A sales pipeline is a representation of the journey people take when they become customers. Beginning with an introduction to your company and ending with a purchase, every sale requires someone to progress through your business’s sales pipeline.
Just like every business, your tech company needs to create and monitor your sales pipeline to ensure a smooth customer journey for all your prospects. That will ultimately lead to more sales and revenue. The question is, how can you streamline your sales pipeline management?
On this page, we’ll cover six tactics for managing a tech company pipeline. Read on to learn more about each one.
One of the most important aspects of a sales pipeline is that it has different stages. In fact, that’s the whole point of the pipeline. By breaking it apart into separate stages, you can track leads as they move through each one. Seeing which stage someone is in tells you how close they are to converting.
Of course, every business has different stages. That said, some of the most common sales pipeline stages include:
Prospecting: Finding potential leads through methods such as online research, networking, referrals, and top-of-funnel marketing
Lead qualification: Determining whether prospects have the need, budget, and authority to make a purchase in the near future
Proposal: Proving a lead with a detailed quote that lays out what will be provided, at what cost, and for how long
Deal close: Completing final negotiations and signing contracts to close the sale
Follow-up and retention: Delivering the product and providing post-purchase follow-up and customer service
Depending on the exact type of tech you sell, you may not include all of the above stages. You might also include some stages not listed above. Either way, you need to define the stages you’ll use in your pipeline.
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Imagine this: You have two leads, Luke and Ben. You decide to start by trying to convert Luke. But it turns out that Luke isn’t a very strong lead, so it takes forever to get anywhere with him—only for him to end up not converting anyway. Meanwhile, Ben is a strong lead, but since you take so long on Luke, Ben ends up leaving too.
That whole situation could have been avoided if you’d been able to identify Ben as a strong lead to begin with. You could have prioritized him instead, turning him into a customer before moving on to Luke. That’s the idea behind lead scoring.
Lead scoring is a system where you assign numerical values to your leads based on how likely they are to convert. You can score them based on factors like how they behave on your website and how many interactions they’ve had with you. The leads with higher scores are the ones you want to prioritize.
3. Keep your sales cycle short
One thing you definitely don’t want is a long, drawn-out sales cycle. Why? Well, two reasons. First, when people spend forever in your pipeline, they’re more likely to get tired of waiting and leave. Second, even for the people who stick around to the end, that longer sales cycle means it takes longer for you to earn revenue.
Basically, a long sales cycle earns you less revenue, and what you do earn comes in at a slow trickle rather than a steady flow. To avoid that, you should try to shorten your sales cycle as much as you can. You can do that by:
Automating day-to-day sales tasks
Addressing your leads’ pain points
Honing your audience targeting
Those tactics will speed up your pipeline and help you earn more revenue overall.
A CRM can help you gather, store, organize, and analyze data. Using that data, you can learn more information about your customers, helping you market to people more effectively by reaching the right demographics and appealing to their specific interests.
Additionally, a CRM can provide sales automation and advanced reporting features. That means you can use it to streamline your sales processes and generate detailed insights about your audience.
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When people first become leads, there’s no guarantee that they’ll take the next step and contact you about becoming a customer. That’s why managing a tech company pipeline requires you to follow up with each new lead.
This can look various different ways depending on the lead. If someone subscribes to your email list, you can simply send them a welcome email immediately after. If they became a lead by calling you, you might want to follow up with another phone call a few days later.
Whatever the case, make sure you continue to nurture your leads toward converting. Otherwise, many of those leads might not stay leads for long.
6. Use data analytics to improve your tech company sales pipeline
Finally, you should make sure your sales pipeline is a data-driven one. That means you need to look at your data analytics to find ways you can improve your sales efforts.
A moment ago, we mentioned using a CRM, and that’s a great place to start. By examining your customer data, you can get a better picture of who your audience is and what they want, which helps you target them more effectively.
You can also look at data on how your campaigns are performing. If a particular marketing or sales campaign is doing poorly, but another one is doing great, you might want to rely more on the successful campaign in the future. You can also try reoptimizing the less successful one to perform better.
By doing this over a long period of time, you’ll be able to drastically improve your sales pipeline.
Need a CRM for your tech company? Try Nutshell
Now you know how to manage a sales pipeline for a tech company. You also know how important it is to get a CRM and use it to streamline your sales pipeline. In fact, that’s one of the first things you should do. But which CRM should you choose? Well, the answer is right in front of you—Nutshell.
Nutshell is a CRM designed for businesses just like yours. It includes all the best types of CRM features, like sales automation and lead segmentation. Plus, it comes with the help of a top-tier customer support team that can help you through any question or issue you may have.
Want to see for yourself what Nutshell can do? Just check out our 14-day free trial today!