Sales pipeline acts as a great indicator to company’s health and provides a real time view of the money that can be earned in a given year. Nearly every company in the world maintains sales pipeline, but the main question is about its management. Studies show that “63 percent of executives said that their organizations were ineffective at managing their sales pipelines.” Sales Pipeline Management is a bitter pill to swallow but for those who have done it successfully have got complete control over the sales process for converting more leads.
A sales pipeline can be pictured as a funnel with multiple stages, the first stage being the ‘lead accumulation’ stage where all business leads are gathered. The second stage consisting of ‘lead qualification’ phase where any lead that is fit for the business is moved in. After a successful follow-up and need realization, leads move towards a 'Quote' stage for price quoting and then simultaneously to 'Closure' stage.
All these stages are of tremendous importance for a sales organization and needs close monitoring. With the help of sales pipeline management software, organizations can now forecast sales numbers in short term by identifying the stage of each lead in the funnel. Sales Pipeline Management is one of the important inside sales technologies.
Sales reps can get critical insights with powerful reports which can improve their business and let them win more deals.Using a simple sales pipeline software can help in organizing your pipeline and allow you to put all important lead information in one easy-to-access place.
So let’s discuss about few capabilities of a sales pipeline management software for maximizing sales returns:
Custom Filters and Tags: A sufficient sales pipeline management software should have the functionality of creating custom filters and tags. With the help of this feature organizations can easily access relevant data.
The filtering and sorting functionality helps in defining the search criterias that are relevant for conducting searches that works for the organization. The custom tag option helps in customizing relevant information for leads, contacts, accounts and deals. This ensures the kind of information searched is readily available.
Real-time Notifications: With the help of this feature reps can receive custom notifications on issues that are of utmost importance to them. These notifications are creating a significant shift in the way a rep learns about his sales pipeline. With the help of Custom Notifications, reps have the power to give advice to other reps when needed and also alert about the prospect’s responses.
Advanced Reporting: An incredible and easy to use sales management software breaks down the sales funnel into charts for better understanding. Reps can track the health of their sales process across the various stages of the sales pipeline. Managers can also refer to the preset sales report charts and can have a break up of the entire sales funnel with the active leads in each stage. For more insights you can check out How Inside Sales Tools can Power up your Sales Funnel?
Lead Management: With an effective sales pipeline management software, leads can now be followed-up quickly for faster qualification. Leads come from different sources but with an efficient software they can be qualified in a standardized way and thereafter can be assigned to the right sales rep for quick follow-up. Lead management also plays an imperative role in reducing cost and time spent in the sales funnel. For example leads can be imported from a spreadsheet or manually added via the web. It helps in understanding lead count, where they come from, what is their status and what it takes to convert them into a paying customer.
Enhanced Collaboration: A unique sales pipeline software helps in easily creating todo list for assign tasks in the team. Managers can give specific instructions on closing deals by leaving detailed notes. In addition all essential documents, presentations and contracts relevant to a respective lead can be uploaded. More effective sales team collaboration can be ensured by turning on email notifications. Managers can also switch to daily stream to see the work that their team members are doing.
Smart Lists: A Smart List helps in adding different data columns like value, close date, and more easily filters what you see. This feature will transform the way in which a pipeline is evaluated. Reps have the opportunity of creating lists that will use real time data to answer their queries. Reps can now save their time by focusing less on the archaic method and prehistoric data by taking advantage of Smart Lists and embrace the new age of sales productivity.
Forecasting: With the help of sales pipeline software, reps can predict demand for products and services and can accordingly improve sales and financial planning of the company. The forecast screen can guide reps by showing them the quota attained along with the forecast numbers. This will provide them with the real picture of the sales trend being followed in the past and at the same time will provide analytics which can be useful for designing successful strategies.
In the words of Tim Sales, “Top Salespeople understand they must learn to feel comfortable doing the uncomfortable”.
So will you move out of your comfort zone and proactively manage your sales pipeline?