Across the globe, customers vary with regard to their respective locations, industries, and general needs. Accordingly, sales cycles must also vary among these different customers to help ensure strong working relationships.
It is best to manage such relationships using pipelines, which represent the stage that starts with the sales rep's initial contact and ends with the close. Without using a pipeline or a sales funnel, it's challenging to thoroughly understand your high revenue contracts, stalled negotiations, and general sales activities.
Pipelines help showcase your sales reps' accomplishments thus far, as well as what still needs to be accomplished in order to achieve an ultimate goal. Pipelines also help managers determine which sales strategies will be most effective.
Let's use an analogy to depict the importance of pipelines.
You've left your car sitting outside overnight during a snowstorm. The next day, you're about to drive it, only to discover there's a thick combination layer of snow and ice covering the windshield. Feeling impatient, you quickly decide not to scrape off the snowy/icy layer, or even run the defroster for a few minutes before driving.
Instead, you just turn on the engine and start driving, even though you can barely see what's in front of you. At best, you sneak frequent peeks through the frostbitten glass, only to catch glimpses of the road. Having not taken the time to prepare your car for driving, you can't tell if you're on the right track or headed for danger.
This type of hasty, reckless mindset would be on display while selling without a pipeline.
On the flip side, if you take the time to scrape off your windshield and let the defroster run before driving, you'll have a clear view of what's in front of you.
Such willingness to patiently plan would be showcased by implementing multiple deal pipelines, leading to increased accountability and higher success rates in your sales efforts.
CRM software is especially helpful for companies selling various products/services, running international operations, and/or using multiple selling funnels. Specifically, HubSpot allows for linking contacts to deals, integrating email correspondence, evaluating team data in real time, and automating frequently performed tasks.
Also, by developing multiple deal pipelines, you can customize your team's processes in accordance with your buyers' needs, providing much-needed flexibility while tracking distinct sales processes.
Here are the five steps for developing multiple deal pipelines within HubSpot:
1. Analyzing Your Customer Demographics
To truly understand your target customer, you'll want to create a list of prospective buyers in the form of leads. This list should be detailed, including each lead's name, company name, job title, and any other relevant contact info. You'll also want to include each lead's respective needs.
After analyzing your current customers, as well as your leads, you can begin working them into a pipeline stage.
Also, you'll likely end up adding/removing stages over time, so there's no need to try and perfect them at any point.
2. Establishing Revenue Targets
Pipelines help you achieve goals, so it's imperative that yours are specific, detailed, and documented in writing. This will help you determine how many clients you must acquire in order to achieve your goals, as well as how many prospects you should add to your pipeline.
3. Creating a New Deal Pipeline
Within the HubSpot CRM, click on the Settings icon and then select Deals. From there, scroll down to the section titled Editing Deal Stages and select Manage Pipelines. There, you will see the option to add a new pipeline.
You'll also notice a new dropdown menu allowing you to easily manage your various sales funnels.
4. Customizing Your Pipeline
It's important to identify the critical stages within the sales process for each client demographic. This is because each business will have its own respective number of pipeline stages featuring unique elements. For example, a general pipeline model for a new client might be organized as such:
It is best to maintain a "quality over quantity" approach with regard to pipeline stages. Each stage should be clearly defined with conditions that must be met in order to advance to the next stage. Also, each stage should have attainable subgoals to help ensure that the larger task is manageable.
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