You can use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to track your sales pipeline costing around £50 per month or as a lot of companies do, simply use a spreadsheet. But regardless of your method chances are your pipeline is not working correctly.
Why do I know that, because having been a sales person and been around colleagues I know fundamentally a few home truths;
1. Often sales prospects are placed on a pipeline without truly qualifying the opportunity. Have you asked these simple questions?
- Are you talking to the person who approves the order?
- Do they have a budget to buy?
- When will they buy?
- Is the potential customer in agreance that what you are offering is what they exactly want?
2. Sales are left off the pipeline deliberately, it?s the Account that the sales person is working on in the background but does not want to declare their hand yet for fear of failure or of being pressured to close the sale quickly.
3. Is the opportunity really the right fit for the company? By asking a few realistic questions from the outset will allow you to keep or reject the opportunity. It is pointless to chase after an opportunity that is only 50% right for you when you have other opportunities at 80 or 90% that you are not spending time on closing.
4. No statistic analyse has been applied, before a prospect gets on the pipeline they all, regardless of value or prestige should have to pass the same acceptance test.
5. The account has stalled, if it is stalled and you have tried to restart it but its still not developing ask yourself
a. Could a fresh approach help with someone from senior management?
b. Is it a longer sales cycle than you had initially calculated?
c. Maybe this opportunity is not for me.
Following point ?C? it is better to take the opportunity out of the pipeline so that it is clean and only has opportunities that you have for example 75% of higher chance of closing.
Lastly remember that not everyone will be a customer, it is better to qualify your opportunity and focus on those that will deliver profit and become a client.
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