3 Ways to Better Manage Your Pipeline

how to manage your sales pipeline

In the sales-driven world we live in, a seemingly basic concept is often overlooked. Take a second to make a guess. If you haven’t already figured it out from the title of this article, the concept is pipeline management. Salespeople are constantly trying to close new business or upsell an existing customer, but they don’t always take the time to make sure that they’re keeping up to date with their pipeline. In even the simplest of CRM systems, managing your pipeline can be very easy and, better yet, quick to accomplish.

Are you equipped with the right tools to effectively manage your pipeline? Successful sales organizations take three approaches to this effort:

1) Have a Clear and Defined Sales Process

You can’t truly understand your pipeline if you don’t have a process in place, let alone accurately report on it when your sales manager walks through the door on Monday morning. At that point, you might as well be playing pin the tail on the donkey. Implementing a clear and defined sales process and workflow can do wonders for a sales organization. It means that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal, allowing for accurate reporting and forecasting  

If you don’t have a process in place today, don’t worry. Keep reading and you’ll be a pipeline management pro in no time!

2) Spend Time Every Week Managing Your Pipeline

This is probably one of today’s most underutilized salesperson tactics. Neglecting your pipeline, even if it’s only for a few weeks, can have a negative impact on your sales process. If you aren’t up-to-date with the latest interactions and activity, your data accuracy can be suspect, and it might not be clear which opportunities you should be spending time on and which are most likely to close.

Think of setting time aside as spring cleaning (yes, every week) for your pipeline. Not only does this assure data and pipeline accuracy, but it will give you a leg up on competitors that don’t have a clear picture of their pipeline or where they are in the sales cycle.

3) Implement a Training Program for Pipeline Management

One of the key reasons that salespeople don’t effectively manage their pipelines is because they weren’t trained or just don’t know how. Salespeople should update records with accurate data, properly move opportunities forward in the sales cycle, and report on their progress throughout the quarter. It’s important to take these steps in order to hit those all-important quotas.

Instead, many salespeople go about their days pounding away at their phones and blasting out emails to clients and prospects. Make no mistake – those activities have great sales value. But it’s all about taking the overall effort a bit further to set your team up for success, and it starts with change management.

By implementing mandatory training on pipeline management best practices, salespeople in your organization can take hold of the blueprint they need to be successful when managing their pipelines. This commitment to training can get everyone working towards the same goal and increase team collaboration and success.

Fortunately, Bullhorn CRM, the CRM for Humans, is here to help with your pipeline efforts.  Our platform includes lead and opportunity tracking, pipeline views, sales team and individual salesperson activity reports, opportunity-specific reports, automatic data capture to help you keep your data clean, and much more.

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