Since so many companies have sales pipelines, you’d think that there’s a well-worn set of pipeline management best practices out there commonly used by sales managers. Even if that is the case–and I don’t think it is–do you know how many sales leaders struggle to manage their pipelines? An overwhelming majority, apparently.
In recent research we conducted with the Sales Management Association, 56% of executives confessed that their organizations were ineffective at managing their sales pipelines. Their companies waste a lot of time staring at pipeline reports, but this effort yields no increase in sales performance.
Not good news… Fortunately, you don’t have to do a lot of head scratching to improve the effectiveness of your sales force’s pipeline management because our research also revealed insights that provide a solid framework for just that.
1. Sales Processes
We discovered that the most effective pipeline management occurred in sales forces that invested the time to define credible standardized sales processes. More specifically, they had sales processes with clearly defined stages that were universally understood by all their salespeople. There was no guesswork as to which stage a particular deal belonged, and everyone felt confident about the data in the CRM tool. … Read the rest