For startup businesses, having a firm grip on your sales pipeline is of critical importance. Learn more about these pipelines by clicking here.
If you’re marketing your business without having a firm grasp on your sales pipeline, you’re wasting your time.
Bringing in leads that you can’t convert to customers hurts sales — and morale. Achieving a higher conversion rate depends on a potential client’s experience.
Let’s look at six ways to improve your pipeline, so you can stop missing out on sales opportunities.
1. Make Sure You Talk to The Right Person
This idea seems obvious, but it’s one of the first mistakes a new business makes.
Getting someone on the phone is hard. So when it finally happens, the first impulse is to launch into a sales pitch. There’s a big problem with this.
What if you’re talking to someone who can’t make the decisions? You spend time providing information to someone that can’t process it or make a decision.
Either you will have to go over it again with someone, or the first person will give the information to the buyer.
If you’ve ever played telephone, you know how that goes.
Information gets mixed up, and your product or service is dead on arrival. It’s a sales pipeline killer.
Find out right away who makes the decisions, and get to them. If you aren’t sure who you need to talk to, don’t be afraid to ask. Their time is as valuable as yours. Don’t waste it.
2. Do Your Research
If you know your customers before they reach your sales pipeline, you’re already halfway to a sale.
For B2B, the research you do before talking to a potential customer is crucial. It will help you identify what pain point your product will solve. Selling is about making someone else’s life easier. If you identify a problem and can offer a solution, you’ll earn your target’s business.
Know some of the struggles that are facing your client’s industry. Ask if they have the same concerns. If they are, you will gain instant credibility in their eyes by understanding their pain.
Use the “what we find” approach.
Instead of directly asking what a company’s problems are, say “what we find in businesses like yours is that…” and then go into a potential pain point.
By doing this, you keep a conversation open-ended. Allow for feedback, so that you can pivot if need be. It’s a way of touting your experience and showing that you’ve solved similar problems before.
3. Be Able To Determine Where The Customer is in The Sales Pipeline
Believe it or not, finding out whether a customer is ready to act now or later is easy.
Before you finish your conversation, ask where they would like to go from here. The response will tell you all you need to know.
If they ask what the next step is, you can begin walking them through the purchasing process.
They might say that they have to check the budget or go over some things before making a final decision. If so, thank them for their time. Make sure they know how to contact you, and follow up with them.
4. Personalize Your Customer’s Experience
If you run an online marketing campaign, make sure that you build landing pages specific to your goal.
If you are looking for leads, build a site that offers the customers a reason to provide you with information. The best way to get someone to give you info is to offer them free trials, webinars, or a discount.
The landing page should give visitors an action to complete. It should also make them interested in learning who you are. It is normal for website visitors to visit one page, and decide within seconds if they want to investigate further.
The need for instant gratification is why a personal experience is so important. They clicked on a link for a reason.
Don’t make them search for what they were looking for, or they will leave — and you’ll accomplish nothing.
5. Be Mobile-Friendly
Business people are busy and often to work on the run. For this reason, cell phone and mobile devices are being used more often for online business.
If they come across your site, you want them to be able to use it from a cell phone. Making it mobile-friendly will help buyers find what they need. It will help new customers locate you, as well.
If new customers can’t find you, and current customers can’t order from you on the go, your sales pipeline will run dry.
6. Remember That Customers Are Selfish
The word “selfish” isn’t as negative as it might seem. It means that their primary concern is fulfilling their needs.
To maintain a healthy sales pipeline, you have to remember a simple truth. Your needs are never more important than those of your customers. They are the reason that your business exists, and they know it. The survival of your business is dependent upon catering to their needs.
Instead of telling them how great your company is in the first conversation, learn about them.
If you tap into their selfishness by making everything about them, they will engage you with enthusiasm.
Remember, the buyer has the power in the relationship.
If you approach your interactions with them with the understanding that their selfishness keeps food on your table, your sales pipeline will be healthy.
Looking For Help With Your Startup Business?
Every year there are thousands of startups, but only a few enjoy long-term success. Many companies fail due to well-intentioned, but inexperienced, leaders.
I have over 20 years of experience in the business and technology world. I understand the struggles of running a startup.
If you have a great idea for a business but don’t know where to start, I’ve designed a start-up checklist to help get you going.
If you’ve already started a company but need help, feel free to contact me today. I’m always looking for like-minded entrepreneurs to connect with.