What is deals pipeline?
Deals pipeline or sales pipeline in CRM is a visual representation of the stages of a sales opportunity, from initial contact to close. It is a way to track the progress of potential deals and prioritize them based on their likelihood of closing.
Deals pipelines can be used to track the progress of individual leads or deals and the sales team's overall performance. Sales teams can use this to prioritize their efforts, identify bottlenecks in the sales process, and forecast future sales.
What are the stages in deals pipeline?
The stages of a deals pipeline can vary depending on the company and the specific sales process, but common stages might include the following:
- Lead generation
- Lead qualification
- Initiate Contact
- Deals won
Lead generation - During the Lead generation process sales team aims to identify and attract new customers for a business. As a result, potential clients can be identified, relationships can be built, and eventually, sales can be made.
Lead qualification - Lead qualification is the process of evaluating a potential customer to determine if they are a good fit for the product or service offered. It helps identify which leads are worth pursuing and which should be ignored because they do not match company goals. During the lead qualification process, a salesperson will ask questions to learn more about their potential customer and determine if they are interested in buying what they are selling. They also assess whether or not this person has enough budget and decision-making authority to make an actual purchase.
Initiate Contact - Initiating contact involves reaching out to a potential customer and establishing or discussing a sales opportunity. This might involve making a phone call, sending an email, or connecting with the potential customer through social media; other channels may also be possible. It is an essential part of the sales process, allowing the sales team to introduce themselves and their products or services to potential customers.
Scheduling - Scheduling consists of organizing and managing events, appointments, and other activities. Scheduling sales calls, demos, or meetings with customers might be part of this process.
Negotiation - Negotiation is a process in which a salesperson discusses and potentially adjusts the terms of a sales deal with potential or existing customers. This might involve discussing the deal's price, delivery date, and details. It is a key part of the sales process and can help salespeople and customers reach an agreement that works for them and understand and address the customer's needs. It is crucial to have good communication skills and problem-solving ability to address the customer’s needs.
Deals won - Deals won, called Deal Closed or Closed Won, indicate that leads have reached the end of the sales cycle and are considered closed. Essentially, the customer has made a firm commitment to buy from you. As far as this opportunity or deal is concerned, no further sales effort is required.
Why it is essential to monitor sales pipeline?
Deals pipeline is one of the important metrics every sales leader should measure in any CRM like Salesforce. It needs to be monitored for several reasons:
To Track the progress of potential deals - Monitoring the sales pipeline from initial contact to close can help prioritize which deals to focus on and allocate resources accordingly.
To identify problems - Monitoring the sales pipeline can help identify bottlenecks or familiar reasons for deals falling through. This, in turn, improves how prospects are managed and increase revenue.
To improve productivity - By monitoring the sales pipeline, the sales team can stay focused on their most promising opportunities. This will help to improve both productivity and efficiency.
Monitoring the sales pipeline is an essential part of the sales process. It helps track deals, to improve productivity, and help sales teams stay organized and focused.
Deals pipeline vs. sales funnel
Deals pipeline and sales funnel are terms often used interchangeably, but they refer to slightly different concepts.
Deals pipeline is a visual representation of the stages of a sales opportunity, from initial contact to close. It is used to track progress and prioritize deals by likelihood of closing. The stages that might include in the sales pipeline are Lead generation, Lead qualification, Initiate Contact, Scheduling, Negotiation, and Deals won.
Sales funnel is a visual representation of a potential customer's steps, from initial awareness to purchase. It helps companies understand how to attract and retain customers by identifying patterns in the buying process. The stages in a sales funnel are Awareness, Interest, evaluation, decision, and Purchase.