Each stage brings qualified leads to the next phase, keeping in the previous stage those who have not passed the process.
A sales pipeline will help you visualize your sales process. It will show where your deals are. A visual pipeline makes goals easier to achieve by breaking any process down into trackable tasks. It can make the difference in your bottom line.
The number and type of stages of your sales pipeline depend on both how you obtain leads and your industry. The stages through which a lead must always pass are:
New Contact > Qualification > Proposal > Negotiation > Sale
If you already have a defined sales process, you already know the steps of your sales pipeline. If not, will help you build out your sales process. Each company has its own way of managing the sales process and customer contact points. We can distinguish them in three phases:
In this stage, prospects turn into Leads. It’s time for your sales rep, to ask relevant questions and qualify the lead.
Your Leads are now Qualified since you talked to your prospects and they answered questions that help you understand if you can solve their needs.
It is when your Qualified leads go through a Proposal and a Negotiation.
Sales pipelines help you find important insights like:
Anticipated revenue: Only a percentage of your leads will convert into deals won. Knowing this, you can forecast sales to help plan budgets and adjust sales targets.
Overallocation: You may notice that some salespeople are focused on deals that will never convert.
Sales cycle: For some businesses negotiations can last months. Use your pipeline to understand how long it typically takes your team to close a deal.
Bottlenecks: You might find that a stage regularly delays the sales process.
Sales rep success: A sales pipeline also provides insight into which of your salespeople closes the most sales.