3 Secrets To Developing The Best Sales Pipelines For Your Business

Annie Neubrech

Developing a strong sales pipeline is a vital step to the growth and continued success of any business. While it may at times seem challenging, in reality the principles of building the best possible sales pipelines are simple and boil down to three factors.

Tap into great teams

Filling your organization’s sales pipeline doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It requires coordinating the efforts of many team FBO ID --- Image by © Blue Images/Corbismembers in order to achieve your goals. You must ensure that marketing and sales are on the same page in terms of objectives, that your team has a clearly defined vision of the target customer and the various stages of the pipeline, and that team members actively share information that can help others move prospects into and along the pipeline.

Automation can help simplify and systematize this process so that promising prospects don’t fall through the cracks. Of course your outreach to prospects should always be personalized and individualized—it should never sound “canned.” However, using CRM tools, integrated customer engagement solutions, and other sales and marketing technology can help your team manage leads, share information, set reminders for when to follow up with prospects or customers, provide templates to quickly create relevant communications, and so much more. The time your sales team will save on routine tasks can be much better spent learning about and connecting with prospects and customers.

Tap into great partners

To truly employ your channel partners as a strategic asset, treat them as part of your team. Share your market knowledge with channel partners, and benefit from their insights as well. To enable sales via channel partners, utilize technology solutions that provide them with the same tools your in-house sales team enjoys. A tight-knit relationship with channel partners enables them to act on opportunities quickly, engage prospects using personalized outreach, and gain new insights into prospects’ and customers’ behavior.

Know the needs of your customers

To effectively move prospects through the sales pipeline, you must fully understand their needs. Regular contact with customers and prospects helps you experience their challenges and pain points. While nothing can replace in-person, one-on-one interaction, technology can definitely speed and organize the process. Reaching out via social media and email and using customer relationship management tools to set reminders and gather notes in one place replaces outdated methods and makes it simple for your sales team to share data.

Tapping into the power of analytics tools can help streamline the process of gathering information and make it easier to spot trends and patterns in customer actions. Look for solutions that enable you to easily see the results of your interactions with and outreach to prospects and customers, as well as learn from past customer behavior and even predict future actions. By staying up to date on customer needs in as many ways as possible, you’ll be in a better position to suggest additional ways your company can offer value to retain existing customers and capture new ones.

Three simple steps, one big result—a thriving sales pipeline for your organization.

Want more insight on effective customer experience strategies? See How to Deliver a Coordinated Customer Experience across Every Channel.

About Annie Neubrech

Annie Neubrech is a Regional Vice President at SAP with responsibility for the partner engagement team in the US sales region. Her teams manage the relationships with more than 200 US partners and distributors that resell and provide services to end-customers as well as the SAP PartnerEdge programs that support them. With SAP since May 2010, Annie’s previous roles with SAP included responsibility for partner recruitment, onboarding, enablement and channel expansion across all partner types (from VAR and SI to OEM and ISV).