Sales reps make a lot of effort to meet their quota but without sales pipeline acceleration most of them are not able to reach their goal. One of the most important reasons of sales reps’ failure to meet quota is that they have many opportunities in their sale pipeline that never seem to close and many prospect who simply cannot make the final decision. Building and managing a healthy sales pipeline can help you to overcome these challenges but only if you know how to drive leads through the most important stages of your sales pipeline quickly and efficiently. We have outlined 3 tips that help you close deals faster by accelerating your sales pipeline.
Sales Pipeline Acceleration needs sales ready leads
In order to accelerate your sales pipeline, you have to identify those leads that are a good fit for your product or service and ready to buy it. Lead scoring methods can help you find quality leads as these methods determine prospects’ buying intention by assigning scores to them based on explicit information about them, their company and implicit buying signals (such as downloads and page views). Lead scoring methods are really useful tools for sales pipeline acceleration as these methods prevent you from calling low quality leads and help focus on the sales ready leads. If you want to find more information about lead scoring methods read our previous blogpost about traditional and predictive lead scoring.
Accelerate your sales pipeline with these 3 tips, Nurture! Nurture! Nurture!
Your company may be very good at attracting leads but about 73% of all leads are not sales ready. Lead scoring methods help you find quality leads but this does not mean that you have to refrain from working with not sales ready leads. You can use lead nurturing process to gently push prospects through the different milestones of your sales pipeline by building closer relationship with them. This process helps to stay top of mind so when consumers are dissatisfied with their provider or they are looking for a new provider because they need a new service that the current provider cannot offer, they will consider your service or product as a possible solution to their problem.
Lead nurturing is the same as any long term relationship: you cannot force someone to do something that he/she is not ready to do. However, you do not want lose prospects just because they are not ready to make the purchase decision. If you find yourself in a situation where your prospects are not ready to buy, you have to stay patient and nurture them.
Lead nurturing can be a long process. “How does lead nurturing accelerate sales pipeline if it is a time consuming process?” you may ask. Lead nurturing can accelerate your sales pipeline as this process keeps your prospects aware that you can solve their problems. As a result of lead nurturing, prospects will contact you as soon as they are ready to buy and convert to consumer without getting stuck in your sales pipeline. 2 effective ways of lead nurturing are content marketing and stay in touch campaigns.
Establish close relationships to accelerate sales pipeline by using content marketing properly
In order to become a successful sales rep you need to be good at publishing. You have to know what your leads are interested in and create the right content. Focusing on content marketing and integrating it into your field marketing strategy will not just help you to decrease your sales cycle but also increase sales size and create more opportunities. You have to take three steps to create content marketing that accelerates your sales pipeline.
1. Establish brand awareness
Show your potential customers that you understand their problem by posting the right content on the right social channel. Thanks to posting the right content you can establish credibility and good reputation that can help customers believe that your product or service is the one that they are looking for to solve their problems. Once potential customers are aware of your product or service you are ready to take the next step.
2. Engage in conversations
In order to engage in conversation you have to get customers click through to your destination, leave a comment or start a discussion. Once consumers initiate conversation you have to take part, react to their problems and answer to their questions as soon as possible. This initial conversation gives a better insight to your customers’ problems and help you prove to customers that your product or services is the best solution to them.
Based on the information you collected by engaging in conversation with your customers, you should continue to deliver the right content through the right channels. At this stage you have to know what your customers are really interested in and which communication channels they prefer. Thanks to providing the right content you can establish closer relationship with your customers which results in shortened sales cycles.
Stay in touch campaigns
Stay in touch campaigns can also be useful when you find prospects who are a good fit for your product or service but they are not ready to buy it. You can use stay in touch campaigns to educate prospects and build your credibility. While creating a stay in touch campaign, you should keep in mind your prospects’ needs and provide solutions to their problems.
There are different types of stay in touch campaigns: email newsletters, social media interaction, direct email, drip campaigns (also called automated email campaigns) and more. You should decide which type of stay in touch campaign you will use based on how your prospect prefer to be communicated with. After finding the best way to keep in touch with your prospects you have to create value and relevant content. Based on the research of Marketing Sherpa prospects evaluate the relevance of content based on 4 factors: whether the content is specific to their industry, their job function, their company size and their location.
Track your prospects
Prospect tracking allows you to follow your prospects’ activities: see the files downloaded, pages visited, email correspondence and more. Prospect tracking can be really useful as prospect activity history help you find out what your prospects are interested in and through which channels you should communicate with them. Based on that information you can tailor your phone calls, emails and sales pitches. For example, when you see that your prospect is interested in technical content you should include technical information about your product when you prepare for your sales pitch or the next phone call. We can help monitor your prospects digital behavior. Click here to find out what prospect activities you can track by using Fileboard.
Prospect tracking can help accelerate your sales by giving insight into what your leads are interested in at the different stages of your sales pipeline. By providing relevant content at the right time through the right channel you can increase your perceived expertise, credibility and evoke trust in your prospect. Trust is an essential part of sales acceleration as those prospects who trust you will not just convert to customers quicker but also recommend your products and services to others and purchase from you again.
Lead scoring, lead nurturing and prospect tracking can help accelerate your sales pipeline solely but applying all three methods together would be the most effective way to reach your goal. Lead scoring methods help you determine which leads are sales ready, which leads should be nurtured and which leads are not a good fit for your product or service. Prospect tracking can make your lead scoring more reliable by giving you the chance to take into consideration your leads’ digital behavior before making up their scores. While nurturing your leads prospect tracking can also be useful because it helps you to find out what your prospects are interested in. Based on the information gained by prospect tracking, you can create relevant and personalized content for your prospects which is essential during the lead nurturing process.
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