When you’re running a business, no matter which industry it’s in, the endgame is always sales and revenue. Ultimately, your company’s success is measured by how many sales you drive and how great your return on investment (ROI) is.
Given that reality, it’s not surprising that a company’s sales pipeline is one of the most important things it can focus on. Your sales pipeline is the path your prospects take to becoming customers, and if you don’t monitor and optimize it, you’ll struggle to drive the sales you want.
But how should an industrial company like yours go about that process? Well, that’s just what we’re going to discuss. Keep reading to learn how to manage a sales pipeline for an industrial company.
How to manage a sales pipeline for an industrial company
There are many different ways you can go about managing an industrial company pipeline. Some of them are specific to each individual business, but there are a few universal tips you can put into practice to streamline your sales pipeline management. Keep reading to learn more about each of those tips!
The first step to improving your sales pipeline management is to determine what the stages of your sales pipeline are. There are various ways to divide up your pipeline, but some common stages to include are:
Prospecting: Using top-of-funnel marketing to spread brand awareness
Lead qualification: Drawing in and identifying your leads with lead magnets
Initial meeting: Meeting with leads to explain what you can offer them
Needs analysis and proposal: Identifying leads’ needs and creating a proposal
Negotiation and commitment: Working out any changes to the proposal or pricing
Deal close: Closing the sale
Follow-up and retention: Continuing to provide support to the client post-purchase
The stages that work best vary from business to business, but regardless of which steps you settle on, tracking leads through those stages can help you gauge the success of your sales pipeline.
Create a roadmap that guides your team toward more sales
Download our Sales Process Worksheet to learn how to outline the key steps your team needs to take for sales success.
Another important tip for managing an industrial company pipeline is to use lead scoring. Lead scoring is a method used to help you rank your leads based on how likely they are to convert. To score leads, you give each one a numerical ranking to indicate their chance of converting and then prioritize the leads that are ranked higher.
Why do this? Because if you don’t, then you won’t know which leads are most likely to convert. So you could end up spending forever trying to convert a lead that’s not all that interested, meaning you don’t drive a sale. Meanwhile, the leads that are interested have to wait so long for you to market to the other leads that they end up leaving, too.
Lead scoring helps you avoid that problem by focusing on the leads who will quickly convert.
3. Use a CRM for sales pipeline management
One of the most important things you can do to improve the success of your sales pipeline is to get a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. A CRM is a tool that gathers, stores, organizes, and analyzes customer data like demographics, website activity, and sales patterns.
By gathering and studying this data, you can learn a lot about your customers, including how quickly they progress through the sales pipeline and what types of things they get hung up on. You can also learn which people or businesses you should be targeting with your marketing and sales efforts to start with.
4. Use sales automation tools
Another type of tool you should take advantage of is sales automation tools. These tools take mundane, day-to-day sales tasks (like sending out emails, for example) and automate them.
You can find different kinds of marketing and sales automation tools out there, so choose based on which tasks your business could most benefit from automating. For some businesses, a CRM with sales automation capabilities may allow you to kill two birds with one stone.
Whichever tools you use, though, automating repetitive sales tasks can help you complete those tasks in less time. It also frees up more time for you to spend on other tasks that can optimize your sales pipeline even more.
5. Keep your sales cycle short
You may already know this, but it bears repeating. A shorter sales cycle tends to mean more conversions. You don’t want your prospects to sit in the pipeline for ages and ages because that means your revenue stream comes in a lot more slowly, and you’ll likely lose more leads. A faster pipeline means more revenue.
For that reason, do what you can to speed up your sales cycle. How can you do that? Well, there are a few different methods you can try, including:
Each of these things will help prospects move through the sales pipeline more quickly, leading to more revenue and an overall healthier pipeline.
6. Use a data-driven approach to your industrial sales pipeline
Finally, be sure to use data analytics to help you streamline your sales process. We’ve already talked about using a CRM to help you track customer data—that data can be extremely useful for optimizing your sales pipeline.
There are numerous kinds of data you can analyze, including:
Most popular products/services
Slowest spots in your pipeline
By studying all of these types of data, you can learn a great deal about how to reoptimize your sales pipeline and more effectively target your audience to drive up revenue.
Choose Nutshell as your industrial CRM
Looking for a CRM for your industrial company? Your search ends here. Nutshell is the perfect CRM for companies like yours. It offers an easy-to-use interface and powerful features like sales automation and advanced reporting. Plus, every plan comes with free support from our world-class team.
Interested in seeing what our platform can do for your industrial sales pipeline management? Start a 14-day free trial today!