way. So what do those wins have in common? What do the losses have in common? You’ll build a stronger pipeline by learning to recognize these patterns, then adapting depending on what you find.
5. Keep Adding Leads
Do you ever put all of your focus into existing leads and forget to take the time to prospect? If so, you’ll end up with a dry pipeline sooner or later—so it’s key to add new leads along the way.
6. Clean Up the Pipeline
After nurturing your leads or reviving stagnant leads, you’ll go in for the final pitch. Whether it’s a win or a loss, it’s crucial to move the lead through all steps of the pipeline before you move on. Take time to clean up your pipeline so you’re only focusing on leads that might actually go somewhere.
Top Sales Pipeline Goals
No matter how strong your pipeline is, there’s always room for improvement. But it can be difficult to know where to begin or what you should be measuring. Fortunately, setting appropriate sales pipeline goals will help you get there.
Check out these top sales pipeline goals to take your performance to the next level.
1. Reduce Time Spent Selling
If prospecting and nurturing leads is taking up the bulk of your day, set a goal to reduce time spent selling. Conversational AI tools, like Aktify, can help streamline the stages of your pipeline by sending automated, personalized texts to leads so you have more time to focus on closing.
2. Increase Average Deal Size
For all the resources it takes to bring in new leads, you can save your company money and increase profits by boosting the average deal size. By analyzing the average deal size, you can also focus more on the clients and customers who give you a greater return on investment.
3. Shorten the Sales Cycle Length
Sales cycles can range anywhere from a few days to several months. But the shorter your sales cycle, the more money your business can make. So if you notice your sales cycle length is longer than it should be, set a goal to decrease the length over time. Paying more attention to these metrics will help you better anticipate future revenue.
4. Increase the Number of Opportunities
It’s important to have a constant flow of opportunities coming in on the left side of your pipeline. Realistically, the number of opportunities will decrease as you move through the pipeline. But, you should still aim to increase these numbers in each stage. As you analyze these numbers, you’ll be able to identify bottlenecks and streamline steps in the cycle.
5. Boost Your Win Rate
How many of your leads are turning into customers? If the number is unimpressive, it’s time to work on your win rate. You can determine this number by dividing qualified leads into the number of customers won or deals closed. Measuring wins will help motivate and reward your best sales reps while training your weaker reps to enhance performance.
Automate Your Sales Pipeline with Aktify
Don’t waste time with repetitive tasks that aren’t delivering results. Reach your sales pipeline goals with Aktify. Our conversational AI software acts as your virtual assistant, helping you better manage your sales pipeline, bring in more qualified leads, and boost conversion rates by 10% or more.
Aktify can even schedule appointments, take care of follow-up conversations, and answer common questions. Unlock new revenue and try Aktify today.