Sales teams often face stumbling blocks on a day-to-day basis. Deals that were close to being sealed are suddenly called off, leads do not get converted fast enough and the sales pipeline starts to look meek. For this reason, sales reps and managers need to keep a close look at the sales pipeline and how it is managed to hit sales quotas and achieve growth targets.
Customers may be prepared to buy at any given point of time, but only a minor percentage of them are sales-ready. Moreover, prospects also look for specific triggers to address their informational requirements. They refer to multiple channels and media to attain information that can help them reach an informed and calculated decision. Customers need to be fed with the right messages at the appropriate frequencies based on the stage of the sales cycle they are in. Here are a few tips on how you can keep your sales pipeline from drying up.
Clean up your lead database
Streamlining your database of leads is key to optimizing the sales pipeline. There are numerous ways to do this. The first step is by removing duplicates, contacts that do not have a legitimate email address and those contacts that are constantly bouncing your mails. There is no use of maintaining the lead on a database if you are unable to contact them. This way, you can reach the maximum number of delivered mails and avoid spam traps. Also, be sure to remove companies that you have unsubscribed or have been disqualified.
Create a sketch of the ideal sales pipeline
List out the companies that may buy and use a product. Creating prospect profiles help you understand what kind of customers are most likely to be converted. Once this has been narrowed down, create a step-by-step process that is mapped from the initial contact to a closed sale. These stages have to resonate with the buying cycle of the customer. This becomes your ideal sales pipeline.
Monitor stage-by-stage progress
Once your ideal pipeline has been laid out, you need to identify factors that help the deal progress along the pipeline. Define every stage of the pipeline and highlight specific triggers that push deals forward. Monitor each deal and keep track of which stage the deal is and use these triggers to lure them into the sales cycle. It is important to understand that the results are not under your control but the activities that prevent the deal from stalling are.
Keep the numbers in mind
You will not be able to convert every lead you bring in. For this reason, it is important to give yourself a buffer. Calculating your average conversion rate can help you determine a rough number of deals you need to bring in to meet your quota. It is equally important to consider the maximum performance of your sales team. Incorporate a sales advancement software that can analyze and highlight the deals that are most likely to be successful. Focus on pipeline metrics like the average deal size and average time to close deals. Analyzing metrics can tell you if you need to hire more sales reps to reach your sales targets.
To seamlessly guide leads through the sales pipeline and convert them, it is important that sales reps ask crucial questions to gauge the size of the deal and understand how long the deal will take to piece together. Add new activities to bring in more deals into the pipeline on a daily basis. Find the habit of targeting new leads and diversifying the methods used to lure them into the sales cycle. This way, your sales pipeline is always kept full.
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