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Sales Pipeline or Sales is the lifeblood of any business. It is a never-ending process, wherein businesses want prospects and customers to buy repeatedly from them. So how do businesses maintain their sales cycles for optimum sales success? By having a sales pipeline. Having a robust sales pipeline is all about having a bird’s eye view of your prospects and customers.
So what is the secret for a strong sales pipeline? Today, sales pipeline is not only confined to pen, paper and spreadsheets. Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of business and project management software to SMEs across India suggests having a CRM solution for a healthy sales pipeline.
Unfortunately, lot of businesses endure from ineffective sales pipeline management resulting in poor sales performance. Here are 10 prominent warning signs that shout you are not in control of your sales pipeline.
Administration is a time-consuming task!
This is the most apparent sign contributing towards an ineffective sales pipeline. If your executives are spending extended hours frequently on reporting and administration tasks, your employees are definitely not getting adequate time to focus on the most crucial aspect of business i.e. sales.
Equipping your sales reps with a smart and best CRM for sales will help them work efficiently as well as focus on what matters the most i.e. selling.
Sluggish closure of deals
Your sales cycle is taking too long to reach the closure stage than the stipulated timeline. Your sales reps and managers are finding it difficult and time-consuming to manage prospects and complete the sales cycle efficiently within the given time.
A healthy sales pipeline is the one wherein a sales rep manages every opportunity and lead in an automated manner speeding up the sales cycle effectively. A perfect CRM software is the key to an agile sales cycle.
Clueless of open opportunities, and they are slipping out!
You lack a proper view of all the open sales opportunities lying stagnantly in your pipeline as well as are unable to priorities the same. This is why you might be missing out big time on all those promising customers. Failing to move opportunities to closure across the sales cycle in a quick way hints towards an ineffective sales pipeline management.
A perfectly implemented customer relationship management system helps sales reps to priorities their activities. With regular reminders about prospects in pipeline, you never miss any opportunities.
Approach all customers the same way!
Not every customer is the same and since, we are dealing with an increasing number of tech-savvy and intellectual customers today, it is imperative to have a personalized approach for each customer. They might have varying reasons and expectations. Therefore, personalisation is the key.
So if you treat everyone the same way be it at any stage of the sales cycle, you are drowning into a huge black hole here. Thus, it is important to have proper insights pertaining to buying patterns and/or behaviors of prospects/customers. This will help to approach your customers in a more personalized manner or in a way they prefer.
Forecasting sales seems unimportant and a waste of time!
Is sales forecasting a painstaking and tedious process giving worthless results? Also, is it not a priority for you? If yes, then not to worry as you are not alone here, since many sales managers and executives surprisingly believe that sales forecasting is unimportant and should be on least priority.
On the contrary, far from the misconception, sales forecasting is an excellent process to foresee possibilities and pitfalls that might be lurking in your pipeline. In fact, effective forecasting works great in channelizing and maintaining a healthy sales pipeline.
Failing or neglecting sales forecasting results in baseless decision making when it comes to sales. On the other hand, with accurate sales forecasting, you get a firm hold on your sales pipeline and guesswork goes out of the picture!
Ignorant of decision makers
The decision makers for every deal differ thus, pitching the right message at the right time and right manner is the key here. If you are ignorant of the key decision makers to close a deal in your favor, you are deemed to waste significant amount of time banging on the wrong door.
Your sales team is working aimlessly!
Your sales team is not updated regularly and everyone is directionless! Adding to the grievance, your sales reps are ringing up already contacted prospects, which is eating up significant amount of time and resource.
In addition, inability to access a customer’s history at the click of a button when on a call is nothing less than a nightmare for your sales rep.
You lose important sales data inadvertently!
You are losing all that valuable data with the exit of each sales rep from your company after which you find yourself hopping from spreadsheets to spreadsheets and piles of emails for gathering all the critical sales data.
Sales cycles are too stretched!
If sales cycle takes too long to complete, gaps in your pipeline are to be blamed. A long sales cycle is one of the greatest roadblocks to sales success. Here, you need a CRM software to have total control over your sales cycle, learn customer history and to find out how long it usually takes for moving a lead from prospect to a potential customer.
No idea about opportunity-to-win ratio!
What makes your sales reps win some sales and lose others? Having a clear picture of what drives sales success and what does not helps greatly for long-term success. Here, you ought to identify all your strong points and weak areas in your sales cycle.
If your business is enduring from any of these aforementioned warning signs, then it is a sure indicator that you are not in control of your sales pipeline. An excellent way to keep a tab and efficiently manoeuvre your sales pipeline is achievable with the help of a perfect CRM for sales.
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