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Kai Prime

5 Tips for Effective Sales Pipeline Tracking

In This Article

– Effective Sales Pipeline Tracking: Introduction

– Why Use Pipeline Tracking?

– Effective Sales Pipeline Tracking Tips

1. What Do You Offer?

2. How Much Do You Follow Up?

3. An Inevitable Success?

4. Plan in Advance

5. Allow Yourself to Adjust

Effective Sales Pipeline Tracking: Conclusion

Effective Sales Pipeline Tracking: Introduction

Your sales pipelines are an incredibly powerful tool that you can have at your disposal as a small business, as it allows you to visualise exactly what’s going on with your prospects—showing when you last talked to them, what they need from you and what you need from them. That sales pipeline tracking therefore gives you a huge amount of clarity and control over how you can market, nurture and eventually sell to your prospects.

Sales pipelines are most effective, of course, when they’re reflecting the real steps you take when you’re prospecting. Following a template is all well and good, but if you’re missing out some of the vital steps in your sales process, you can’t make the most out of your pipeline tracking—which means you could be prospecting better, and winning more sales for your business.

To make sure your pipeline tracking, and your sales pipelines, are truly effective, we’ve put together 6 tips to ensure your pipeline tracking is tracking everything you need.

Why Use Pipeline Tracking?

Because your sales pipeline is meant to reflect your sales process in your business, you’re given the opportunity to keep an eye on all your opportunities. The problem of forgetting to follow up on a prospect or missing out on sales because you lost your contact with a prospect doesn’t happen anymore. Instead, you can regularly see who’s been interacting, how they’re interacting, and what you need to do next to keep your business’ relationship with them blossoming. 

Being able to track a prospect in your pipeline means you can be more reactive when it comes to changes in the prospect’s behaviour. This way, you’re always a step ahead, and in control of who’s buying from you!

black computer screen of white graph for pipeline tracking article
Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Effective Sales Pipeline Tracking Tips

1. What Do You Offer?

Every business’ sales processes are different. They’re industry-specific; they change depending on the size of your business, and when it grows. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why a business’ sales process would be different from another’s. What matters is that you know what your touchpoints are with your prospect and what steps you take to get there.

Some of these steps include a follow up email, or get into contact over phone a lot. You might need to take a quote further down the line. Take these into consideration when structuring your sales pipelines. If a contact is in your sales process, you need to be aware of it. If you’re not aware of it, you’re not able to track it, which means some of your information—important information for when you’re building up that relationship—is missing. Being able to map every point at which you’re in contact with a prospect means not only are you aware of how your business works, but you also have the ability to use pipeline tracking to nurture and convert effectively.

2. How Much Do You Follow Up?

Followups are a foundational stage of selling, and it is very, very unlikely (but extremely lucky!) if it only takes one followup to secure a sale. As much as we’d all like to think it should happen that way, you need to put in how many times you find yourself following up—usually, several times.

Giving yourself—and your prospect—the time and space to ruminate over what you offer will help you gauge your success rate when undertaking pipeline tracking. Not only this, it allows you to work your marketing magic a little longer. Plus—importantly—it allows you the space to breathe when you’re making that followup call; you’re not completely desperate to hear a ‘yes’ from them immediately. You’re not pressuring yourself or your prospect—which would turn them off from your company and give you a bad reputation anyway. You’re free to nurture effectively, through successive followups, or via your other nurturing, such as email marketing campaigns or contact over the website and social media.

3. An Inevitable Success?

There are many roads into success, especially if your sales process is set up for multiple points of contact beforehand (e.g booking a demo, signing up for a free trial, etc.). These are all important parts of the process, and need to be given columns too!

Aside from this, your success isn’t always guaranteed. ‘Lost’ leads—such as those who won’t bite, or customers who have stepped away from your product/service—also need to be accounted for, as these can still be marketed to and/or returned to another time.

The idea with sales pipelines is that everyone can be accounted for, no matter what position they’re in. Everyone, therefore, can be tracked throughout your pipelines. Where they end up needs to be visible; otherwise, you risk leaving a prospect behind, and missing out on sales.

4. Plan in Advance

Sometimes a sales call doesn’t get a ‘yes’, but it doesn’t get a ‘no’ either. Sometimes, the timing is just wrong, or maybe they’ll change their mind later down the line. That doesn’t mean they’re a write-off. You should make your sales pipeline large enough to accommodate for this, by adding upcoming months after your initial concluding contact. This way, if you follow up three times and they say to call back in however many months, you can put the prospect back in the earlier stages of your pipeline and progress them through your marketing again, campaigns and all. You won’t forget them by the time you need to start nurturing, as it gives you visibility of your whole sales process—not just the immediate one!

5. Allow Yourself to Adjust

There are all manner of reasons why your sales process will change. After all, it is a reflection of your business, and by nature a business cannot stay still. It has to grow; you have to grow; and your sales process will evolve alongside it. That means, inevitably, that your sales pipelines will also need to evolve.

Making adjustments to your sales pipelines won’t be a predictable, regular undertaking, but regular reviews of your sales process will help you spot when the time’s right. This is the way you can keep your sales pipeline healthy, so you can continue with your pipeline tracking in a way that actually brings result. An evolving sales pipeline is a healthy pipeline!

To keep on top of how your pipeline tracking needs to change, make sure the software you’re using is simple and visual, allowing you to easily adjust your sales pipeline columns. This is what popcorn does, using drag-and-drop sales pipelines so you can fully reflect your sales process, however and whenever you need to adapt it. 

signpost in silhouette against sunset for pipeline tracking article
Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Effective Sales Pipeline Tracking: Conclusion

Your sales pipeline tracking needs to be able to follow all your prospects, from their humble beginnings as a lead all the way to the sale. Having every important step will ensure you’ve got full visibility of your sales process; that you’ll be able to react to every change in your prospects’ behaviours should you need to. After all, your marketing will only work if it’s hitting at the right time, to the right people, and you’ll increase your chances of getting it right if you know where they’ve been and how they’ve interacted with you. With full visibility, and flexibility, your pipeline tracking should inform you when the right time to strike is, so you can increase your conversion rate and keeping your business thriving.

How do popcorn’s sales pipelines keep your prospecting simple, visible and effective? You can find out more about our sales pipelines here.

Enjoyed this post? Comment below or read through our blog for more lead management and CRM tips, especially for small businesses.

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