Today, as we continue to adjust to our new business realities, you may have already begun revising your sales goals. The power of your sales pipeline is key to meeting those goals.
The sales pipeline illustrates the journey someone takes to become your customer — from awareness, to interest, to desire, and ultimately, to engagement and beyond.
Here are five strategies you can begin implementing to reach new prospects and help them advance through your pipeline.
Focus on building a full-funnel plan. A full-funnel strategy is about diversifying your approach to meet prospects where they are, build a relationship with them and bring them along the buying journey. Challenge yourself to explore insightful ways to balance brand awareness, educate prospects about your offerings, create meaningful connections and enlighten them about industry trends.
A full-funnel plan recognizes that you need prospects in every stage of your sales pipeline. To ensure success, you need to know your numbers. Examining where each prospect is in the pipeline empowers you to understand where you need to focus. A full-funnel plan means adding new prospects to power every stage of your pipeline.
Think experience and think digital. Businesses are refocusing on the customer experience because that shapes virtually everything we do. During the past 12 months, studies show that 80 percent of consumers have increased their digital usage across a variety of channels. This trend is not going away, so it’s time to consider how prospective clients experience your brand online, as well as in-person.
Seeing every interaction through the lens of the client’s experience and galvanizing your organization to create an exceptional experience at every stage of your funnel will fuel sustained growth and affords you the chance to rethink how to better optimize customer touchpoints around the products and services you are offering.
Create a targeted micro-campaign. A micro-campaign has a narrow focus and specific time frame to help develop new business. Here you’ll plan, organize and execute a campaign that targets your ideal client with relevant content at the right time, helping them advance to the next stage of the pipeline.
Collaborate. Build a cadence of checking in with your network connections who’ve helped you with introductions in the past. Tell them what you’re working on, then ask if they can introduce you to more people who might be interested.
Become intentional about collaboration with colleagues in your organization, centers of influence and outside professional services who complement your approach and share a similar client portfolio. And remember the two most valuable words in business, “Thank you.” Embody an abundance mindset and reciprocate and advocate for those who refer prospects, opportunities and connections to you.
Keep your pipeline moving. The goal is to keep prospects flowing through your pipeline, and the velocity of your pipeline will vary based on your products or services. Periodically review and evaluate your process. Look at each stage and determine what’s working and what could be improved.
Ask whether you’re attracting enough valid prospects. Do they trust you and engage with your content? Are you converting enough leads? Do existing clients return to buy again?
If you identify that a particular technique isn’t working, change your tactics. Trial and innovation fuel a powerful pipeline. And you’re not alone. Building and maintaining a powerful pipeline is a team effort, and business development is truly a team sport.
Judy Bodenhamer is Managing Director & Founder of Client Experience Group