• I can’t keep track of my prospects

  • I have no new prospects

  • I think I have my pricing wrong

  • I don’t know how long prospects take to convert

Just some of the common statements I hear from many of the business owners I work with. In fact according to Hubsort only about 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. Which is shockingly low, but why is this?

I want you to think of the phrase, ‘sales pipeline’. What does that mean to you?

For me, it’s a method or set of tools that allow for a more simplistic sales approach. It’s a way of tracking and controlling the progress of sales leads, and in part allows me to understand my company’s sales performance. A tool that can easily help and resolve all the above problems and more.

Still not convinced? Salesforce state that sales teams are twice as likely (33%) to prioritise leads based on data analysis of “propensity to buy” rather than on intuition (16%). That’s the difference a sales pipeline or tool such as SPANCOP can do for your sales activity.

I realise that having a sales pipeline isn’t all unicorns and rainbows and does come with key frustrations, frustrations that cause people to turn away. Hopefully below I can tackle some of those frustrations and help you see the benefit of using a sales pipeline to prioritise your sales activity.

I don’t have time to continue updating my pipeline.

I appreciate we, as business owners or sales managers are all busy people that need to tackle more in our roles that just selling, Forbes even report that sales reps spend two-thirds of their time on none-revenue generating activities which is really alarming, that’s probably higher for sole trading or small business owners. So with the little time we have to sell, do we spend that updating a few lines within our CRM and sales pipeline, or use that time trying to remember who our prospects are, how close they are to closing and what they last said. Remember my above fact, sales teams are twice as likely to prioritise those they can see and analyse in their sales pipeline.

I know who I’m selling too.

In the present moment, things might seem simple. Leads are coming in, quickly converting and business is growing, but what happens when that slows down, and it will. Will you remember who you spoke to 6 months ago and who told you they weren’t yet ready to buy? Do you know how many sales you’ve missed and the potential income you could have earned? Do you know what companies buy in the summer, who you should be speaking to in the winter and when your business will sell less? Do you know the value of each customer? You may know who you’re selling too but a sales pipeline isn’t just for your current activities, it gives you a greater understanding of the health of your business.

It’s not relevant to me.

Cycle times, sales metrics, hit rate, churn rate. It can sound quite consuming and frustrating trying to make a sales pipeline fit to your business. But as I mentioned in my above point, it’s not just about the sales you make but also the health of your business. It helps answer questions like, ‘how many sales have I made?’ ‘How many are close to converting?’ How many should I expect in the next few months?’ These are the questions you should be asking and with the help of your sales pipeline easily analyse.

I just don’t understand it.

The key is driving down to the things that are relevant to you.

I really hope that helps getting over just a few of the key frustrations that I hear around sales pipeline. But if you are still thinking ‘I just don’t understand it’ please speak to me. There is a lot of noise around sales pipelines and talk across the internet can make it confusing, so I end with blog with one final tip, dig down to the processes and the analytics you need from a sales pipeline, and use those functions to build your sales pipeline strategy, again that’s here I can come in.

Additionally, if you want to take direct action immediately and improve your sales ability sign up to one of my upcoming 2020 events. You can see more about these events on the video below and also over on my Sales Growth Club Live page on the web!

The Sales Growth Club Live