Education Technology (EdTech) sales is a continuous process of prospecting, constant outreach, closing sales, and repeating. One of the best ways to sustain your “sales pipeline” is to build a continuous flow of qualified leads and managing a CRM. According to Technology Advice, companies that implement pipeline management see 28% greater development compared to those that do now.
Here are some steps to steadily increase your sales pipeline:
Understand how your clients buy
The phases of your sales pipeline need to be aligned with those of the Buyer’s Journey. The BUyer’s Journey consists of the following stages:
Awareness: Your leads understand that they have a problem/challenge are in the process of recognizing and identifying what it is.
Consideration: Your potential customers have a complete understanding of their problem/challenge and are finding solutions for it.
Decision: Your potential customers have determined which approach to use for their problem/challenge and are investigating specific solutions.
Identify sales stages
With the Buyer’s Journey in mind, the stages of your sales pipeline can be as follows:
Identify: A visitor to your site takes an action like filling in a form, participating in a webinar, or asking questions in the comment area on your blog or comments section. You can also proactively prospect and develop a list of ideal leads.
Lead Nurture: In this phase, you can start engaging with your leads by sharing helpful content using very carefully-crafted Lead Nurturing Emails every week. These are not sales emails, but help your leads learn more about their problems. Use monitoring software to engage leads that react to content around particular subjects.
Engage: Starting a conversation about the difficulties and objectives of your leads over email or phone allows you to identify what problems you can help with. Use these discussions to build records and gather information to strengthen your business.
Discover: In this phase, you should very carefully ask questions and find out more about your prospect’s particular difficulties, objectives, and duties. You want to be able to completely understand their situation rather than concentrate on trying to sell a solution.
Prepare Presentation of a Tailored Solution: Create a customized discussion on what you’ve discovered about the prospect. Remember to use their words and the information they provide to you.
Recommend a Specific Solution: At this point, your leads have accepted to have a meeting by phone or in-person and go over their specific objectives and difficulties, and select your solution.
Contact Review: Once the prospects requests your service, prepare an agreement to define the opportunity and straighten out any disagreements.
Close: Here, your customer approves the contract and makes a payment.
Develop your objectives
You have to have specific goals for every phase of the sales pipeline. This will keep your sales team encouraged and will improve the chances of success. For example, you might have a goal of closing 120 big sales a year. This amounts to ten sales a month.
Create a dashboard
After identifying the phases of your pipeline and building your goals, create a sales dashboard to help your development. This dashboard needs to be updated every day with the important information from your sales pipeline. With just a look, you should be able to see where you are in relation to your goals. You can build a dashboard using a spreadsheet or with innovative CRM software programs like Hubspot. Take a look at Hubspot’s Advanced Sales Dashboard here. The dashboard should help you keep an eye on:
Top priorities: What projects and tasks are the most important?
Schedule: Does the schedule reflect the priorities?
Objectives: For instance, how many proposals to I have to send monthly?
Revenue objectives: Am I heading in the right direction toward financial goals?
Leads: Do I have enough leads to fill my pipeline?
Keep your sales pipeline full
According to the sales expert Colleen Francis, many salespeople find themselves caught up in the sales trap. This is when a lot of time is spent on making sales and little or no effort is spent on getting new customers. Eventually, this leads to a completely dry pipeline. To prevent this, you have to have a method of loading your pipeline consistently. Here are a few ways to maintain a consistent pipeline of leads:
Buying lists: Although many salespeople find that buying lists can be imprecise and sometimes off target, lists can occasionally be a good way to build a pipeline of leads.
List building services: Similar to buying lists, this solution can be hit-or-miss. Nonetheless, specialized services can be used for building your pipeline.
Create your own list: With specialist networks like LinkedIn, you can produce a list of top businesses and individuals. Then, find their contact information to help you get more qualified leads for your pipeline.
Inbound lead generation: Getting leads to come to you first is the best. These leads have some sort of awareness about your brand and have knowledge or a passion for the service. The level of their interest could range from looking at your website, opening up an email, downloading premium content, asking for a trial, or completing a contact me form. To read more about getting leads to constantly fill your pipeline, look at the blog “Generating Leads Online: The Birds and the Bees.”
Maintain your pipeline
As you send out proposals and close deals, take time to keep current. You should take time every day to make sure your pipeline is constantly flowing. Identify the number of leads you need in the Engage phase to meet your sales targets. You can use sales management software to help you evaluate your leads in the sales pipeline.
Clean up your pipeline
If a potential customer ends up not being interested or stays in the same phase for too long, it’s time to let them go. Cleaning your pipeline will help you concentrate on your qualified leads that deserve your attention. You will also be able to make better sales projections. Cleaning up your pipeline includes making sure that the information is correct. For example, if a prospect leaves a target company, take them out of the pipeline and find the name of the person replacing them. Check your goals frequently to make sure they are working and attainable.
The bottom line
Developing a consistent sales pipeline can be trying for even the best salesperson. Ultimately, knowing who your leads are and where they stand in the Buyer’s Journey will help you set-up a well-flowing pipeline. This process belongs to a bigger body of marketing and sales techniques called the Inbound Methodology.
It can be tough to do this all alone. Responsify works with Education Technology (EdTech) companies and business development pros to offer strategy, support, and assistance in constructing an inbound leads pipeline. By collaborating, we help marketing and salespeople purposefully bring in brand-new site visitors, convert them to qualified leads, and also satisfied clients.
We’ve helped plenty of sales pros integrate Inbound right into their existing sales process. Don’t hesitate to schedule a free strategy session to help you examine your properties and get free advice on how to keep your sales pipeline full.