"Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It's a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal." - Jill Konrath
Sales are one of the crucial factors that determine the future of every organization. However, how can business owners track and oversee their deals to ensure that none of the deals are slipped away?
To have an eagle view of your deals, business owners can use the sales pipeline feature available in most CRM software. The sales pipeline is one of the critical components in the CRM software that helps streamline your sales processes.
A clear, distinct sales pipeline enables a sales rep to track the deals from the start until the end, which helps you close deals faster.
We will cover the following topics related to sales pipeline in this article:
- What Is a Sales Pipeline?
- Difference Between Sales Funnel and Sales Pipeline
- What Are the Stages of a Sales Pipeline?
- What Are the Benefits of Having a Sales Pipeline?
- Build Your Sales Pipeline with Deskera Sales
- In Conclusion
What Is a Sales Pipeline?
A sales pipeline is the different stages that your prospects will go through before purchasing the goods or services
Sales reps are able to view the number of deals and the value of each deal presented in the pipeline. Hence, it gives the knowledge to the sales rep about the deal you should focus on and the sales target you need to hit for the month.
In short, it's a great tool for sales rep to provide timely follow-up for each deal to ensure that the deals do not sit too long in the sales pipeline.
Difference Between Sales Funnel and Sales Pipeline
The sales funnel and sales pipeline are used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing.
Let us explain delve into the meaning of these terminologies.
A sales pipeline can be defined as a sequence of actions that need to be taken before the prospects can progress along the sales process. Once the prospect has fulfilled the stage's requirement, they can move toward the next step in the pipeline.
On the other hand, sales funnel is a marketing concept that shows the buyer's journey that they will walkthrough for the entire purchasing process. The reason why it's known as a sales funnel is that the number of prospects declines from the top-end of the sales process, similar to the shape of a funnel.
What Are the Stages of a Sales Pipeline?
Every company structures their sales pipeline in a different way depending on their sales processes. With CRM software, businesses have the flexibility to customize the sales pipelines that fit their business industry.
Here are the basic six-stages of sales pipeline primarily used by most organizations:
- Lead-in: The marketing team will receive the lead from various channels such as landing pages, social media platforms, or paid advertisements and pass it to the sales team.
- Contacting: Once the sales rep receives the lead's data, the sales rep will contact the prospects using phone calls or email to reach out to them.
- Qualification: The sales reps will need to check if the products and services suit the prospects' needs, requirements, budget, and ability to re-pay.
- Meet-up: Qualified prospects will schedule a meet-up with the sales reps to sign a contract or make a purchase.
- Close deal: The sales reps can close the deal once they receive payment for the goods purchased.
- Retention: Business will need to retain the existing customer by ensuring their needs and satisfaction are met. Few ways businesses can keep customers is by providing excellent customer service, offer rewards, and loyalty programs to their customers.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Sales Pipeline?
As a sales rep, can you imagine having a cluttered and disorganized data all over the company? It would be messy to have the customers' data all over the place, not knowing where the data is stored, and it's progress.
Implementing a sales pipeline using CRM software is undoubtedly useful to streamline your sales processes. Without a proper sales pipeline, deals are difficult to track and might slip away unknowingly.
Here are a few benefits of implementing a sales pipeline in your organization:
- A clearer picture of sales process
The sales pipelines in your CRM software are generally the reflection of your business sales processes. By setting up the sales pipeline, it serves as a standard guideline for the sales reps to follow. Sales reps can manage, track and oversee the progress of each deal without worrying about missing out any of the deal.
2. Improve on work productivity and efficiency
The next benefit of having a sales pipeline is that it helps to improve work productivity and efficiency. As deals are categorised based on their conversion rate in the pipeline, it enables sales reps to focus on the deals with higher conversion rate. The sales team can save their time by focusing less deal with lesser conversion rate.
3. Close deals faster
CRM software enables businesses to store their information on cloud. By storing business data on cloud, business can cut down their manual work process. Improved productivity and efficiency help sales reps to close deal faster and increase the overall company's sales revenue.
4. Help track team's progress
For the deals to move on to the next stage, the required list of actions must be taken by the sales reps. The sales pipeline provides superb transparency and visibility to the managers and business owners. Hence, the sales managers can set realistic sales targets and ensure that the sales reps are working aggressively towards closing the deals.
Build Your Sales Pipeline with Deskera Sales
If you wish to streamline your sales processes, you can start with Deskera Sales. Deskera Sales is a CRM software that helps small to medium businesses build their sales pipelines that suit their business needs. On top of that, you can also create multiple customizable pipelines for different teams in the organization.
Once you have logged-in to the CRM software, you can immediately view your Deskera Sales Dashboard.
On Deskera Sales Dashboard, you can view the following items stated below:
- The total number of organizations, people, deals won and lost
- Won and Lost Deals presented in graphs
- Total number of deals versus contacts
- Contact report
- Open and won deal statistics
- Deals by owner with deals stages
- Upcoming activity
- List of done activity
Go to the Deal Module and start creating your first customized pipeline that's relevant to your business. If you have no clue how to start, you can begin by using the default pipeline in our CRM software.
Also, when creating the pipeline, there is no maximum number of stages imposed on the users. Hence, you can create as many steps as you wish freely without any hesitation. If your business needs to generate more than eight stages in the pipeline, march on.
Plus, the drag and drop feature is an additional feature in our CRM software that helps you drag and place the deal to the right stage smoothly.
It's undeniable that implementing a sales pipeline reaps greater benefits. Backed by a study done by Harvard Business Review, a company with a formal sales process has a higher revenue growth by 18% than the companies that didn't have a proper sales process.
Therefore, if you wish to improve your company's sales revenue, you will need to start looking and revising at your own sales pipeline.