How to Keep Your Sales Pipeline Squeaky Clean

Reviewing your sales pipelines regularly is one of the best practices to boost your sales revenue. Here are a few tips on how to keep your sales pipeline clean to optimize sales.

Why keep the sales pipeline clean?

We all are afraid of presenting thin pipelines to our bosses. We also hate hearing a NO from the customers. Hence, most of us tend to add unwanted customers to the sales pipeline. This is more harmful than you can imagine. Unwanted/clogged pipelines can only mislead you and make your pipeline even thinner.

Therefore it is important to clear your sales pipeline often and keep building new pipelines as and when needed. It’s much better to have a sales pipeline of 10 prospects that are more likely to close than one with 30 or 35 who may not close anytime in the near future.

Here’s how you can keep your sales pipeline squeaky clean

Studies prove that only 20% of your leads are going to provide 80% of the targeted revenues. Organize and bucket your prospects and nudge them down into your sales pipeline regularly. By doing this,  you can make sure you target that respective 20 % of the leads who are going to add value to your business.

Categorize your prospects into the following buckets:

  1. Short-term prospects  
  2. Midterm prospects
  3. Long-term prospects

Go through all of the contacts in your sales pipeline at a regular time intervals.  

It’s better to do it every day instead of once a month. If you find a prospect who has been blocking your pipeline up for longer than your typical sales cycle, nudge them off to the least prioritized bucket.

Keep a marketing plan in place by asking the following questions to yourself even before reaching out to your contacts.

  • Who is your target?
  • What is their pain point or what do they care about?
  • Who influences them?
  • How do you want to engage them and bring them to a  buying decision?

Qualify the prospects before adding them to your pipeline.

Ask them the right questions and obtain right information from them to qualify a prospect. 

Analyze and understand the following things to add your respective contacts to the sales pipeline.

  1. Is the service or product you are offering, what the buyer needs?
  2. Is your product/service solving a pain point for the customer? 
  3. Will it help your prospect capitalize his business opportunity?
  4. Do they have an appropriate budget?
  5. Does the prospect have authority to make the buying decision?
  6. How soon are they willing to pay off or willing to contribute to your revenue targets?

Based on the qualifying process categorize your contacts into respective buckets.

One of the useful ways to categorize a prospect in your pipeline is to give them a potential score and design the buckets that will work best for your sales cycle.

For example, If your contact agrees to buy your product or service, but may not pay off this month, quarter or year; flush them off the “long-term prospects” bucket.

If your contact promises to buy your product or service but ensures he will pay off in the next quarter; nudge them off to the “mid-term prospects” bucket.

If your contact buys your product/service and is likely to pay off in the same month / early next month, move them to the “short-term prospects” bucket.

These short-term, mid-term and long-term cycles differ from company to company. Understand your company’s typical prospect cycle.

In order to make sure you put right data into your squeaky sales pipeline, here’s what you need to know.

1.Number of leads created per month
2.Number of leads converted to opportunities per month
3.Number of opportunities converted to closures per month
4.Average deal value
5.Average sales cycle
6.Average closure rate Vs open opportunities rate

Design a dashboard to maintain a neat sales pipeline.

1.Number of cold calls / emails /  appointments you need to set each week
2.Number of appointments moving through opportunities
3.Number of appointments moving through opportunities
4.Which clients are more likely to pay  off  80% of your revenue targets
5. Which prospects need a different approach

If you want to sell better you will have to build a better and clean pipeline by eliminating stagnant prospects. At Instamojo, my team and I always try to follow the best practices to keep our sales pipelines clean. 

What do you do at your company? Let me know in the comments below.


This blog is penned by Monica Krishna, Manager of Inbound Business at Instamojo

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