8 years ago
April 13, 2016

3 Ways to Build Your Sales Pipeline

These three ways to build your sales pipeline from various lead sources can help you to maximize your sales results.

Rhys Metler

The potential sources for leads and prospects are so numerous that the options can actually make it more difficult to build your sales pipeline effectively. Concentrating on the basics can help ensure that you have a smooth sales pipeline that allows you to maximize your sales results. These three ways to build your sales pipeline from various lead sources can help.

Build Your Sales Pipeline: Prequalify, Disqualify, Qualify

If you build your sales pipeline around leads and prospects who are not actually likely to buy what you are selling, your sales pipeline may be full in the beginning stages of the sales process but taper off quickly so that the sales that are actually emerging from your efforts are surprisingly few. One of the most important things that you can do when trying to build your sales pipeline is to emphasize the quality of your leads and prospects throughout. You can do this by:

  • Using high quality, proven lead generation tactics that have worked for you and for other sales people in your industry.
  • Engaging decision makers at the earliest stage possible. If you are not sure that the contact you have is the right decision maker you can broach the topic with a lead in like, “Why don’t we set up a meeting with the other managers and executives this will impact?”
  • Understanding what the prospect’s needs and budget restrictions are as early as possible in the process. Look for a range whenever a contact declines to move to hard numbers.

Build Your Sales Pipeline: Make Requesting Referrals Part of the Sales Process

Personal referrals are an extraordinarily effective way to build your sales pipeline. Compared to paid leads from any source referrals are cost effective, and take little time to generate – all you need to do is ask. By making a point of requesting referrals from every client you convert you will be able to develop a constant source of interested leads that will help you build your sales pipeline. To generate these referrals:

  • Consider leveraging your business and professional contacts outside of sales to maximize your referral base.
  • Ask your contacts to email or call the businesses or individuals they refer personally. The response rate from an invitation from someone leads know personally is much higher than the response rate from contacting leads yourself and mentioning a name.
  • Set targets for your referral business so that you can measure your results and know who to thank. Thanking those who send you referrals is a great way to keep referrals coming in.

Build Your Sales Pipeline: Customize Your Approach to Each Prospect

In the same way that you customize products and services by understanding the needs of your prospect, you should be customizing your approach to each prospect and lead you are able to generate to fall in line with their attitudes and preferences for interaction. There is no universal approach to sales that works with every potential client, and if you are not tailoring your approach contacts who may have been interested in what you have to offer may be dropping out of your sales pipeline prematurely. Build your sales pipeline at all stages by:

  • Paying attention to verbal and body language cues that can tell you how comfortable a prospect or lead is interacting with you, and work to increase their comfort level.
  • Following closely prospects’ and leads’ inclinations to do business by telephone, email, or in-person meetings and arranging your responses accordingly.
  • Analyzing what works and what does not work with different segments of your market to form guidelines for future interactions.

As you work to build your sales pipeline, remember that filling and running your sales pipeline is a daily task. Taking even one or two days off from managing your sales pipeline can result in delays and inactivity. Commit to what you need to do to build your sales pipeline in order to support your sales goals.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.