30 second summary:
A successful, profitable business needs to develop, and maintain a robust process to build a strong new business pipeline.
To achieve this objective, a business should focus, across the business, on the sales development process and develop a system to capture and exploit new opportunities to the full.
In this article, we explore seven simple steps to developing a robust pipeline and a path to building a database to allow accurate sales forecasting, predictive revenue and increased profitability.
The Sales Pipeline Process
A sustainable sales pipeline is fundamental for any business. It ensures visibility over future revenues and cashflow, practical management of resources and financials, and enables forecasting and stronger business planning – vital for business growth.
These seven key steps will help you develop a cross-business focus on sales development and establish a robust sales pipeline for your business.
1. Identify and define your target market
Clearly define your market to understand the demographics, location, and common interests or needs of your target customers.
2. Identify companies, opportunities, and projects in your target market
Do market research using resources, such as Companies House, IOD, Chamber of Commerce, business organisations, etc…
3. Research key contacts and roles in your target companies
Develop your database using professional networks, such as LinkedIn, IOD, trade fairs, trade magazines, telemarketing, etc.
4. Reach out to your key contacts
Utilise a variety of techniques, including professional telemarketing, email, networking, in-mail (LinkedIn), direct mail, etc.
5. Segment data to develop and understand your pipeline
Group your companies by industry type, region, number of employees, revenue, expected sales. Group your contacts by role, seniority, etc.
6. Develop a manageable list of qualified Leads and work through until closed won/lost
Work methodically though the leads to further qualify, assess needs, and manage the opportunities until Closed-Won or Closed-Lost.
7. Install a CRM system to capture information and develop the opportunities
Capture each stage of the pipeline in a cloud-based CRM system to effectively manage and develop accurate sales forecasting, predictive revenue and increased sales and profitability.
The importance of knowing where your next sale is coming from and how soon it will come in cannot be stressed enough. In a two-phase process, focus on identifying and establishing your sales pipeline initially, and then work to make it robust and sustainable.
If you feel you need help to establish a sustainable sales pipeline, please contact us. At Rathbone Results we help business leaders deliver more profitable and sustainable growth - why not give us a call on 020 8798 0175 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org?
Book an exploratory call to find out how we can help you unlock your business potential.
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