A robust sales development process is the lifeblood of any business. Master your process and you will be rewarded with improved sales, increased revenue, reduced wastage and accurate sales forecasts for predictable business results. But, how to build sales pipeline and how to optimise your sales funnel for success? We’ll show you how to achieve both of these aims in 6 easy to follow steps below.
Steps to grow your sales pipeline and revenue
Here’s our six step guide to growing an efficient pipeline that generates more sales:
- Know your audience
- Utilise lead scoring
- Personalise your content
- Implement accurate tracking
- Identify leakage
- Automate to accelerate
Increasing revenue is all about getting the right prospects into your funnel and closing deals. Let’s take a look at these steps in more detail.
Know your audience
Firstly, in order to build your sales pipeline you must know your audience. Who is your ideal customer? Have you mapped accurate buyer personas? Also ask yourself, how do you compare with your competitors? Insights from your research should inform who you are targeting; what channels you will use and what messaging you will use in order to highlight your value proposition. A marketing expert and consultant can help guide you on all of the above points.
Utilise lead scoring
Acquiring leads is great but the second (and crucial) stage in building your pipeline is: utilise lead scoring. This means assigning value to your inbound contacts to focus your sales and marketing efforts on the leads that matter most to your business. Adopting an account based marketing approach is favoured by many in the B2B sector.
Personalise your content is our third step, geared towards accelerating velocity in your sales funnel. Tailor your online and offline communications for those at the top, middle and bottom of the funnel. Will social proof help build brand awareness? How about an explainer video to get a demo booked? Your content should aim to address individual pain points and be both timely and relevant.
Fourthly, implement accurate tracking may seem self explanatory but can your sales team quickly see where a prospect is in the sales cycle? Do they have a record of previous touch points to allow for accurate follow up? A CRM (customer relationship management) system is a best friend to sales and marketing.
Pipeline health tips
Prevent a leaky sales pipeline
So far, we have addressed how to prospect, qualify and push leads towards sales won. But, point five, identify leakage, is vital to overall pipeline health. Take time to conduct funnel analysis; identify any areas of drop off between funnel stages and make changes to improve performance. There should be no lead left behind.
Automation accelerates sales pipeline
Last in our six-step plan is automate to accelerate. Scale your operation quickly with the use of marketing automation tools or fast forward to warmed up leads with the use of predictive marketing techniques. Big data delivers big results.
How to build sales pipeline on a firm marketing foundation
The six-step process clearly omits the need for a fully-formed marketing strategy and plan to achieve your marketing goals. You should first ensure that marketing has an idea of how much activity is required to feed the sales won target at the bottom of the funnel.
Reverse sales funnels or reverse sales pipeline help you to map your sales funnel to understand the number of SQLs, MQLs and also inquiries required to meet your sales won. The reverse sales pipeline helps you set the right goal at each part of the sales process. Armed with this information, marketing can work backwards to build a plan and budget to support the revenue targets in your business objectives.
It takes a village: sales and marketing alignment
Acquiring leads and funneling those leads towards sales won requires sales and marketing departments to work in unison. Misalignment between these two teams is the single biggest contributor to declining or stagnating sales.
Think about it: misaligned sales and marketing forces make for incongruous messaging from a customer perspective. Not only can this add friction to their journey, it can create a poor impression of your company. And that is after you have done the hard work, investing time and money into prospecting.
What’s more, poor communication between sales and marketing is bad from a company perspective. Without sales’s guidance, your marketing team could be targeting the wrong audiences. Your sales team has valuable first-hand knowledge of which targets are most likely to convert so you make that leap from MQL to SQL to sales won. Similarly, ever-increasing sales cycles highlight the need for marketing involvement to push prospects down the funnel and support sales efforts.
Sales and marketing support from Think Beyond
Do you need support in aligning your sales and marketing teams? Or are you one of the 68% of B2B companies who have yet to identify their sales funnel? Perhaps you need advice on marketing automation or making the move to ABM?
Think Beyond is a full service marketing consultancy that helps businesses across the UK to grow. With a science-first approach, our CIM marketers deliver bespoke marketing solutions and lead generation strategies that get results.
Alternatively, you can request more information about our marketing support services by completing our quick contact form.
Finally, find out how we helped others to improve their sales performance in our five-star client testimonials.