How to Organize Your Sales Pipeline Stages like a Pro

January 10, 2023 sales pipeline management

A sales pipeline allows businesses to understand and monitor the stages of their sales process. They can track and evaluate every step and task associated with selling for optimum outcomes.

Organize and manage your sales pipeline stages effectively to achieve your business objectives. A well-managed pipeline can go a long way to boost conversions, sales, and revenues.

How can you organize your sales pipeline stages for the best results?

Here are the steps to follow.

Establish Your Sales Pipeline Stages

The stages of a sales pipeline vary based on your industry and product. However, most companies have at least five stages, which are:

  • Establishing contact
  • Qualifying leads
  • Meeting with prospects / providing sales demo
  • Proposal
  • Closing

Set up pipeline stages based on your needs using the funnel tracking feature of your CRM. It gives you a complete picture of each stage and the opportunities they bring. Moreover, you can create an organized pipeline that helps you:

  • Visualize your pipeline from contact to closing deals
  • Track the number of leads in each stage
  • Make accurate sales forecasts
  • Set realistic targets for reps

Define Workflows for Every Stage

Every stage of a sales pipeline is associated with different workflows. For example, you could call your contacts or send unsolicited emails to determine if they are interested in your quotes.

Similarly, you qualify leads based on several metrics in the lead qualification stage.

The exact workflows vary from one business to another. However, you must define and set up the workflows for each stage of your pipeline to stay organized.

It helps you monitor the progress of your leads down your sales funnel. You can also see how many tasks are complete and remain undone.

Therefore, you can monitor the performance of reps and if they are able to convert leads.

Most importantly, it allows you to move your leads toward closing efficiently. You can ensure every decision-making activity or step associated with pipeline stages is achieved.

Examples could be setting up a meeting or giving a sales demo.

Prioritize Your Leads

More leads are good news for businesses. However, a sales funnel crowded with uncountable prospects may not translate to increased sales.

Some leads will never close, no matter how much effort you put in.

As a result, qualify your leads based on their interest in your product or service. You can use a lead scoring system to prioritize your leads and focus your efforts.

CRMs and sales tools come with lead scoring systems you can implement out of the box. You may also create a customized scoring system using your metrics.

Additionally, existing models like the BANT framework may come to your aid. It qualifies your leads based on metrics like:

  • Buying authority
  • Budget
  • Timing

Identifying the best leads helps you allocate your resources optimally. Reps do not waste time following prospects who may be still looking for other solutions.

Moreover, you can target high-value leads and skip the ones with low promise. That brings us to our next step.

Clean Your Sales Pipeline Frequently

It is a must to remove dead leads from your sales pipe regularly. Otherwise, the promising deals that are likely to happen may be lost or take more time to translate. Naturally, that affects your sales velocity and slows down your revenue generation.

Therefore, identify the leads that have fallen through your pipeline. Once you do that, you can try bringing them back with more follow-ups or changing the deal.

If you fail, it is time to delete those leads from your list. Track each stage of your pipeline and remove unpromising leads to prioritize your efforts.

Cleaning your list does more than help you focus on the best leads. It removes the clutter and makes your sales forecasts more accurate.

Additionally, maintaining pipeline hygiene makes lucrative deals close faster. Check out our deal closing techniques guide.

Monitor the Health of Your Pipeline

Your sales pipeline should be super healthy to flow smoothly. Any deadwood or bottlenecks can slow your sales velocity and hold up deals.

Therefore, make it a priority to monitor your pipeline to spot any red flags instantly. Your CRM can give you complete visibility into each pipeline stage and what’s happening.

Moreover, review pipelines regularly to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.

A few tips can help you monitor your pipeline effectively:

  • Create and implement a schedule for monitoring your pipeline
  • Establish and track KPIs to determine your pipeline’s performance
  • Update account details
  • Identify best practices
  • Identify the best reps and teams

The insights from your pipeline monitoring and reviews help you optimize it for better conversions.

Develop a Pipeline Organization Manual

You have done all the tasks necessary to organize your pipeline. Moreover, you are aware of the best practices and techniques that make your pipeline work like a charm.

Now, it is time to note down all the secrets behind your success and create a formal pipeline organization manual. You can implement it for any sales pipeline you add to your CRM or marketing tools.

The process helps you save time and effort and use standardized processes for optimum results. You can also use your organizational techniques to manage the workflows of other teams and departments.

Final Thoughts

An organized sales pipeline is necessary to keep a business functioning. Define your pipeline stages and score your leads to prioritize your efforts. Moreover, monitor your pipeline and clean it regularly to ensure top health and performance.

Additionally, implement a standardized process for every sales pipeline to enjoy the best results. You can expect benefits like more conversions and revenues.