Sales Training for Avoiding the Sales Pipeline Problem

sales process is smooth and seamless

The sales pipeline, sometimes referred to as the buying funnel, is a consumer focused marketing system that demonstrates the logical consumer journey toward the ultimate purchase of a product or service. It is associated with numerous theories and models such as the bi-level selling system, the demand-supply model, the demand-demand method and the waterfall system. Sales coaching models that incorporate the sales pipeline are usually those practiced by marketing professionals who have succeeded in establishing a large number of clients and have helped them develop a highly developed and profitable customer base. Successful coaching models teach how to manage the pipeline of customers and to increase sales productivity by ensuring that the sales process is smooth and seamless from the client contact to delivery.

Sales managers are usually expected to be skilled consultants who can draw on various experience and knowledge sources to develop, implement and enhance an effective sales pipeline. A strong sales pipeline, sales managers believe, enables the company to take its sales strategy to the next level. The term “pipeline” has a different meaning for different organizations. For some companies, pipeline means a significant number of contacts and potential customers who have been contacted and are either interested or ready to purchase. For other companies, pipeline simply refers to a substantial amount of qualified leads that must be developed and managed.

provide customers and prospects

One of the primary objectives of any CRM system is to provide customers and prospects with access to accurate, timely and valuable information regarding products and services. With such information, sales managers are able to build a targeted list of leads and then follow-up with these individuals on a regular basis, providing them with a variety of opportunities to purchase. An important element of building a quality sales pipeline is identifying potential clients and prospects, and then follow-up on these leads. Sales managers may use various sales pipeline metrics to measure the success of their follow-up efforts.

Measuring performance at one stage of the sales pipeline provides a concrete record of the effectiveness of the follow-up efforts. However, measuring performance at more than one stage is not only time-consuming and tedious, but it also makes it very difficult to compare results across departments and teams. Therefore, most companies choose to track performance over a defined number of leads or sales at one stage only.

Sales pipelines must be well-built

This means that every lead should be tracked carefully according to its conversion rate. A pipeline should also be constructed based on the principle of making the best use of every lead. Some sales managers choose to wait to begin gathering information on a potential lead, or they might try to squeeze a sale from a prospect who seems to be a perfect candidate.

However, once the prospecting stage is complete, these same managers become too focused on getting leads in the pipeline and forget about qualified leads. Qualified leads are far more valuable than a lot of unqualified leads. If a manager is too focused on getting leads in the pipeline, they might miss out on getting a lot of highly qualified prospects. A sales manager must remember that the qualified leads must be pre-qualified before they can be referred to as prospects, and that getting lost in the process is the worst thing that can happen during the selling process.

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