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what is a Sales Pipeline? Advantages of having a defined funnel

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have you ever heard of the term "sales funnel"? In marketing, it is the methodology used to plan the steps a user takes before reaching their goals.

In this post we tell you what it is and its main advantages, as well as the importance of having a well-defined funnel for your marketing strategy to boost your business.

what is a Sales Pipeline?

The Sales Pipeline, also known as the sales funnel, is the way in which a company sets out a series of constant analyses and the management of daily activities with which the salesperson manages to be more efficient.

The management of these sales dynamics must be carried out on an ongoing basis and must also be precise to ensure focus on the deals that will actually be closed in that month or in a given sales cycle.

Every company starts by defining its sales process and establishes a series of phases that constitute it. By moving from one phase to the next, a deal gets closer and closer to the ultimate goal, the sale. The Sales Pipeline brings together all the deals that are currently in a sales process with you and shows which phases they are in.

It is the methodology that brands use to define and plan what steps the user has to take to meet one or more objectives. There are several reasons to use funnels, but the most important is to understand that funnels are synonymous with planning and conversions.

To set up a sales funnel, the following phases are followed:

  • Contact with users: identifying and attracting new users is the process of attracting potential customers through our marketing strategies and thus advertising our product or service.

  • Lead generation: we collect information from users in order to classify them. This is an initial phase in which we must develop lead nurturing in order to "educate" this lead, so that it becomes increasingly interested in our offer and moves on to the next phase.

  • Take advantage of an opportunity: offer our offers when users show interest. Once this phase has passed, in which we already know how our product/service fits in with this prospect, we move on to the proposal phase. We will know that it is the moment to actively propose our offer by the actions that he/she takes.

  • We determine the type of product that the prospect is willing to buy: we can use surveys, phone calls, etc.

  • We close the sale: the moment comes when we negotiate the terms of payment, invoicing, etc., in order to convert the initial user into a customer.

Here we leave the link for you to understand how to capture leads organically through Inbound Marketing, so you can generate your leads naturally .

Tips for managing a sales pipeline

  • The customer always comes first: you must always keep in mind that your product or service only exists thanks to the customer because it has been created to solve a specific problem they have. That is why the most effective sales pipelines are focused on the customer and operate in parallel with their buying cycle.

  • Divide your pipeline into phases: your sales pipeline can be divided, analysed and improved according to the experience and data analysis you obtain. There are different types of sales funnels depending on the process you want to carry out within the sales process.

  • Involve your team: each department should know every detail of our potential customer as well as the marketing strategies, so they should work closely together to carry out the analysis of the different strategies and optimise the processes of each team.

  • Analyse your data thoroughly: when you actually look at and analyse the data, you get a very different picture. Accurate, up-to-date, quality data is what drives a sales pipeline. With it, you can make better forecasts and reduce the length of the sales cycle.

Advantages of having a defined funnel

Funnels are a tool used by many professionals, applicable to any type of business, to attract new traffic, capture leads and sell goods or services to old and new customers.

Some of its main advantages are:

  • We will obtain a highly qualified lead.

This means that once we have gone through the whole process of our sales funnel, the final customer we will get will be one who is very convinced of our brand and the services and products we can offer, so it will be very easy for us to get a purchase from them.

With the funnel you start with a wide audience interested, as the process progresses most of them fall by the wayside, but they will surely come back later through another reminder, that is, they will buy in the long term.

In other words, both stayers and returners are the ones who will increase your conversion rates.

  • Sales volume prediction.

A sales funnel is useful to show you how many people have moved to the final stage, which is the purchase. This way, you can easily know what kind of audience has decided to buy and who has not. In addition, although you have to have an initial marketing cost that you did not count on when creating the funnel, later it will be easier to get sales, so the costs will be reduced since there will be many more purchases.

  • The customer acquisition process is streamlined.

This means that for each sale it will not be necessary to follow up the customer manually, but by creating the sales funnel, the whole process will be automated and there will not be a process of attrition in the sales of our brand.

  • Identify potential problems.

In the world of marketing, mistakes can be made without even realising it, and most of them affect your direct sales. Through this type of campaign, you can identify when a potential customer exits the sales funnel at any stage, track the root cause of the exit and take the necessary steps to correct it or create a better strategy.

  • Less room for error.

Sales funnels are (mostly) automated; therefore, you won't need human intervention most of the time, unless you want to. Sometimes, though, the lack of human involvement also means fewer errors, as emotions are not involved in decisions.

A company that makes fewer mistakes minimises losses or unnecessary expenses. So if your sales team is prone to mistakes, it's time to work with a sales funnel.

The Sales Pipeline may seem complex at first, but as you complete the stages and get more information from your business leads, you will see how everything becomes simpler and simpler.

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