What does a full sales pipeline look like and what would it mean for your business?
Every business has a sales pipeline. Not every business has the full sales pipeline they want to have! Does your pipeline have enough prospects to enable you to meet your sales targets? Do you have sales targets?
Let’s look at your sales pipeline and the numbers around it. After all, the first thing I always do with a new client is look at the numbers.
If you have a sales target of one new client a week, what impact will this have on the marketing effort you need to put in?
One new client per week needs 5 new prospects per week, assuming you close 20% of qualified sales
5 new prospects per week means 10 leads per week, assuming 50% of leads qualify themselves out or you qualify them out
10 leads per week means 500 new visitors to your website, assuming 2% of visitors contact you.
Are you generating 500 new visitors to your website each week?
Of course, you need to edit these numbers to match your current sales and marketing performance, but they give you an idea of what is involved. If your conversion rates are better than those used above, you need less visitors.
What I’m asking is:
- Do you know what your numbers are?
- Have you calculated how many website visits you need to generate?
- What are you currently doing to generate them?
If your Sales team is not hitting your business targets, it may not be their fault. Of course, it may not be Marketing’s fault either if you aren’t providing the resources they need to hit these goals.
How can this be improved?
If you haven’t got the budget to generate the new visitors you need each month, perhaps through Google Adwords or other paid search, let’s look at how these numbers can be improved in order to reduce the need:
Is your website doing its job?
Check the exit rates using Google Analytics and see which pages are not performing. Test new content to see how you can improve the performance of the page.
Does the content show what you do or how you help your target audience?
Does every page have a Call to Action that guides visitors through the site in a way that will engage them and get them to contact you?
Add Goals to Analytics and see how you are performing. You should consider goals such as number of pages or time on site, rather than simply did they go to your Contact Us page.
None of this costs money, but it will take some time and effort. Your website’s performance will impact both the number of enquiries you have and the number that are qualified. If your content suggests you do something a little different to what you actually do, you are likely to get lots of enquiries that are for something you don’t do.
What is marketing doing to support the sales process? Marketing’s job doesn’t finish when the lead is handed over to a salesperson. There needs to be a support programme which ensures that a hot lead remains a hot lead for the duration of the sales process. How long is the sales cycle in your business by the way?
If Sales and Marketing work together (heaven forbid!!), hitting your sales targets will be far easier as your close rate improves.
I’ve always said my role is to line them up and Sales has to knock them down. I’m not a Sales trainer (but I know a man who is) but I can quickly help you identify where there is room for improvement, if needed. Your Sales team will know whether they are converting enough. They will looking for ways to improve, but if there is room for improvement in the Sales function, may I suggest the following questions need to be asked:
- Are they talking about your business or about the prospects?
- Are they telling stories to help the prospect understand how they help?
- Are they only moving forward when asked to by the prospect?
- Are you using software to help you know when the prospect is moving forward?
The numbers in your pipeline will tell what you need to do to achieve your goals. Sales and Marketing need to work together to ensure that the numbers within your pipeline are as good as they can be.
I hope this helps.