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Category: Sales Pipeline

How Automating Your Sales Pipeline Can Boost Conversions

These days, almost any workflow process can be automated. However, many people are still using traditional and manual systems to get things done. With sales, this can especially slow you down. These tips can help you better understand automating your sales pipeline and help you boost your conversions.

Automation can be an intimidating transition for many business owners. There are so many different tools out there, and it may feel like they’re over-complicating your workflow processes instead of simplifying them. However, sales is an especially complex aspect of your business. It’s a fragile ecosystem. The relationships between your clients and sales reps need to be nurtured and maintained for the long haul.

Many consider manual processes to be outdated. This isn’t necessarily the complete truth. There are pros and cons to running sales manually. But, is it worth losing out on potential sales to your competitors just because they’ve automated their sales pipeline?

Let’s start by explaining how it works.

The Sales Pipeline Process

Since every business is different and runs on its own unique terms, this will look slightly different for everyone. Most are similar enough to compare at a surface level, though.

It typically looks a little like this:

  • The leads. Here, your team works together to generate the leads that you hope to convert to sales
  • Their attention. Once you have the leads, your teams will meet with them. From there, they’ll establish relevant content to send them. Ensuring that relevant content is sent to leads will grasp their attention between the conversion process
  • Their commitment. This is usually where your lead will begin to make their decisions before a purchase is made. They may need a bit more persuasion at this point
  • The sale. Finally, this is where discussions about pricing will begin and the purchase becomes finalized

The key to each of these steps is to have you or your sales team remember to send relevant content to your lead throughout the process.

The Truth About Manual Sales Pipeline Processes

The reason that the manual sales pipeline process is so broken is simplified by the fact that it is overcomplicated. In fact, it’s complicated to the point where it may be holding you back. Business owners are so set on running their sales pipeline manually because:

  • There is a misconception that all automation tools are pricey and over their budget
  • There is a false perception of how complex their pipeline process is in comparison to the need for automation
  • There is a strongly held belief that their specific business won’t work with automation
  • There is simply a resistance to change in terms of implementing new technology

While these concerns are valid, it’s important to understand how continuing to use a manual sales pipeline may be slowing you down.

The Risks

Obviously, you love your sales team! You hired them because you recognized their efficiency and dedication to converting leads. However, your team is still human. They’re going to make mistakes. These mistakes may include:

  • Your team could be overloaded with details to remember. There’s only so much data storage in a person’s mind. Keeping track of every detail for every sale can become daunting when it’s all held in your team’s heads.
  • They might forget certain things. It’s almost impossible for anyone to be able to remember every follow-up call and to send out relevant content to your lead.
  • There isn’t a clear way to organize metrics. With automated systems, metrics are closely and accurately measured. Since each part of the sales process is accounted for, none of your metrics have room to get lost in translation.

Automation is the only way to have completely accurate recordings of the sales process. An automated sales pipeline would help by:

  • Notifying your team to follow-up with leads. This takes the pressure off of your sales representatives in regards to remembering every little detail.
  • Alerting your sales representative with what content needs to be sent out. For example, this can include emails or brochures.
  • Organizing the sales pipeline process becomes foolproof because it’s all located in one place. At the end of a sale, your representatives don’t have to rely solely on what they remembered to write down, because all of that information is held within the tool.
  • Contacts become automatically generated. Your sales representatives would typically only be responsible for filling in smaller details within contracts for applicable sales.

Using an automated tool for your sales pipeline processes greatly reduces the risks and potential mistakes. It’s all in the organization. When everything is in one place, it is much harder to lose track of the fine details.

Does your workflow need a tune up? Complete our New Client Questionnaire so that we can understand your needs and provide the best fit solutions.
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Content Marketing for Your Sales Funnel

As you’re navigating the waters of sales funnels and pipelines, make sure you have all the materials you need to send to your leads. Each stage will require different content, and your approach to this content will help determine your conversion rates.

