Your pipeline represents the visual representation of sales prospects in the cycle and the monetary value they represent. As a business owner, a pipeline allows you to forecast the needs in products and services as well as the workforce required to scale appropriately.
The 5 Stages of a Sales Pipeline
Every sales pipeline has 5 different stages or steps that you must work through. Each step represents a critical action in moving through the sales process.
- Prospecting – This is the stage where you will work on gathering potential clients. Where are they? How do I get in front of them? How can I get in front of more than one person at a time? What strategies are you using to get attention? Make sure that you are implementing a range of different strategies including Social Media, Referrals, Introductions, Targeted Ads, Networking Groups, and Affiliate Partnerships among others.
- Discovery- The discovery stage is all about identifying clients’ needs Who makes the final decision? This step is critical! Am I talking with the decision-maker? Do my products and services meet their requirements? These are all important questions that you need to ask. Take notes!
- Engagement– Now comes the time to pitch! Remember, you are rewarded in public for what you practice in private! Go over your pitch at home in front of the mirror until you have perfected the delivery. Use a script if you have to until you have achieved full ownership of your pitch. This is where you offer solutions to their needs. Refer back to what you identified in the discovery stage. It is also important to make sure your pitch doesn’t sound needy. They need YOU to solve their problem – not the other way around!
- Close– When it comes time to close the deal do not be afraid to ask for the sale! Did you know? Ask 80% of salespeople making a presentation never ask for the sale! It is also during this stage that we would handle all objections. Resolve them and ask once again for the purchase!
- Extraction-this is where you ask for introductions or referrals. Yet another area that is greatly neglected by most salespeople.
Lead Generation & Follow Up
Where are your leads coming from? If you want to maximize your pipeline then you need multiple lead generation sources, all working at the same time to bring in potential clients.
Once you have the leads the next step is to convert that interest into a sale!
- Initial Contact – Make contact with your lead as soon as possible. This is an opportunity for you to build a rapport. Try and secure an opportunity to present your pitch and make sure you are talking to the decision-maker.
- Discovery – This is actually the most critical part of the entire sales process. Find out everything you can about the lead. What do they need from your products and services? Can you help fix their problem? Listen more than you talk; and take notes highlighting the words they use repeatedly and needs they have.
- Solve the Problem – Now it is time to offer a solution to their problem based on what you learned in the discovery stage. Did your pitch clearly define how you can help them? Do not come across as needy – you are there to solve their problem and they need you more than you need them.
- Handle Objections & Close the Sale – Don’t forget to ASK for the sale! If they make objections, handle them, and explain how you can overcome their concerns. Then ask again for the sale.
- Introductions – Even after the sale, follow up repeat business and referrals, or introductions. When do you ask for a referral?
Bill and Ingrid Maddox are going to discuss the insurmountable number of shifts that have taken place in the marketplace because of the COVID -19 global pandemic. And how to not only survive but thrive in today’s changing market.
Having coached many different Businesses Bill will share insights to grow and expand during these challenging times. Ingrid has spent the last 16 years as one of the top Internet Marketing Strategists. And will identify what will be required online to effectively communicate your message for growth and sustainability as we move through and past this challenge? They will share the changes that will be required to navigate and dominate your market.