Sales pipeline management: 10 signs your sales team needs CRM
Providing clear visibility of your sales cycles, while tracking potential clients, learn how CRM software can help drive revenue for your small business
Providing clear visibility of your sales cycles, while tracking potential clients, learn how CRM software can help drive revenue
An umbrella term for a range of tech designed to help your small business manage its interactions with current clients and potential buyers, customer relationship management (CRM) can also be used by your sales team to help gain stronger forecasting, identify leads quicker, and close more deals.
While CRM pipeline management has been adopted by many businesses already (most likely by your competitors that, for some reason, seem completely out of reach) some smaller enterprises remain steadfast, and are sticking to more old fashioned methods of making sales.
But the truth is, they won’t be sticking around for long.
In an ever increasing connected market, even the smallest business faces competition from all corners of the globe – and its those who fail to innovate that are the first to fall of the face of the earth.
Luckily for you, warning signs do exist that your sales team is in desperate need of sales pipeline software. So, get to know them before it’s too late.
Recognise any of the symptoms below? Why not talk directly to suppliers and receive a free quote by completing the web form at the top of the page.
| Sales pipeline management definition
Your sales pipeline is the visual representation of your sales prospects alongside what stage they are at in the purchasing process.
Pipelines will also provide an overview of your sales team’s account forecast and how close they are to hitting targets – both as a whole team and as individuals,
This enables sales reps and sales managers to forecast the number and amounts of deals that they will close in a given period of time.
These are the 10 signs your sales team needs CRM pipeline management:
Your sales team spend too much time on admin
Your sales team struggles to move deals forward
They don’t know how many opportunities they have open
All customers are treated the same
You and your team ignore sales forecasting
There’s uncertainty over who makes the decisions
Sales staff don’t know what each other are doing
When a team member leaves, so does their sales data
Your team’s sales cycles are too long
No one knows your lead to win ratio
Completely unnecessary in this day and age, a common problem among underperforming sales teams is that they spend too much time each week on administration and reporting – and not enough time on moving deals forward to the next stage.
All of the best sales pipeline software eliminate this manual burden, with many programmes offering mobile CRM applications – ensuring your sales team can work on deals on-the-go.
Do you find your team tend to leave sales meeting without scheduling the next meeting in advance? If so, then they are not moving the sales process along in the right way.
CRM sales software helps manage, organise and develop each and every opportunity – ensuring your employees aren’t slowing down the sales process.
Without a comprehensive overview of all possible leads in the same place, it can be incredibly difficult for your sales staff to work out where their priorities lie – and what potential clients are worth casing more than others.
All pipeline CRM software contains an extensive log of all prospects, so sales team can both focus on clients ‘ready to buy’ – as well as explore all other existing sales opportunities.
Central to the role of all CRM systems is the idea that no two customers are the same, and that individual needs and buying preferences must be catered to where possible.
If your staff paint every customer with the same brush, they won’t be able to identify patterns in the customers that are most valuable to your business – meaning you’ll lose out on some big deals.
While it can be a very time consuming process, a good reason you and your sales team may be tempted to ignore sales forecasting is because the results more often than not offer no value to you as a business.
Effectively killing two birds with the one stone, good sales pipeline software ensure its not only easier to forecast sales, but also, that they’re as accurate as possible.
Particularly prevalent in B2B sales, uncertainty can loom over who exactly is the main decision maker your sales staff need to convince to buy your product or service, and the more expensive your offering is, the more complex the buying team will be.
As a result, it’s vital your team pins down and records exactly who is in charge and making the purchasing decision – or else your team could spend a whole lot of time knocking on the wrong doors.
Thankfully, all good CRM sales software allows your staff to record the key stakeholders in each deal – ensuring they’re not wasting precious time on the wrong people.
Pivotal to getting any sales deal over the line and signed off, the personal touch you’ve applied throughout every interaction with your potential client can be ruined in a matter of moments if another team member suddenly drops them an introductory call out of the blue.
Making your sales team look like a bunch of clumsy cold-callers rather than smart professionals, it’s imperative that your sales team actually know what each other are up to so you don’t step on each other’s toes and ruin relationships or deals.
With CRM sales software, all sales employees will be able to see exactly what deals other team members are currently working on – with all relevant data securely saved and referenced for the next time the client is approached.
It’s never easy losing one of your sales reps, particularly if they were a top performer. Worse still, is that when they leave they take all their valuable sales data with them.
Often resulting in their predecessor rooting through piles of spreadsheets and emails in an attempt to recover valuable information on the ex-rep’s customers, once again CRM software will ensure all sales data is stored in a central and secure place – meaning you’re new recruit won’t have to start from scratch when building a relationship with the client.
A common problem for many businesses, if your team’s sales cycles are too long, it generally means that they will have a gap somewhere in their sales pipeline.
When it comes to preventing these gaps, your team might not know if they need a larger volume of leads or fewer, but more qualified leads.
In order to make the right decision, you and your team will need to be in full control of the sales process, while holding a detailed knowledge of customer history and knowing how long it takes to move the lead from prospect to customer.
If you don’t have this kind of visibility to your sales pipeline, then you are failing to shorten your sales cycles – so CRM pipeline management is essential.
In sales, it can be tempting to view things on a deal by deal basis. Normally, sales reps will be working on a number of different deals at the same time so can lose track of the bigger picture.
Rather by holding a ‘win some, lose some’ mentality, it’s important your staff recognise and record why exactly some deals progress and others don’t. So in future they can rely on evidence rather than gut feeling when approaching a client.
Indeed, rather than random luck, the sales process should be predictable and you should yield successful results if you use data correctly – but this can only happen if you’re able to record said data successfully. Which is why the best way to keep track and take control of your sales pipeline is through CRM software.
Best sales pipeline software suppliers
Once you’ve recognised that your sales team is in need of a pipeline management system, the next step is to decide what supplier is best for your business’s needs and budget.
To save you time comparing the plethora of brands available on the market, we’ve compiled a list of five of the best sales pipeline providers below.
To speak to these suppliers directly, or to receive a free quote, complete the web form at the bottom of the page.
|Lighting Essentials||Out-of-the-box CRM for up to five users||£20 per month|
|Lighting Professional||Complete CRM for any size team||£120 per month|
|Lighting Enterprise||Deeply customisable sales CRM for your business||£120 per month|
|Lighting Unlimited||Unlimited CRM power and support||£240 per month|
||£7-£10 per month|
||£13-£15 per month|
||£26-£30 per month|
||£25 per month|
||£50 per month|
||£65 per month|
||£9 per month|
||£18 per month|
||£36 per month|
||£57 per month|
||£11-£13 per month|
||£22-£24 per month|
||£55-£58 per month|
Compare small business sales CRM quotes
The information on this page should help you to understand what benefit a small business CRM system can offer your sales team.
The best way to find out about CRM sales packages though, is to speak to suppliers today – Startups can help with this.
By completing the form at the bottom of this page, we can put you in touch with small business sales pipeline software providers who can offer quotes and plans based on your specific requirements.
Comparing quotes with Startups is free, quick and easy, and it could help to save your business both time and money.