Your Sales Pipeline Isn't as Fruitful as You Think

BY Rachel Cagle
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What does your sales pipeline look like right now? Is it a list of stages leading from researching leads to closing the sale? Yes, that kind of set up does lay out the course of how you hope the sale will go, but it’s not a plan. “A good B2B sales pipeline is more than a simple process diagram and deal outline that tracks a deal status,” says Dan Tyre, writing for HubSpot. “For the modern salesperson, a B2B sales pipeline is your scorecard to achievement and can identify critical conversion ratio information, identify specific skills improvement oppfor ortunities and benchmark individual performance to industry standards and against best in class.”

Instead of listing the general stages of a sales process, organize your pipeline into what specific action you’re taking to move the sale along. For example, instead of your pipeline going from generating lead to scheduling a meeting, be more specific. Define the first two steps as identify the lead and lead type and make a connect call. If you stick with the original layout, you’ll potentially miss out on the research the revamped first two steps can grant you. When you identify the type of lead your prospect is, you will avoid asking redundant questions. Are they a suspect (a company that fits your target profile), a prospect (a specific contact from a suspect company who you know has a need for your product or service), or a lead (a prospect who has already reached out to you for assistance)?

Instead of immediately trying to schedule a meeting with the company, make a connect call to introduce yourself, including what you can do for them, and see if their interest is sparked. If need be, schedule another call, a discovery call, to learn about the company’s pain points you may not have uncovered in the connect call. Then, and only then, can you confidently move down the sales pipeline to schedule your meeting. It's imperative you update your sales process now.

What are the last few steps in Dan Tyre’s sales pipeline? You’ll have to check out his article to find out.