Hit your targets: understanding sales pipelines

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A real estate billboard

Hit your targets: understanding sales pipelines

The sales pipeline is an essential tool for sales professionals to track and monitor the progress of their sales opportunities. To handle sales efficiently and meet revenue goals, having a solid sales process is crucial. Here’s an explanation of each step of the sales pipeline in a simple way and insight on how to create one.

Sales pipeline vs sales funnel

The terms "sales pipeline" and "sales funnel" are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things. A sales pipeline refers to the set of stages a prospect moves through as they progress from being a prospective customer to a paying one. A sales funnel, on the other hand, is a customer-focused view of the buyer journey i.e. awareness, intent, and the purchase. 

Five stages of the sales pipeline 

The sales pipeline and campaigns you run are essential components of a good sales and marketing strategy. From the first point of contact all the way to the final transaction, these steps assist organisations and sales teams keep tabs on leads, prospects, and deals. Here's a breakdown of them:

1. Lead generation: In this stage, you focus on attracting potential buyers and sellers through various marketing channels such as online advertisements, open houses, networking events, and referrals. 

2. Lead qualification: After generating leads, it is crucial to qualify them to determine if they are suitable for further consideration. At this stage, the buyer or seller's needs, budget, and timeline are assessed.

3. Lead management: This stage involves reaching out to the leads regularly, providing valuable information, and building relationships. You can send emails, phone calls, or personalised content to keep leads engaged and interested in the company's services.

4. Presentation and proposal: When leads are ready, real estate professionals present them with a customised proposal that outlines the property details, pricing, financing options, and any other relevant information. In this stage, properties are carefully selected that align with the leads' requirements, and a compelling presentation is delivered to explain the value of the offer.

5. Negotiation and closing: If the buyer or seller accepts the proposal, the sales negotiation process begins. In this stage, you can work closely with the leads to reach an agreement on the terms. 

Advantages of using a sales pipeline

There are a number of benefits that come along with having a sales pipeline that is well-structured for businesses, including the following:

• More accurate sales forecasting: More accurate sales projections can be made by companies if they have a better grasp of the phases at which leads normally convert. Both the planning of finances and the distribution of resources are aided by this.

• Decreased sales cycle time: With a structured sales process in place, sales representatives can focus their efforts on the most qualified leads, reducing the overall sales cycle.

• Increased revenue: A streamlined sales pipeline can lead to improved conversion rates and increased revenue. By refining targeting and optimising conversion rates, you can maximise sales opportunities.

Sales pipelines offer great benefits. With some consideration, you can create one that helps you improve the sales process in your business.

How to create a sales pipeline

The process of creating a sales pipeline entails the establishment of an organised procedure that assists leads in progressing through successive phases until they become clients:

Identify prospective buyers

Check your customer data in your CRM, social media, and emails to find people interested in your products or services. Categorise them based on where they are in their buying journey, and consider their specific needs.

List your pipeline stages

Make a list of the different steps in your sales process. Use the provided guide but adjust it to fit your business. 

Assign tasks for each stage

Work with your sales team to figure out what needs to be done at each stage. For instance, during prospecting, tasks could include asking current customers for referrals or checking social media for potential buyers.

Determine how long sales take

Figure out the average time it takes to close a sale by looking at past data, considering your team's skills, and thinking about product complexity. Adjust your pipeline stages to match this timeline.

Define metrics to track

Identify key metrics to measure how well your sales pipeline is working. You could include the number of deals, the distribution of deals across stages, the number of qualified leads, win rates, and customer acquisition costs.

Make the sales process even smoother

Your real estate sales pipeline will flow thanks to our Deals Module. It allows you to manage your deal once a sale is locked in from offer to purchase through to registration in the deeds office. You can capture all details linked to the sale including process-driven workflows to leverage data from your listings, contacts, and documentation databases. And you can record critical dates and conveyancing milestone statuses. 

The Deals Module also lets you capture the full financial structure of the deal including above and below-the-line commission breakdowns. You can handle FICA and other mandatory processes with strong financial reporting outputs at all levels for deals over time including commission payouts.