Pipeline tracking is essential for any sales team that wants to stay on top of their customer relationships and close more deals.
It helps to ensure your sales process is as efficient, effective, and streamlined as possible. By tracking every step of your sales process, from lead generation to customer onboarding, you can ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
With that in mind, here are some best practices for pipeline tracking that will help you make the most of your sales process and achieve the best results. With these tips and tricks, you'll be able to maximize your sales process and close more deals with ease.
What is Pipeline Tracking?
Pipeline tracking is a sales process management system that allows you to monitor the progress of leads, contracts, and other elements involved in your sales process.
Whether you use a software-based system or keep track of things in a spreadsheet, it’s essential to track your leads and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. It’s the best way to manage your sales process and identify areas where you can improve and close more deals.
Pipeline tracking is also known as sales pipeline management. A sales pipeline shows the stages of the sales process, the length of each stage, and what you need to do to advance to the next stage. This could include things like the number of leads you have, the number of opportunities, the number of deals in the pipeline, and the dollar value of each deal.
Benefits of Pipeline Tracking
As mentioned, pipeline tracking is the best way to manage and streamline your sales process. It allows you to see exactly where each prospect is in relation to your sales process and how long it’s taking. This allows you to identify problem areas in your sales process and devise strategies to fix them.
By monitoring and tracking your sales process, you can:
- Increase revenue - Although the data varies, many organizations see an increase in revenue when they implement a sales pipeline process. This is because they’re tracking leads, converting more prospects to opportunities, and closing more deals.
- Increase brand awareness - The sales process is a great opportunity to get your brand name out there. Through nurturing and engaging prospects along each stage of the process, you can increase brand awareness and get your name out there.
- Reduce sales cycle times – By monitoring your sales cycle times, you can see where there are unnecessary delays. This allows you to identify areas for improvement and cut down on the sales cycle time.
Pipeline Tracking Statistics
- At least 70% of companies use pipeline tracking. While this may seem high, it’s important to remember that the remaining 30% aren’t using the best practices for pipeline tracking that we’re outlining in this post.
- More than half of salespeople don’t use pipeline tracking. In fact, only 29% of salespeople use a sales process management system.
- Only 15% of salespeople say they’re extremely effective at managing their sales process. This highlights the importance of pipeline tracking and the need for salespeople to implement a sales process management system.
- Organizations that use a sales process management system see an average increase of 10% in annual revenue. This highlights the importance of pipeline tracking and the need to manage your sales process.
Tips for Successful Pipeline Tracking
1. Understand your sales process
As with any aspect of sales, it’s crucial to understand your sales process. This means you need to understand the different stages in your sales process and the level of time each stage requires. Doing this allows you to accurately track your sales process and assess areas for improvement.
2. Don’t track too many metrics
While it’s important to track metrics, you don’t want to track too many. It’s important to look at the bigger picture and understand how sales KPIs such as revenue and profit margin will impact your business.
3. Use an automated system
While it’s important to track metrics, it’s also important to streamline the process. An automated system is the best way to do this. This allows you to track metrics automatically and keep track of your sales process with ease.
4. Review your metrics regularly
It’s important to review your sales metrics regularly and keep track of your progress. By reviewing metrics such as revenue and lead numbers, you can get a better understanding of your sales process and make changes where necessary.
Strategies for Creating an Effective Pipeline Tracking System
Track the right metrics - It’s important to track the right metrics for your sales process. This means you need to understand the metrics that will have the biggest impact on your sales process and sales numbers. You can then track these metrics to keep a close eye on your sales process.
Identify problem areas - By tracking your sales process, it’s easy to identify problem areas and figure out ways to fix them. For example, if you notice it’s taking too long for leads to become opportunities, you can take action and devise a strategy to speed up the process.
Create lead qualification criteria - This is especially important if you’re using a sales process with a number of stages. By creating lead qualification criteria, you can weed out bad leads at an early stage and focus on the sales opportunities most likely to close.
Use different pipeline stages - As much as possible, try to avoid using generic stages such as “prospecting” and “opportunity.” Instead, come up with stages that are specific to your sales process. This will allow you to track your sales process much better and keep track of leads, opportunities, and sales numbers.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Pipeline Tracking
- Close rate- This is the percentage of sales that are closed from all the sales opportunities generated in a certain period of time, usually a month. This is one of the most important KPIs for sales managers to track.
- Revenue- This is the total amount of sales you’ve made in a certain period of time (usually a month). This is another important KPI because it shows how much money you’re bringing in.
- Gross profit- This is the difference between revenue and cost of goods sold (COGS). This indicates how much money you’re making after selling your products, before accounting for expenses.
Best Practices for Pipeline Tracking
1. Keep track of the number of leads generated
The first metric you should track is the number of leads generated per month. This is a great metric to track because it shows the number of opportunities you have for the month. This is important to track because it gives you a sense of how many sales you’ll be able to make for the month. You’ll be able to see how many leads are coming in, which helps you understand your sales process better. It allows you to see where there might be a problem with your sales process and where you can improve.
2. Keep track of the number of opportunities
The next metric you should track is the number of sales opportunities generated per month. This number represents the number of opportunities you have for the month. It allows you to see how many opportunities you’re getting and helps you understand your sales process better. It also shows where there might be a problem with your sales process and where you can improve.
3. Keep track of the number of deals closed per month
The next metric you should track is the number of sales closed per month. This shows the number of deals closed in a certain period of time (usually a month). This is another important metric because it lets you see how many deals you’re closing for the month. It shows how successful your sales process is and helps you understand your sales process better. It shows where there might be a problem with your sales process and where you can improve.
If you’re a client of The Center for Sales Strategy, you can find an IMPACT Leadership System course dedicated to pipeline management in our training and resource center. If you’re not yet a client, check out the free IMPACT Leadership System courses at css.buzz/IMPACT.