6 Signs Your Business Isn’t Using Effective Sales Pipeline Management

When a company struggles or sees a drop off in sales, they think that increasing sales generation is all that is necessary to turn things around. However, while increased sales can be part of the solution it is rarely the whole solution by itself.

To understand why sales are declining, a company needs to look at their total sales process from the start to the completion of the sale. This process is the sales pipeline, and sales pipeline management is key to the success of any company.

Continue reading for six signs that your business needs to evaluate its sales pipeline management and make changes.

1. You Treat Every Customer the Same

If you’re treating every customer the same regardless of what their background is, needs are, or desires, then you’re wrong. Not every customer is the same.

No two customers are the same. Some make large purchases while others buy in smaller amounts. Their reasons for why they buy what they do and how they make their decisions will differ as well.

When interacting with customers, each one needs to feel like they are getting their own personalized experience. This will help to not only generate more sales and retain current customers but will also build a relationship with your customers.

Customer relations is key. Every person should feel like they are unique and different from the rest of your customers because they are.

2. Likely Sales Are Suddenly Dead in the Water

Are more and more sales you thought were sure things stalling or becoming dead in the water? Chances are if this is the case, it’s because of your sales pipeline.

You should push every sale that enters into your pipeline forward towards closing. Generating leads is great, but those leads are worthless if they don’t convert to actual sales.

Focus on conversion rates and motivating your sales team to be on top of those leads. They should be guiding and helping leads along towards an actual sale, and convert their time and energy into profits.

3. It’s Taking Too Long to Close a Sale

On the topic of moving leads towards a sale and increasing conversion rates, do you find that the process of closing a sale or deal takes too long?

If you feel like it is taking too long, imagine how the customer feels. While you don’t want to badger the customer into making a purchase, you also don’t want to give them too much time to think about it.

Sometimes, customers need that final nudge to make the sale. You can do this in a number of ways, the simplest of which is email reminders.

Ever had a customer leave a cart full only to never come back to it again? It’s frustrating to be sure. However, you can set up auto emails that remind customers that they have items in a cart and it is time to check out. This can help even when a customer is still on the site. If they haven’t completed the sale after ten minutes, have your system send an auto-generated email.

This could be the nudge they need to buy your product or service.

4. Spending Too Much Time on Administration?

If you think you are spending too much time on administration and not enough focused on generating sales and increasing conversion rates, then you are. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but it’s easy to get out of.

Begin by structuring your day with schedules that depict how much time you will spend on administrative tasks. Determine when you’ll focus on sales generation and conversions.

Simple tools like sales templates and auto-emails can go a long way in increasing the efficiency of your sales pipeline. They also allow you to focus more on making sales instead of tending to administrative tasks.

5. Post Sales Contact

Do you follow up with your customers after they’ve made a sale? If the answer is no, why not? How will you know if your product met their needs? If the customer has complaints but does not bother to contact you, how will you know what was wrong and be able to fix it?

You can’t know if the customer has complaints without following up. Following up with a customer after they’ve made a purchase lets customers know that you stand by your product or service.

If they have a complaint, handle it right then and there. You may also be able to offer them another product or service they may not have realized they need or an alternative to the one they purchased. Show them that you care, not only about your product or service, but the customer as well. After all, happy customers come back again.

6. Show and Tell

You’ve gotten the customer on the phone, you’ve explained the product or service you are selling, and the customer seems interested but isn’t ready to make a purchase yet. What to do? If your pipeline management is poor then you’re going to lose sales at this point.

A proper sales pipeline will offer a way to not only tell the customer about the product or service but show it to them as well. Set up a meeting, presentation, or demonstration with your client. Show them why they need what you are selling.

Remember, you need them more than they need you. Convince them they actually need your product or service. You can do this with onsite meetings and presentations, or with webinars and skype calls. Get personal and show the customer why your product or service is what’s best for them.

Effective Pipeline Management

Pipeline management starts with the first contact with a customer and doesn’t stop until well after the customer has made a purchase. It should be a unique experience for every customer, and they should feel as confident as you do in your product or service.

The customers are the lifeblood of any company, without them, there is no revenue which means no profit. Take care of the customers and they will, in turn, take care of you.

For more information on effective sales pipeline management or help with your startup contact us today!