How to Manage and Fill Your Pipeline
Imagine that you have a bucket that you are filling with water from a garden hose. But this bucket has several holes in the base and the walls. As you fill the bucket, water will run out of those holes. Makes sense, right?
This leaky bucket analogy is used to illustrate what it is like to have a leaky sales pipeline. As you work to add new customers (the hose) into your pipeline (the bucket), you are losing part of your current customer base (through the holes in the bucket). This creates a dynamic situation where the size of your current customer base is constantly fluctuating up and down, depending on the amount of new customers flowing into your pipeline.
To fill your sales pipeline, there are two approaches. One is to increase the flow of new customers into your pipeline. The other approach is to plug some of the holes in your pipeline to reduce the loss of customers (focusing on customer retention). We believe one of the best ways to fill your pipeline is to focus more heavily on plugging up some of your holes and then, once you have plugged those holes up, switch your focus to be more heavily concentrated on getting new customers. This means that you won’t be running on constantly on a hamster wheel of trying to achieve new customers just to keep your customer base up. It is also better long-term for customer relations.
Here are some of our top sales CRM strategies for managing, improving and filling your sales pipeline.
Plug Up the Holes
There will always be a few holes in any sales pipeline, but you don’t want too many. Every business will have different types of holes and the action they take to plug those holes will be different. But first, you will want to measure your sales funnel leakage then determine where your pipeline is leaking. Then, study your information to understand why you have a leak. These observations will help you determine what action to take.
Bring In and Prioritize Quality Leads
You want to ensure that you are filling your bucket, or pipeline, with a steady stream of quality leads. Nothing is worse than constantly wasting your time on leads that don't pan out. You will need to optimize your lead generation strategy and prioritize quality leads. In order to keep your pipeline full, you will have to get serious about prospecting on a consistent basis.
Luckily, Onemata can help you with just this! Our lead generation software helps you easily analyze your current customer base to help you generate warm leads. And we send those prospects to you at your pace via what we call Inbox Gold®. Now all you have to do is focus on selling!
Keep an Eye on Stalled Deals
Different deals will move through your pipeline at different speeds, though generally the faster the lead moves through your pipeline, the more likely it is to close successful. But there are always deals that are bound to stall out. When you spot these sluggish deals, make an effort to connect with and motivate those prospects to see if you can’t get that deal moving through the pipeline again.
Clean Up Time
Some deals just aren’t likely to close. To keep your pipeline from getting bogged down, clean out those deals that are taking too much energy away from deals that are more likely to be successful. It can be hard to shut down potential business, but it is important to be able to recognize when an opportunity just won’t work out. By cleaning up your pipeline regularly, you can ensure that healthy deals will move through at a steady pace.
Having full control of your pipeline means having an in-depth understanding of your sales metrics. So don’t forget to collect and study your sales data. This will help you strategize for future leads and deals.
What to do today?
1. Sign up for Inbox Gold® from Onemata and start getting leads to your inbox every day.
2. List out your ideal customer or client and describe them in detail so you can know who you want to fill your sales pipeline.