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How to Use Multiple Pipelines in a B2B Sales Organization

a closeup of a yellow pipe with a cloudy sky in the background

Converting leads into clients isn’t always the simplest task.

It takes work to find a company in your target audience and gradually transform that company into a lead, and from there into a paying customer. That process is called the buyer’s journey, and it’s facilitated by sales pipelines.

For a business-to-business (B2B) company like yours, it’s helpful to have a specific structure to your sales pipeline. But if you sell multiple products, you may need multiple pipelines. If so, you may find that confusing—how can you manage multiple pipelines at once?

That’s what we’ll cover in this blog post, so just keep reading to learn more about how to use multiple pipelines in a B2B sales organization.

What is a sales pipeline?

A sales pipeline is a tool for tracking leads as they make their way through different stages of the buyer’s journey. So, maybe you use a series of graphs to show a client’s progression from top-of-funnel lead to middle-of-funnel lead all the way to customer.

There are many ways to model and track sales pipelines, though one of the most effective methods is to use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. A CRM lets you categorize individual users, create charts and graphs, and more to help you observe your pipeline.

Why use multiple sales pipelines?

You should use multiple sales pipelines because your company may offer more than one product or service, and you may sell to more than one target audience.

For example, maybe you sell a piece of photo editing software, but you also sell a video editing platform. Likewise, you might sell those pieces of software to companies, but maybe you also offer them to individual consumers for personal use.

In both of those cases, it could be helpful to use two separate funnels for the two groups. Your B2B sales efforts probably look quite different from your business-to-consumer (B2C) ones, and you probably sell your photo editing software using completely different marketing campaigns from your video software.

While you could track all of those leads in a single pipeline, having all your products, services, and prospects lumped together will make it hard to gain any meaningful insights into your sales efforts.

How to use multiple pipelines in a B2B sales organization

We’ve covered why you might want multiple pipelines, but now you’re probably wondering how to manage them. What does it look like to track multiple pipelines at once?

There are a lot of possible answers to that question, but to keep things simple, we’ve provided a few simple tips below on how to use multiple pipelines in a B2B sales organization.  

1. Segment leads into different pipelines

One of the first ways to manage multiple pipelines at once is to segment your leads into different groups based on which pipeline they’re in. If you offer two different products and use a different pipeline for each, don’t track clients for both of those products together.

This is a particularly useful tip if you have a CRM. Many CRMs allow you to segment prospects into different groups, and you can use that feature to divide up your pipelines in addition to dividing the different stages of the sales funnel.

2. Compare different pipelines to improve your sales

Another tip for using multiple pipelines at once is to measure them against one another to improve your marketing analytics. Let’s say you sell two products. The products are similar and both have similar audiences, but even so, you use two separate pipelines for them.

In this situation, you might consider comparing the results of one pipeline against those from the other. Maybe you notice that one pipeline is seeing far more success than the other, and it so happens that the successful one is using a marketing tactic you implemented recently.

You could then test out that marketing tactic in the other pipeline too, possibly emulating the success of the first pipeline in the process. 

3. Structure different pipelines differently

Thirdly, you may want to consider structuring your different pipelines in different ways. What do we mean by that? Basically, when you look at a sales pipeline, it’s typically divided up into different stages. For example, a pipeline might include the following stages:

  • Qualification
  • Interaction
  • Proposal
  • Sale

However, different products, services, or audiences may lead to different structures. Some types of sales may skip one or more stages listed above, while others may add additional stages in between. Still others may replace a particular stage with something different.

For example, inbound campaigns (where clients come to you) tend to look different than outbound campaigns (where you target specific potential clients). An inbound campaign starts directly with the “qualification” stage, but an outbound campaign will first have a “targeting” or “prospecting” stage where you find potential buyers you’re interested in selling to.

If you have multiple pipelines running at once, you can take advantage of this flexibility to craft the perfect structure for each one.

Using multiple pipelines in Nutshell

Now that you have an idea of how to employ multiple sales pipelines at once, the question is, what tools will you use? We’ve already covered that the best way to track a pipeline is with a CRM—and you won’t find a better CRM out there than Nutshell.

In Nutshell, and particularly Nutshell Pro, you’ll find various features perfect for managing multiple pipelines at once. Creating a new pipeline is easy, and it allows you to set whatever stages you want to include. You can also automatically distribute leads across different pipelines and compare the results of each one.

That means you can use Nutshell to easily carry out all three of the tips listed above—and more.

Nutshell is the perfect tool to help you manage multiple pipelines

Need a CRM for your B2B company? Nutshell is the perfect tool for you. In addition to the features listed above, Nutshell offers a user-friendly layout and a variety of sales automation features. You can use Nutshell to do everything from generating sales reports to automating email campaigns.

Of course, we understand you may not want to dive right in without having a chance to test out Nutshell for yourself and see if it meets your expectations. That’s why we offer a 14-day free trial of Nutshell. Just get in touch with us to get started today!

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