So, now you’ve got a fully functional sales funnel. Your ducks are in a row, so to speak! And, that’s great! This organizational method is one of the easiest ways to boost conversions and achieve those sales goals. Now, it’s time to do the paperwork. Or, rather, the digital paperwork. Nobody uses fax machines anymore.

It’s easier now than ever before to produce marketing content. Any of the materials that you need to send to your leads at various stages of a sale are right at your fingertips.

In fact, we’ve launched our own Digital Marketing & Growth Strategy Services so that you can easily produce and promote consistent content! However, we’ll talk more about that a bit later.

What exactly would you need to send to a lead during the sales process?

Emails

Emails are a great place to start. This can help hold their interest and hopefully push them to the next stage in the sales process. The key is to make these emails brief, informative, and eye-catching without spamming anyone’s inbox.

Social Media

Once you have your lead interested in your emails, be sure to link to your social media profiles! This is where you can post short-form content at least once daily. On social media, you want to be approachable and interesting without seeming like you’re trying too hard. Don’t overload on the emojis 💯 or #hashtags!

Blog Posts

A blog for your business is the best way to educate your audience while promoting your services. When you’re posting weekly and relevant content to your blog, your voice becomes known as reliable. If you’re seen as an expert in your field, your conversion rates will skyrocket.

The great thing about blog posts is that a lead can visit your blog at any stage of the sales pipeline!

How We Can Help

We mentioned earlier that we’ve launched our Digital Marketing & Growth Strategy Services. Here, we’ll work with you to create these materials so that you can convert leads like a pro. We’ll write weekly blog posts, daily social media captions, and more so that you can send them out to your leads without having to lift a finger.

Learn more about this service here!

Does your brand needs solutions to move your leads effectively through your sales funnel? Complete our New Client Questionnaire so that we can understand your needs and provide the best fit solutions.

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Sales Funnels vs Sales Pipelines: What the Difference Means for Your Workflow

There are often misconceptions about what a sales pipeline is and how it differs from a sales funnel. Hopefully, this guide will help you learn the difference and have smoothly flowing pipelines!

When you’re dealing with sales, the process can often feel daunting at first glance. There are many different steps that are involved, and understanding the terminology is the difference between having productive processes and broken pipelines.

The terms “sales pipeline” and “sales funnel” are often used synonymously. However, there are key distinguishable differences that separate the two. 

Sales Pipeline

A sales pipeline is the set of steps that go into making a sale. These steps initially allow you to organize the sales process and more effectively convert leads. Pipelines also help teams track the process and amount of leads. Maintaining sales pipelines is the easiest way for sales leaders to manage their goals, as well as track data in between cycles. In our Workflow Intensive solutions we help you design the supporting assets necessary for your sales pipeline to properly function. 

Sales Funnels

A sales funnel is an easy way to represent lead conversions. The funnel opens at the top with a lead’s interest in your services and ends at the bottom with a completed sale. This gets confusing to newcomers because the steps are the same, you just have to show them differently.

Sales funnels represent the volume of your sales. This is represented in percentages throughout the stages in the sales pipeline. You’ll want to check the pipeline to see what stage the sale is in, and the funnel can show you the percentage for conversions at the given stage.

Which System Should My Business Use?

This really runs on a case by case basis. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to choosing which method works best for you. However, if you feel like you’re missing something at any stage in a sale, a pipeline will help you fix that. Sales funnels simply take it a step further and show you the conversion rates mathematically.

Using Sales Pipelines And Funnels

While many businesses use pipelines and funnels separately, they work well together as well! There’s nothing wrong with having multiple organizational tools. When you use pipelines and funnels together, it’s easier to determine whether or not your sales processes require more steps to run as smoothly as possible.

Now that you know the difference between sales pipelines and sales funnels, it’s time to fine-tune your processes! This all accumulates into your workflow. Once your pipelines are all fixed up, your conversion rates will soar!

Does your Sales Pipelines and Funnels need a touch-up or a full-on makeover? Complete our New Client Questionnaire so that we can understand your needs and provide the best fit solutions.

