Sales pipeline management in CRM: best practices for sales leaders

Sales pipeline management is a sales manager’s bread and butter.

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When your sales reps have a sales pipeline in place, they’ll know exactly what stage a potential client is in the sales process and what they need to do to move the client to the bottom of the sales funnel. As a sales leader, your job is to provide your sales reps with this sales pipeline and manage it so they can work effectively and achieve sales targets.

What Is Sales Pipeline Management in CRM?

Sales pipeline management is a process of tracking and managing potential clients as they progress through stages of your sales process. It tells you where opportunities are, what risks you should pay attention to, and how you can take advantage of your sales teams’ skill sets to close more deals.

Sales pipeline management often involves collecting data, optimizing sales processes, forecasting sales, and evaluating performance. It also includes developing practices to increase revenue and improve sales reps’ productivity.

Sales pipeline management requires a disciplined approach to organizing and tracking customer data as well as turning data into actionable insights that inform decision-making. And the most common approach to do this is through CRM (customer relationship management).

Adopting a CRM system is the most effective way to implement sales pipeline management. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to do it without CRM, especially when your business scales and grows.

Why Is Sales Pipeline Management Important?

With a sales pipeline management system in place, you can set priorities and always know where you are in the sales process. You stay alert on the total number of deals in play, the percentage of deals you’ve closed and haven’t, the average lifetime of a deal before closure, who are ready for a proposal, and who are the least potential.

According to Harvard Business Review’s research, companies with effective sales pipeline management had an average growth rate of 5.5, compared with a growth rate of 4.6 in companies that didn’t manage sales pipelines effectively. Businesses with a highly optimized sales pipeline management system even saw 28% higher revenue growth.

That’s sufficient to show that sales pipeline management is no longer a nice-to-have but a must for all B2B businesses.

Who Should Use a Sales Pipeline Management CRM?

As said earlier, a sales pipeline management CRM is crucial to the success of B2B businesses. But as 88% of spreadsheets contain some type of errors, it becomes increasingly necessary for businesses of all types, including small businesses and B2C companies.

Sales Pipeline Management Best Practices

The sooner your sales reps identify opportunities, the more likely they can close deals. That’s why building a sustainable sales pipeline management system is so important. Here are some best practices you can apply to create this system:

Simplify your sales process: Your sales process shouldn’t include too many steps as it’ll make it harder for your sales reps to do their job. Clean up your list, focus on the most qualified leads and prioritize activities that can help convert them.

Provide your leads with proper information to make decisions: The length of your proposal doesn’t matter. As long as you give your leads the information they need and convince them that your product will strengthen their business, you’ve done your job as a sales rep.

Perform a sales pipeline audit: Bring sales leaders, sales managers, and sales reps together and conduct an audit of your current sales pipeline to point out strengths and weaknesses. Then, use the insights to improve your system.

Create a pipeline management operations manual to guide your sales reps: Develop scripts and checklists at each stage of your sales process based on your previous sales performance.

AI-Guided Sales Pipeline Management

A CRM system like Revenue Grid can help streamline and accelerate your sales pipeline management. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Revenue Grid gives you a full-featured platform that stores your clients’ data in one central place and scores and ranks them according to chances of closing. Your sales can access this database across multiple devices whenever they want and update data without having to switch between multiple platforms.

But Revenue Grid’s sales pipeline management capabilities don’t stop there. Let’s take a closer look at some of its features:

The pipeline visibility tool allows you to visually see the pipeline and opportunities at any particular moment. From this visual approach, you can quickly develop actions that fill up your sales pipelines with more opportunities. You’ll be looking at the entire pipeline, as opposed to specific deals.

Intelligent team analytics reports show you advanced insights into your sales team’s productivity. How many deals is a particular sales rep handling in their pipeline? Given that rep’s win rate, do they have enough leads and deals to achieve sales targets? You can see the progress of their past and current activities to predict their future performance.

Revenue signals provide your sales reps with direct insights into deals at risk and what actions should be conducted to turn them around fast. When you know how long a deal takes to make it through the pipeline and how long it should take for a deal to make it through each stage of that pipeline, you’ve got a fairly accurate sales process.

Best Sales Pipeline Management Software

The main benefits of using sales pipeline management CRM software come down to two factors: it’s data-driven and AI-powered, and it accelerates your sales pipeline.

Explore Revenue Grid revenue intelligence platform today to experience the power of this sophisticated system.

See how it can take your sales performance
to the next level with Revenue Grid

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