To grow a sales pipeline, you need to keep an eye on your potential customers as they move through the stages of lead generation, qualification, consultation, proposal, and sale.
A sales pipeline is not the same as a sales funnel. The funnel is about the customer’s journey. The pipeline is about the internal sales process.
The sales pipeline is an internal strategy that defines the steps your sales staff take.
17 Strategies to Grow a Sales Pipeline
These sales pipeline growing strategies can be applied every day and require little to no effort from you once you start doing them automatically.
1. Remain curious about your customer’s problems.
Engaged interest in your customers is the most important step you need to take to grow a sales pipeline. It is the cornerstone for all subsequent steps as it arms you with data that helps you take the right action. Customer problems are not set in stone. If you create static solutions, you will miss out on growth opportunities that are birthed from innovation.
2. Define the type of media your customers prefer.
Start with your ideal customer and see where their engagement focus is. The Pareto principle is a method you can apply to give 80% preference to the most compelling initiatives for your customer. Dedicate the rest 20% to omnichannel marketing.
3. Actively build social selling networks.
Selling on social media includes building a solid customer base, nurturing relationships, focusing on providing service and giving (instead of selling), a consistent content schedule, and constant interaction. Social media selling is based on reliability. So an important strategy to grow your sales pipeline is to create a consistent and reliable service that your staff can easily follow day by day.
4. Be consistent in prospecting.
This means “daily prospecting”. Create a prospecting routine for your A-level prospects, develop consistent and repeated messaging over a certain period, and track your results. Target your prospects with specific offerings based on their needs.
Watch E41 from our #AsktheCEO series to learn more:
5. Pay attention to what mostly triggers your customers.
There is usually one most important trigger that creates chaos for your customers. For example, creating more time in a packed daily schedule is among the top three issues for entrepreneurs. Solve a priority need and you will increase service value and create a loyal customer.
6. Centralize data.
Gather everything you have in one place. If you have spreadsheets with data all over the palace, you cannot get the most out of what you know about your sales. Keep everything in one place with a centralized data platform.
7. Make every data insight visible.
Data generates a lot of insights. But if you don’t make it visible, you lose. If you have many workflows and multiple data-producing applications, things can get all over the place. Data visibility enables you to monitor, display, and analyze data and make more informed business decisions. Your task is to ensure you have an umbrella system for data visibility.
8. Prioritize paid advertising.
Social media ads such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram boost brand awareness and brand loyalty and generate in-depth data analytics at a low cost.
9. Invest in organic content.
Organic content (blogging, for instance) is your chance to analyze your audience’s behavior, capture their attention, build a landing page, and stay in touch. Similar to social media selling, regularity and consistency in publishing are key to keeping in touch with your audience. Consider adding video content to the blog to drive more conversions.
10. Entice with white papers and eBooks.
In B2B service industries, education is part of the business, especially if you possess expertise that could help your customers with a problem that they never even knew they had. Long-form content such as white papers and eBooks provide in-depth knowledge that turns the switch on about the value of your service.
11. Contact the person with the need, money, authority, and interest.
To grow a sales pipeline, your B2B leads should be the person in a company that needs your offer and a budget to pay the price. Also, look for those in charge of making purchasing decisions who are interested in your brand.
12. Make it easy for them to complete the purchase.
A common example of simplifying sales is a one-click e-commerce purchase. When it comes to B2B selling, a prescriptive approach works best. Assist customers in moving past purchasing roadblocks by making clear recommendations using a pro-and-con sales system.
13. Harness the relationship all the time.
Get to know your customers. Listen, empathize, value their time, and be responsive. Ask for feedback, communicate regularly, and exceed expectations.
14. Maximize value for the client once they make the purchase.
Invest in how customers perceive your brand, ask for and act upon feedback, and ensure an all-around positive purchasing experience. Improve your product’s unique strengths by always prioritizing quality over price.
15. Create opportunities for current clients.
Acquiring more clients grows sales. But retaining your existing customers by lowering the costs of service, maintaining loyalty, and selling more of what they need is a strategy to grow a sales pipeline. Assess the ROI and stop marketing to low-value customers. Market more to those who add substantial value to your business. In a nutshell, play with Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) vs. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAQ) to see what pays the most.
16. Upsell and cross-sell.
There is an opportunity in selling more and more expensively to a current customer but only if you have worked on the previous pipeline growing strategies. Customer satisfaction and solidifying the relationship should be your main incentive to upsell and cross-sell.
17. Automate as much as possible.
Although you may not be able to automate everything, you can use workflows and automation tools to implement a data-driven sales strategy. Automation is key to keeping your sales team on track as it removes obstacles created by manual repetitive tasks and provides the benefits of AI and digitalization.
What steps will you take to grow your sales pipeline?
Don’t wait until tomorrow.