5 Steps to building a vibrant sales pipeline.

I’ve often been told that I love using fishing analogy’s.

It’s true ! The basics of fishing in my opinion is very similar to the way you can build a valuable sales pipeline.

In order to catch a fish you’ve got to have a plan.

Throwing a line over the side and hoping for the best is just that, hopeful.

There isn’t a guarantee of results.

There are FIVE Basic steps to take when building a sales pipeline.

1) CHOOSING THE RIGHT FISHING SPOT, Identifying your market.

The market is essentially the ocean that you’re planning to throw a line in, fish are your customers and lures, boats, nets are the tools or resources you have available to ‘catch’ them.

Searching the ocean for promising fishing spots is a lot like researching your target market. Where are the areas with the most potential, where are you likely to gain the best results ?

It’s important to know your customers, where they spend time, what will attract them to your business. In other words, the best fishing spot.

How & where you assign marketing dollars will determine the best results.

2) CATCHING CUSTOMERS, the fun part.

To catch a fish, you need the right bait or a sparkly lure.

What is it that will draw the customers to your product or service ?

It could be an offer, a sample, a trial or simply a solution to a problem your customers have at that time.

Technology today has made methods of catching customers more effective.

CRM (customer relationship management) tools, marketing automation software, social media, print, radio, signage, word of mouth are all good ways of reaching new customers.

Knowing where to focus your efforts somewhat depends on customer demographics.

For example, if your customers tend to be of a younger demographic, then you may be better off applying resources to social media & word of mouth campaigns.

3) VALIDATE THE CATCH, that’s a beauty.

So now you’re getting bites, it’s important to take stock of what bait has worked for future marketing campaigns.

This is done by rating how effective your activity has been, this step is often overlooked yet is a great way to refine your prospecting methods saving you valuable time in future.

  1. How did you obtain the lead ?
  2. Was it through social media, word of mouth, newspaper ?
  3. How much did you spend to acquire the lead ?

Knowing where the most valuable leads come from means you can refine advertising efforts in these key marketing channels.

Measurements such as Acquisition Cost, Cost Per Click, Paid Reach are all helpful in understanding how much bang you are getting for your buck.

It’s no use pouring money into radio advertising if you are likely to get better results from a magazine article.

4) QUALIFYING THE LEADS, weigh in time.

So you now have a ‘fish on’, lets determine the real value of the customer.

Like all fish, leads usually put up a fight, or sometimes, not at all.

They are either going to be cold, warm or hot, but even a dead lead can be valuable. You can never rule dead leads out.

With relationship selling, there are 3 key questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. What is the likeliness your prospect is going to buy ?
  2. Is there a sense of urgency ?
  3. What questions do you need to ask to find this information out?

Discover your prospects needs by asking open questions.

Always have some basic questions ready to ask, follow a script if you have to, this process will ensure you understand & can deliver the best possible solution to meet the needs of your customer.

What are you going to need to land this fish ?

For online sales or digital advertising, you need to satisfy the customers information by way of quality, informative & valuable content, which I will cover in a future article.

5) CATCH, TAG & RELEASE or the one that got a way.

You’ve reeled in your prospect, you’ve demonstrated value, you’ve answered their questions and why they should buy your product or service.

It’s time to bring them on the boat, to close the deal.

Closing is a technique in itself, if this is something you struggle with, contact me to learn how you can close more deals.

You’ve been successful, great.

Not quite there ? no problem, simply tag and release for follow up.

Suppose you haven’t managed to convert a lead into a sale this time, not all is lost.

Making an effort to contact the lead at a later date means you keep your business front of mind for when they are ready to make a purchase.

The follow up is often overlooked, yet is a key part of building relationships, it demonstrates to potential customers that their business is important to you, this is your chance to show a snippet of the experience they are likely to receive as a valued customer.

These are 5 key requirements to creating a valuable sales pipeline that will generate you even more revenue.

So, check the forecast, dust off the rod, read over those marine charts and head on out for a fish.

If you’d like any more help on building a sales pipeline & keeping track of all those fish you are about to catch, contact me today for a no obligation chat.