February 27, 2024

Your pipeline is your list of active opportunities, whether they are planned to close today or 10 years from today. It is critical that you have a tool and method
for keeping track of all open opportunities.

It does not matter if you use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or a spreadsheet. If you want to be successful you must keep track of your
opportunities. I have yet to meet anyone who receives an order each time that meet a prospect. If that were the case, you would not have open opportunities.
The reality is that once you meet a prospect and they show interest in your offerings, you now have an opportunity to track.

By logging and tracking the details associated with an opportunity, you begin to build your pipeline. With a daily maintained pipeline of open opportunities, you
can forecast your business for any period with a relative degree of accuracy. The nearer the measurement period, the more accurate your forecast will be. The
higher the quality of the information associated with all opportunities, combined with timely and quality follow-up, increases the accuracy of your long-term forecasting.

What details should be included?

In addition to the complete contact information, here are three tips for setting up your pipeline:

  •  Create the following fields: Opportunity Name, Product/Service, Created Date, Expected Close Date, Last Updated, Status, Probability, $ Value, Notes, Next contact date.

o Wow, this seems like a lot of work! It will be if you don’t stay on top of it.
o Without this level of detail, you will miss critical time frames to move the opportunities forward, which means you will not get those orders.

  • Share your pipeline internally.

o Your sales pipeline of opportunities is important to every department in your business. Others need it for resources planning, financial planning, logistics, and more.
o If you are using a CRM, purchase a seat license for each person that needs real-time information.

  • Setting Probabilities
    o However you choose to define probabilities of the order closing you must be consistent in the implementation. Also, the probability you choose for each opportunity must not only reflect the probability of the         opportunity closing, it must also reflect the opportunity closing on the expected order date that you associated with the opportunity.
  •  Sample probabilities
     10% – If it is “alive” and they are few details available.
     20% – Confirmed project, more details needed.
     30% – Highly competitive or no budget – low chance of winning.
     40% – Competitor has an edge and/or budget not confirmed.
     50% – Not allowed. This tells you nothing of value.
     60% – Budget confirmed, competitive, slight advantage.
     70% – Strong competitive advantage. Project on track.
     80% – Notified you are going to receive the award.
     90% – Sent to procurement for order processing.
     100% – Order received.

These are the highlights of operating an effective pipeline management process. There are many more details on how to ensure it is providing you with the best information possible. Your pipeline is the best tool to tell you the health of your future customer base. Whether it be for this month, next month, next quarter, or next year. To learn more about how to setup, implement, and manage a successful pipeline, please contact me at Contact Us!

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“Handling Objections, Clues for Closing The Sale”

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BeenThere Consulting Services, LLC

BeenThere Consulting Services is a sales coaching company. Coaching is more than training. We work with your specific sales needs in real-time. We address
what is impacting your business now, while creating enhanced processes and developing skills for future success. Our promise is that you will have actionable
take-a-ways after each meeting, which will increase your sales and benefit you business overall.

No one program fits every need. We offer a variety of options to meet the needs of those who want to improve their sales.

  • One-to-one coaching: Custom programs designed to meet client’s needs.
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