How to Manage a Sales Pipeline for an Industrial Company

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!

1. Define your industrial sales pipeline stages

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.


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2. Prioritize your leads with lead scoring

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:

  • Automating mundane sales tasks (as we’ve already covered)
  • Improving your audience targeting
  • Addressing your prospects’ pain points

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:

  • Website activity
  • Customer demographics
  • Most popular products/services
  • Slowest spots in your pipeline
  • Conversion rate
  • And more!

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!

Try Nutshell free for 14 days!




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