How to Manage a Sales Pipeline for a Retail and Ecommerce Company

Your sales pipeline—that is, the multi-stage journey your leads take to become customers—is the key to unlocking more revenue for your retail and ecommerce company. When your pipeline is efficiently managed, you can significantly increase the number of sales your business generates.

But how do you do that? What does it take to improve a retail and ecommerce sales pipeline? If you find yourself asking that question, don’t worry—we’re here to help. On this page, we’ll explore how to manage a sales pipeline for a retail and ecommerce company like yours. Keep reading to learn more.

How to manage a sales pipeline for a retail and ecommerce company

There are many different ways to get better at managing a retail and ecommerce pipeline. On this page, we’ll explore six of the biggest ones, including:

  1. Defining your retail and ecommerce sales pipeline stages
  2. Harnessing email marketing to boost your pipeline
  3. Using a CRM for sales pipeline management
  4. Using sales automation tools
  5. Optimizing the design of your online store
  6. Using a data-driven approach to your retail and ecommerce sales pipeline

Read on for an overview of each one!

1. Define your retail and ecommerce sales pipeline stages

One of the first things to know about sales pipelines is that they have different stages. Breaking your pipeline into different stages helps you track how far along each lead is at a given time.

So, which stages should be in your pipeline? Well, it’s different for every business. That said, here are some of the most common pipeline stages:

  • Prospecting: Using top-of-funnel marketing to spread brand awareness
  • Lead qualification: Generating leads with lead magnets
  • Deal close: Closing sales
  • Follow-up: Providing post-purchase customer service

A lot of businesses have several additional stages. But retail and ecommerce companies tend to have extremely short sales cycles, with people often making a purchase on the same day they visit the store.

Define your sales process with this free worksheet

Download our free PDF template to standardize the key sales activities for your company.


2. Harness email marketing to boost your pipeline

When people walk into your physical store—if you have one—there’s a good chance they’ll buy something on that very visit. But when they visit your online store, they’ll often leave unpurchased items in their cart in another tab, holding off until later. And then they can quickly forget all about it.

To keep people from abandoning their carts just before purchase, you should take advantage of email marketing. This is one of the most important strategies for an ecommerce company.

The best approach is to get people on your website to sign up for your email list in return for some kind of lead magnet. One easy way to do this is to simply have people submit their email address during the purchase process and offer a coupon, free sample, free download, or other valuable item in return. If they don’t complete the checkout process, you can then send them a reminder email later.

Ultimately, this will drive more purchases and more revenue.

3. Use a CRM for sales pipeline management

If you want to effectively manage your sales pipeline, you need to have the right tools. The most important sales pipeline management tool is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. A CRM gathers, stores, organizes, and analyzes data about your customers.

Using a CRM, you can track leads as they move through each stage of your pipeline, letting you see exactly how to market to each one. You can also take advantage of other CRM features like lead segmentation, custom reporting, and sales automation.

Get the features you need in an easy-to-use CRM

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4. Use sales automation tools

Speaking of sales automation, you definitely want to have a tool that will help you automate mundane, day-to-day sales tasks. Those tasks might include things like generating reports, assigning leads, and sending emails.

There are many different tools out there dedicated to sales automation. However, as we just mentioned, CRMs often include sales automation features. That means rather than getting two separate tools, you can just get a CRM that includes sales automation features, and you’ll be covered.

Using sales automation helps free you up from repetitive tasks so that your team can spend more time on the more important aspects of running your ecommerce business.

5. Optimize the design of your online store

When it comes to ecommerce, it’s important to keep people on your website. If people visit your online store and quickly decide to leave, none of them will ever progress to the last stages of your sales pipeline. To keep them there longer, you need to optimize your web design.

There are several ways to improve your general web design, including:

  • Making your site mobile-friendly
  • Improving page load speed
  • Using images and video
  • Effectively using white space

You can also specifically optimize your online store by doing things like making it easy to navigate and ensuring that your product inventory is always up to date. 

6. Use a data-driven approach to your retail and ecommerce sales pipelines

Our final tip for managing a retail and ecommerce pipeline is to take a data-driven approach. But what does that mean? Essentially, it means you should analyze data about your customers and your sales campaigns to see how you can improve your sales pipeline.

This is where tools like a CRM come in handy. You can generate reports that help you learn who your audience is and what they want, as well as which sales campaigns are the most effective at reaching them. You can then reoptimize your pipeline to drive more sales and earn more revenue.

Choose Nutshell for your retail and ecommerce CRM

As you can tell, several of the tips on this list involve using a CRM. For that reason, getting a CRM for your retail and ecommerce business should be one of the first steps you take toward improving your sales pipeline. But which CRM should you choose? The answer to that question is simple—Nutshell.

Nutshell is one of the best CRMs for ecommerce companies, coming with all the standard CRM features plus email marketing, lead attribution, custom reporting, and more. Also, when you use Nutshell, you get access to our team of customer support reps, who can help you with any questions or concerns you may have.

Want to see for yourself what Nutshell can do for your business? Start a 14-day free trial today!


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