How to keep your sales pipeline healthy with sales reporting and lead generation

How can you keep your pipeline healthy?


Sales forecasting and budgeting

An accurate sales forecast is crucial as the budget for all other departments is based upon the sales forecast to plan their expenditure. If it is not accurate, things can obviously go quite wrong. For example, if products are manufactured based on an incorrect sales forecast, then the product may have to cease if forecasting is incorrect. The sales forecast and resultant budget need to be coordinated between departments such as sales, advertising, production, finance, etc. 


Creating a pipeline report

A pipeline report is a useful way of getting a clear idea of sales performance as well as predicting revenue. But what should go into the pipeline report?

  • Number of opportunities in the pipeline: The number of opportunities in your pipeline directly correlates to whether or not you will meet your sales goals.
  • The size of the opportunity: How much revenue does an opportunity bring in if it closes?
  • What are the predicted close dates: Knowing when an opportunity is likely to close allows your team to forecast the expected revenue.
  • An overview: Looking at your pipeline’s history over time should show you whether your pipeline is growing. If there is little or no growth it would be worth investing more time into filling it with new opportunities.

Ways to generate new qualified leads 

Every day new ideas and tactics to generate leads are emerging. Both old and new methods are crucial for sales leaders in an age where digital marketing and social selling is so prevalent. Knowing how to increase your sales pipeline through both new technologies and traditional lead flow practices is the best way to stay on top of the market.

Here are our four top tips to improve your lead generation.

1. Urge your sales reps to practise social selling. Regardless of the industry, the best way to get a potential customer to consider a purchase is to form a connection. Sales representatives should focus on how they are coming across when interacting with a prospect. They should consider being more active on their social platforms, building a professional network, engaging and cultivating relationships with people interested in their field and joining relevant discussion groups. By implementing more social selling you will see sales teams more regularly exceeding their sales targets. 

2. Use content like guides, ebooks, and white papers. Many organisations increase their number of qualified leads by networking and collecting prospects’ contact details. By providing these prospects with content like eBooks, guides and white papers, your marketing team can answer commonly asked questions to help move deals along quickly and smoothly.

3. Have an excellent cold outreach script. Providing your sales reps with good email outreach scripts can help streamline the process of generating more leads. Using well-planned out email outreach scripts will achieve a higher number of initial discovery meetings.

4. Use a data-driven sales strategy. Using third-party sales analytics tools can help you develop sales insights and create a strategy you can trust. More accurate capacity plans, territory forecasting, and sales quotas are just a few of the benefits of this technique.

Every company has data but instead of having it spread haphazardly across multiple charts and spreadsheets, you want to centralise everything into something clear and concise. By having all of this information organised in a way that helps you get actionable insight, you are giving yourself a major advantage over your competitors. 


Within this 11-minute video, you will learn about both active and passive lead generation methods, along with four actionable strategies to help you find quality leads: emails, videos, blogging, and ads. Source: Jason Whaling.


How to manage your sales pipeline within the CRM

To manage your pipeline effectively, it is crucial that there is a clear strategy and a robust set of rules. This prevents sales reps from making mistakes that could affect the accuracy of the CRM. Reinforcing these rules and methodologies ensures that your sales reps feel supported and understand what they need to do.

There are many ways that you can do this but if you don’t already have a set of principles that help your sales representatives maintain engagement with prospects throughout the sales pipeline, try these three: 

3 keys to effective prospect engagement = Personalisation + Value + Call to Action.

Other ways to manage your sales pipeline include:

  • Look at the prospect’s data in the CRM before engaging. How should the sales rep respond and how will this affect the pipeline?
  • Measure everything and use the results to choose the best course of action.
  • Have regular coaching sessions with your sales reps to review the conversion rate, closed-won/lost deals, and their sales activities.
  • Make sure there is thorough training to help the sales team make the most out of the CRM, the sales pipeline software and the pipeline itself. 

Managing the sales pipeline
Managing the sales pipeline. How to manage your sales pipeline in 10 simple steps. From defining the stages of your pipeline all the way to taking control of your sales, this strategy snack helps you visualise the tasks that you should do in order to have an effective and smooth-running sales pipeline.


Top tips for pipeline management 

1. Always follow up. Leads that are followed up regularly make 47% larger purchases than leads that have had little to no contact. Following up is just a simple way to increase revenue and keep customers happy. 

2. Focus on the best leads. If you know certain leads are going to be more profitable than others, it makes sense to allocate your best resources to those leads to make sure they have the highest chance of converting into a sale.

3. Watch out for your key metrics and KPIs. Track your sales pipeline KPIs and align your work based on that so you are not missing out on the best leads. 

4. Set up your sales process. Get your sales process polished and make sure that everyone on your team is following them. Keep updating them as you learn more to get the most optimised process.

5. Use a good CRM. By keeping everything in the same place and automating repetitive tasks the CRM saves a lot of time in the long run. 

 

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