The right sales pipeline management software can organize your leads, predict revenue, generate data-driven insights, and even motivate your sales team. When chosen carefully and used effectively, this powerful tool has the potential to be your new best friend for making connections and closing deals.
You’re going to get the best results out of a software solution if you start with accurate data and a program with features aligned with your needs. Optimize your sales pipeline software with these proven strategies from the experts.
Before you even begin researching software options, ask yourself: Is there a unified, clearly defined sales process for our sales department? No software solution can substitute for clear, strong processes.
Sales pipeline management starts with strategy. The software will help you execute the systems you’ve built to reach your goals and KPIs.
Sales naturally attracts highly motivated, independent workers who feel comfortable setting their goals and strategies. Having the insight and adaptability to tailor your sales technique to a specific lead is an asset. You’ll see stronger results across your sales if you have some unity and consistency in your approach, though. If you haven’t coached your team on the sales techniques that work best for your target market, put that on your urgent list.
The fact that you’re here, reading this, is already a good indicator that you know it’s smart to research your options before committing to a purchase. You’re not facing a shortage of CRM software to review and consider. It’s a matter of finding the right solution to drive results.
One of the best pieces of advice about evaluating your options is to think about what it'll be like to use the software from day to day. These qualities set you up for success:
Being able to access statistics in a few clicks is key, plus the data you see should be easy to digest. It's also worth using cloud-based software so everyone’s view automatically displays the most up-to-date information and choosing a dashboard that’s easy to navigate.
Do you need to check pipeline activity by team, by milestone, by forecast? Do you want to compare lead conversion by location, or year over year? Look for software that lets you decide how you want to view your data. Reviewing stats on your terms makes it easier to plan next steps.
While we’re talking about next steps, your sales pipeline management software should make planning easier, too. After all, a large part of tracking a pipeline is predicting revenue. Being able to predict pipeline growth and conversion rates means hitting more KPIs. Software that generates reports lets you monitor your entire sales cycle, so you can base improvement strategies on real data about your past wins and losses.
No matter how sophisticated your software is, you still know more about your specific business and industry than the provider. Key points in the pipeline look different depending on how your clients make decisions. The stage that has a 75% chance of converting to a win for one company could translate to just 50% for another. Your software is supposed to give you an instant read on your pipeline’s health. You’ll get the most out of your tech if you customize the settings to reflect your business reality.
Task batching works great as a productivity tool in some situations. The idea is that crossing off several similar tasks in a row lets you stay focused on a specific skill and use the momentum of completed tasks to drive you forward. Examples could be working through a list of brief touches with Sales Qualified Leads, or preparing demo materials for several clients in a row who are further down in the pipeline.
One area where this doesn’t work as well, though, is updating your sales pipeline CRM. Procrastinating means you’ll end up having to retrace your entire day, or even the whole work week, trying to remember every action you completed.
Instead, get in the habit of updating your sales pipeline management dashboard as you go. Encourage your team to do the same. This makes the software's mobile app super important, the easier it is to update on the fly, the more chance it will get done.
Plus, you have the added benefit that with a shared interface, updating in real-time means you can see coworkers’ progress so you don’t replicate their work.
Set a reminder in your calendar to assess how your new software is working. Some great questions to ask include:
- Who's enjoying using the software? Ask them to share the things that make them go 'wow' and improve the workflow so others benefit
- Are tasks being updated more efficiently than before?
- Does the pipeline match revenue targets?
- Is the pipeline a true reflection of all our 'real' opportunities?
- Are all leads in the pipeline qualified?
- Are sales moving as predicted, or do we need to troubleshoot a spot where we’re losing more often than expected?
- Why are we losing opportunities? Is there a trend based on activity, team or individual?
- How can we address the top reason for lost opportunities, either by screening leads more effectively or tweaking key milestones further down the pipeline?
Your sales pipeline is the lifeblood of your company, which means the software you choose to manage it makes a huge difference. A program that combines easy-to-use features with a sophisticated ability to capture meaningful data will give you the tools you need for a more productive sales team and more accurate sales forecasts.