The Sales Pipeline Stages: What You Need to Know
Did you know that half of all your prospects aren’t a good fit for your company? The fact is that you can’t, and shouldn’t try, to close every new lead. Instead, you should focus on creating an optimized pipeline to guide your prospects so your sales team can focus on working with the most qualified warm leads. c
Don’t worry if you’re not sure what that means or how to do it because you’re in the right place. Keep reading to see the six simple sales pipeline stages and what they look like.
1. Generate Leads
The first step in your sales pipeline is simply to find and generate new leads. This can be done in several different ways depending on your business model. An online eCommerce store will use a different lead generation strategy than a high ticket coach.
2. Build Relationships
Now that you’ve built your list of new leads you’ll want to start to build a relationship with each prospect. This can be done through an automated email series or even a short pre-recorded webinar. Regardless of how you choose to complete this step your goal is to build the know, like, and trust factor with your prospect and show them your authority within your industry.
3. Qualify Your Leads
As you build a relationship with each new prospect, some leads will naturally rise to the top of your list for qualified leads. These are your ideal audience and will be where you want to concentrate your marketing efforts. To know this information, be sure to track who opens each email or who clicks through to watch your webinar series.
Likewise, if you have a link from your emails or webinar to a sales page, be sure to track who clicks through but doesn’t purchase. You’ll want to follow up with these warm leads as soon as possible. Many shopping cart apps can track this information and send out an automated email.
4. Demonstrate Your Product or Service
As your leads move through your sales pipelines you’ll want to offer a demonstration of your product or service. A business coach, for example, can offer a free 60-minute coaching call to qualified leads so they can see for themselves how valuable one-on-one time is with you. This can also be accomplished with a short video demonstration or even an in-person demonstration if that works for your business model.
5. Close the Sale
In the past, this might have been a difficult phase in your sales process. However, when you take the time to create valuable information in the first four steps you’ll find that this step becomes easier and offers higher conversion rates.
Your sales team will enjoy working with only the most qualified leads who already know about your company and your products thanks to your robust sales pipeline. And when you’re ready to take your sales pipeline to the next level, you can apply simple tactics for accelerating sales and growth for your business.
6. Onboard New Clients or Customers
One of the best marketing tips you can follow in creating your sales pipeline is not to abandon your customer after they purchase. This is a prime opportunity to turn a one-time sale into a repeat buyer and loyal brand advocate. Take the time to map out what you want your new customers to know about you, your processes, and what you offer them long after the sale.
Follow These Sales Pipeline Stages for Success
When it comes to sales marketing, you can’t afford to neglect to create a pipeline for prospective clients. Use these sales pipeline stages to create a valuable business asset that guides prospects to become purchasing clients and ambassadors for your brand.
When done right, a consistent pipeline will offer you sales for years to come long after you create it. Take the time now to map out your pipeline and begin to create the pieces that put it together. Then bookmark this article so you can come back time and again to reference this important information.
For more great information on this and other topics, check out the rest of our blog.