B2B software sales a never-ending process of prospecting, outreach, more outreach, closing sales, and then repeating. One of the best ways to maintain your “sales pipeline” is by creating a consistent flow of qualified leads and managing your CRM. According to Technology Advice, companies that use pipeline monitoring experience 28% more development than those that do not.
Here are ways to gradually grow your sales pipeline to increase your sales:
Understand how your consumers buy
The phases of your B2B software sales pipeline need to be aligned with your buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is composed of three phases:
Awareness: Your leads know they have a problem and are in the process of finding out what is its.
Consideration: Your leads know their problem, and are looking for solutions.
Decision: Your leads know how to solve it, and are looking for specific ways to do so.
Identify the sales stages
With the buyer’s journey in mind, the phases of your B2B software sales process could be:
Identify: A visitor on your site takes an action like submitting a form, attending a webinar, or asking questions in the comment area of your blog. You could also proactively prospect and build a list of ideal leads.
Lead Nurture: In this stage, you want to start sharing informational content through strategically crafted lead nurturing emails that are not sales-y, but relevant to their issue. Use a monitoring software program to better engage leads who respond to certain topics.
Engage: Starting a conversation around the challenges and objectives via email and phone calls can help you determine if the lead has an issue you can help them with. This will also help you build a better connection and enable you to set up a time to talk further.
Discover: You need to ask questions and find out more about the lead’s unique challenges, objectives, and responsibilities. This phase is all about understanding, not selling.
Prepare a Presentation of a Tailored Solution: Create a customized presentation based on what you’ve found out about the prospect. Make sure to use the words they said to you.
Suggest a Tailored Solution: Your potential customers agree to meet with you by phone or in person to go over what they need and a possible solution.
Agreement Review: When you get a lead to request your offer, you should prepare an agreement to go through and get rid of any additional questions or concerns.
Close: Here, your customer signs on the dotted line and makes a payment.
Develop your objectives
You need to have specific goals for every phase of the sales pipeline. This will keep your sales team encouraged and will help boost the chances for success. For example, you can have the goal of closing 120 sales a year. This equals 10 a month.
Create a dashboard
Once you have identified the phases of your sales pipeline and developed your objectives, make a sales dashboard to help track your development. This control panel should be updated every day with important information on your sales pipeline. With just a glance, you should be able to tell where you are and what your strategy is. You can develop a dashboard using a spreadsheet or an innovative CRM software app like HubSpot. The dashboard should include:
Top priorities: What projects and tasks are the most important?
Schedule: Does my schedule reflect my priorities?
Project goals: How many proposals do I need to send each month?
Revenue goals: What movement am I making toward my revenue targets?
Leads: Do I have enough leads to fill my pipeline?
Keep your sales pipeline full
According to sales master Colleen Francis, many salespeople find themselves caught up in the “sales trap.” This happens when too much time is spent making sales and little to no time is spent finding new leads. Over time, this creates a dry pipeline. To prevent this, you need to constantly be filling your pipeline. Here are some ways to do that:
Buying lists: Some salespeople find these lists to be unreliable and a little off target, but they can often be helpful in finding leads.
List building services: Like buying lists, these can be hit-or-miss, but specialized services can contribute good names to your list.
Build your own list: With specialist networks like LinkedIn, you can build a list of ideal companies and individuals who work there. Then, use services to try to find their email or phone number to get more qualified leads.
Inbound lead generation: Getting leads to come to you is the best scenario. These leads know your brand and have some passion for your remedy. Their rate of interest could vary from coming to your site, opening up an email, downloading premium content, asking for a trial or submitting a form. To learn more about producing leads online, read this short article, “Generating Leads Online: The Birds and the Bees.”
Maintain your pipeline
As you send out proposals and close sales, take some time to find new contacts and fill the top of the funnel. This should be a daily job to make sure the pipeline is always moving. Determine how many leads you need in the engage phase to meet your sales targets. Sales monitoring software can help you check on the activity of leads in your pipeline.
Clean up your pipeline
If a potential customer turns out to be disinterested or stays in the same phase for too long, it’s time to reevaluate them. Cleaning your pipeline will help you spend more time on your best leads. You should also make sure your information is up-to-date. For example, if a prospect leaves your target company, take them out of the pipeline and find a new contact at the firm. Check your goals frequently to make sure they are attainable.
The bottom line
Developing a steady sales pipeline can be tricky for even the most effective salespeople. Understanding your leads and where they are in the buyer’s journey will help you put together a well-flowing pipeline. This process is part of a bigger body of marketing and sales strategies called the inbound methodology.
It can be hard to do this all alone, though. Responsify partners with B2B technology sales and business development pros to offer strategy, support, and help in developing an Inbound leads pipeline. By working together, we help marketing and salespeople bring in new site visitors, convert them into leads, and then customers.
We’ve helped plenty of sales pros include Inbound into their sales process. Don’t hesitate to schedule a free strategy session to help you assess your methods and make your pipeline even better.