That sales pipeline, also called Sales Funnel, is a management tool for observing sales phases with medium or long cycles. It seems complicated, but here you will see that it is very simple.
“Pipeline”, translated from English, means oil pipeline or thick-walled pipe. Like the funnel concept, the analogy serves to do this illustrate the journey between the customer’s first contact with the brand and a sale (and post-sale).
Why do you need to follow the sales pipeline?
Typically, the sales pipeline consists of the following stages:
- To lead: It is the customer’s first contact with the brand, be it spontaneous or motivated by marketing campaigns.
- Prospecting: It’s the stage where it’s all about knowing what the customer wants in order to find the best way to serve them.
- Suggestion: The company offers the service or product and sets the selling price.
- Negotiation: The customer and the company talk about adjusting the offer to a mutually fair value.
- Conclude: the sale is complete. This is where after-sales comes in, i.e. the continuity of the relationship with the customer so that he can buy from the company again.
Sales pipeline management therefore consists of closely monitoring these stages for each potential sale. Experienced managers and salespeople will use this chart to know where to focus their efforts to increase the odds of success. conversion.
In the event that the deal does not close, they also have a very good information to analyze and find out what didn’t work.
If your company has one short sales cycleit may be a bit difficult for you to understand how the concept of a sales pipeline is applied.
The sales cycle is the time in which the seller must go through the entire sales pipeline we have explained, from the first contact with the customer to the sale. That traffic light sellerfor example, has a short sales cycle: the time the traffic light stays red.
But one clothing store It’s also a common example of a short sales cycle, as the initial contact, prospecting, bid, negotiation, and close typically takes no more than minutes to a few hours.
Well, an example of an average sales cycle is this Selling a carwhich can last for weeks or months. Signing a contract with a large company to supply or buy machinery is an example of a long sales cycle, as it can last more than a year.
Careful management of the sales pipeline pays dividends for medium to long-term cycles, situations where a more detailed analysis will make the difference.
“The longer the sales cycle, the more important it is to do something good pipeline management. When a particular sales channel takes more than a week or two to close a sale, the pipeline usually yields important benefits,” summarizes Carlos Martins of the CRM consultancy.