June 02, 2015
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
How healthy is your sales pipeline? Do you have access to all the potential leads you need, so you can filter the right individuals on through the process and reach a healthy volume of closed business at the end of the month? Of course this is the ideal situation for all sales reps and the goal of any investment in inside sales lead management. The question is whether or not you’re able to drive the results you need.
A recent Business2Community post by Sreeram Sreenivasan highlighted a few key metrics to boost sales pipeline velocity. The focus on velocity is critical, as the longer the lead stays in the pipeline, the less likely it is to close. If low velocity is the reality for most leads, it could be the reason why your inside sales lead management isn’t producing the results you need. Let’s take a look at these metrics and how they can apply in your environment.
Qualified Leads – While this should be a given, there are still too many people who are driving activity toward leads that will never close. They didn’t take the time to vet and qualify the leads to ensure they can be worked. To truly qualify a lead, you need to look at those who have expressed an interest in at least learning more about what you have to offer. Perhaps they want a demo or at least more information. If your list of qualified leads isn’t increasing over time, it’s time to do something about your marketing efforts.
Win Rate – You may be hitting your revenue targets, but what is your win rate compared with the number of leads you’re actually working? Monitor your win rate at every stage so you better understand what might be keeping a deal from closing. If you understand why a prospect drops off at a certain stage, you’re better equipped to address the situation and prevent the activity.
Size of the Deal – The larger the deal, the longer it takes to move it through the pipeline. This is true in every single industry. If you understand the different points where velocity through the pipeline is affected, you’re better positioned to make the necessary changes to improve outcomes. You’re still going to close those deals, but maybe you need to adjust the process so you leverage inside sales lead management to fill the pipeline more effectively.
Length of the Sales Cycle – the amount of time it takes to move a lead through the process may have more to do with your sales team than with the lead. If you don’t have efficiency or time sensitivity built into your processes, you may be losing opportunities simply because you can’t move at the pace the prospect desires.
Processing the Sale – it’s important to keep in mind that the sale isn’t complete until money and products or services have exchanged hands. You may get the yes and your process is so onerous that the customer backs out before it’s completed. You’ve not only lost the sale, you also lost time on a lost opportunity.
What else is affecting velocity in your pipeline? Are you using inside sales lead management to its fullest or do you have work to do?
Edited by Rory J. Thompson