April 2017

5 ways to clean up your sales pipeline

Small businesses are challenged in every way but mainly in the shortage of things like staff, bandwidth, money and perhaps most important: time. So when the sales pipeline moves slowly, this is bad news. Investing too much time and effort into trying to close every customer can take away from some of the more strategic activities like marketing and business development. The “Five quick ways to clean up your sales and marketing pipeline” eBook will help you fix that and help you close more business.

These five approaches to focusing your sales and marketing efforts will bring huge dividends for your business and allow you to save more time while accelerating your growth trajectory.

1. Define your ideal customer

So much sales and marketing time is wasted targeting the wrong customer. Some people simply aren’t right for your product and service and never will buy. However, sometimes they can end up in your pipeline anyway and will mean you spend undue time and energy trying to convert and close them. Stop this waste!

Identifying your perfect customer will allow you to focus all your efforts on those that history shows are far more likely to buy. You can do this by analysing four aspects of those you have already sold to:

  1. What industry are they generally in?
  2. What kind of organisation are they - small, medium or large?
  3. Where are most of your customers based?
  4. What does their journey look like? Who within the organisation made the decision? What was the process?

Analyse these themes and you will gain a better idea of who you are most successfully selling to and then you can double down on looking for - and selling to - more of them, instead of wasting your time on the wrong targets.

2. Clean up your existing leads

Did you know 70 per cent of your company data becomes outdated on an annual basis? Yet we depend on our CRM for all our important insights about our business. It helps us forecast our success and track our failure. It makes sense to make sure that the database is as true a reflection of your pipeline as possible and to do a spring clean on a regular basis. Too much waste can happen because a customer’s address is wrong, or worse: an invoice goes unpaid because your contact has left the business. You can spring clean your database using services like Data.com to fill in your missing data or correct the wrong data - ensuring no more mistakes.

3. Refine your communications

In 2015 IDC reported that 65 per cent of buyers had already made a purchase decision when they reached out to vendors. So the nature of the conversation you have with your customers should be targeted at solving their business problems. The marketing messages you send need to have a viewpoint about what issues you think they are trying to grapple with and must also be personalised. Finally, you must also try and include a call to action - what is the next thing you want the customer do?

4. Have a plan for low-scoring leads

You should be working to a system where every sales lead is given a score based on their likelihood of buying from you. As a result, what are you going to do with the leads with low scores? Are you going to continue to waste time with them or are you going to focus your business nurturing them? You need to decide.

5. Follow up on high scoring leads

High scoring sales leads are the “low hanging fruit” your business depends on. You need a plan for them just as much as the low scoring leads. You need to make sure you follow up with them religiously to make sure they progress through your pipeline. Train your sales staff with the very best sales techniques on a regular basis. If you aren’t following up your warmest prospects regularly and building a rapport with them, your competitors certainly will. Ultimately, when your prospect is ready to buy, you need to be there to help them and profit from that decision. If you neglect these leads your business will surely fail.

For more detail on these techniques, download the “Five Quick Ways to Clean Up Your Sales and Marketing Pipeline” eBook now and make your sales and marketing pipeline far more efficient, effective and profitable.


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