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3 Ways to Put a Spring in Your Sales Pipeline

Your sales process is more than likely one of the most complicated parts of your workflow. There are so many different components that could get clogged up if they aren’t regularly updated. These tips will help you spring clean your sales pipeline for the most effective conversions.

When we discuss the concept of “spring cleaning,” it’s easy to limit yourself to your personal spaces. Many people enjoy using the springtime to clear out their homes, wardrobes, and finances. As a business owner, you have a few more places that need a good spring cleaning.

And, it seems like we’ve all acquired a bit more time on our hands these days. This can definitely be used to clean up workflow processes.

Sales in particular is a tricky aspect to your workflow. There are several different steps in the ladder before you eventually reach the top, or complete the sale. You may have heard of the phrase “sales pipeline.” Let’s break down what that means.

What is a Sales Pipeline?

In the simplest terms, a sales pipeline is the workflow process that you use to complete a sale. Basically, this method states that a sale goes through certain steps before completion. Let’s look at the steps as though they were almost like a funnel.

Note: The sales funnel and sales pipeline are two different things that work together. Using the funnel as a visual representation of the pipeline helps understand how the concepts work with each other. Learn more about the differences between a sales funnel and sales pipeline here.

Interest

The first step is gathering the lead. This is all a matter of interest from your prospective sale. At this point, there isn’t much to do with a lead other than contact.

Communication

Once you initiate contact, this is where you begin to gather necessary information about the lead. This mostly helps you determine whether or not there is serious potential with this lead.

Qualification

If we were to use a sandwich as a metaphorical example of a sale, this stage would be the meat (or veggies, if you’re a vegetarian). Without it, you’d just have two lone pieces of bread and not much flavor. When looking for qualifying factors within a lead, consider the following:

  • The lead’s budget
  • Their need for your service
  • Whom you’re speaking to within the company
  • A timeline for the sale

You’ll then distribute the lead into one of two categories.

Placing the Contact

If your lead qualifies, they proceed to the next stage. If they don’t, this doesn’t immediately mean that you need to discard their contact completely. Set the contact aside if they’re not qualified just yet in a separate folder.

For the qualifying leads, this is where you’re going to write up a proposal.

Completion

This last step is pretty self explanatory! Congratulations on the sale if you’ve made it to this step!

Now, let’s think about ways to clean up your already moving sales pipeline.

Assessment

This is like running a diagnostic test for your sales pipeline. Think about the following:

The contact information you have. Is it up-to-date?
Your opportunities. Are you allowing yourself the most diverse range of opportunities?
The statistics. How likely are you to convert leads?
The sales process. Is the journey clearly defined?

Tracking

Organization is the biggest key component of a polished sales pipeline. Using a tool such as a dashboard can help you quickly understand what’s working and what isn’t. It’ll also highlight your highest highs and lowest lows.

All you really need to create a dashboard for your sales pipeline is a simple spreadsheet. Make sure you check it daily for the most effective results. Any tool is only as good as the effort and use you put into it.

This dashboard will carefully organize your priorities and hold you accountable for certain stages in the pipeline.

Deep Clean

After carefully analyzing and organizing, it’s time to deep clean. This is really like taking out weeds in your spring garden. Anything that isn’t benefiting you or your business should get removed at this stage.

It’s like having a space in your home that just gets far too cluttered. You can’t remember what works for you and what doesn’t after it gets too hectic. Removing the stagnant leads from your sales pipeline is the only way to consistently maintain relationships with the promising ones.

In the end, an effective sales pipeline can propel your business to your goals. If you’re working through the motions and still not seeing the results, your issue may be within your sales pipeline. Once you do a little spring cleaning, you’ll be able to manage your leads more easily and only focus on sales that can be won.

Does your Sales Pipelines need a “spring cleaning”? Complete our New Client Questionnaire so that we can understand your needs and provide the best fit solutions.

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