In its simplest form, a sales pipeline can be represented in 3 major stages, starting with Leads, then following on to Opportunities and finally to Accounts. For most of you reading this, you’ll already be familiar with the concept and likely be employing it in your selling activities. For a more detailed explanation of each of the stages, take a look at a post we wrote a while back where we explain how the 3 step pipeline fits into Simple Sales Tracking.
A primary reason for tracking your sales pipeline is for projections, which include future/prospective:
– Cash flow / Earnings
– Demand for products and services
– Customer growth
If you consistently convert the same percentage of Leads into Opportunities, then into Accounts, over time you’ll be able to more accurately trend your projections and uncover your closing rates individually and for your group or company.
With you increased insight, you can begin to measure and test various approaches to your sales activities, rather than ‘taking shots in the dark’, you’ll begin to carefully measure the effect of each one.
Importantly, you’ll also begin to see where your customers are falling through the cracks and learn where more follow ups are needed and when.