I can’t count on two hands the number of organizations I have worked for or with who struggle with sales pipeline management. Having been both a marketing and a sales leader, I have seen both sides of the coin, and both sides have to work together for optimal returns.
Here are some of the things I have learned to increase sales pipeline management success.
- Marketing and sales need to work hand in hand. If marketing is doing outbound messaging that doesn’t sync with what your sales team knows to sell, it isn’t going to close deals.
- Sales enablement is important. Many companies focus on demand generation to drive leads, but don’t update their sales training to speak to the constantly changing landscape of what is going on in the market. One company I worked for had sales training that was using six year old data. Training needs to be kept fresh and relevant to what your customers are dealing with.
- A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is critical. Both sales and marketing need to have visibility to this data in order to find both the areas of strength (what is working) and the weaknesses (what isn’t resonating).
- Go back to the basics. Outline how across teams you are managing the sales funnel. I still like the basics: Awareness,, Consideration, Try, Buy, Renew. How are your marketing plans addressing this in a cohesive way?
- Don’t forget Customer Support. Some of the best things I have uncovered have come through my CS teams. They are on the front lines and get the most honest, raw feedback. Make them part of your funnel management process.
Net net? Pipeline management is a team sport.
It takes every department working together to achieve the best results. And it makes it a lot more fun for every group because they have a voice and are recognized for their part of the process.
If you are looking for help to review, analyze, and fine tune your pipeline management, give us a call.