How to manage your sales pipeline in five simple ways:

1. Define your sales process.

Map out your pipeline opportunity stages in 2 ways. The first way would be from your perspective - the selling process, this would involve looking at qualifications and then finding solutions. The second way would be from the client’s point of view, as the buyer. The buying process would start by first acknowledging the pain or discomfort your customers may be experiencing, the second step would be to assess the client’s possible decision making processes that goes in to buying your product.

2. Separate pipeline and forecast meetings.

Your sales pipeline is mainly focused on the top section of the funnel opportunities. Forecasting primarily involves the lower region of the funnel, assessing the closure of deals and end-of-the-month financial goals. Keep your business running smoothly by clearly defining the nature of each business meeting. During pipeline discussions, ask questions that check in on the overall health of your pipeline.

3. Understand your pipeline trends.

In order to judge whether or not your current pipeline is improving, you need to have something to compare it to. Look over your past records and notice how your pipeline has changed over time. This will also help you set realistic and intelligent goals for the future.

4. Remember, a big sales funnel is not always a better sales funnel.

A narrow sales funnel is often a reflection of a quality over quantity. The more effort your reps put in to combing through poor deal opportunities, the less time and energy there is to optimize high quality connections. Unclog your pipeline by eliminating low quality options and people unlikely to convert. This will help slim your pipeline into a more narrow and valuable structure.

5. Measure both value and count.

When you measure your pipeline, make sure you are looking at the total opportunities as well as the value of each opportunity in order to achieve a more accurate assessment of progress.