Summary of Sales Pipeline Best Practices

  • The sales pipeline and sales funnel are two sides of the same coin. The steps in your pipeline are usually tied to specific actions taken by your leads and prospects as they move down the funnel.

  • While your company should endeavor to design a sales pipeline that best fits your sales process and product or service offering, a standard sales pipeline typically includes: lead generation, prospecting, qualification, contact, offer, close, and nurture stages.

  • As you build your own sales pipeline, helpful steps include:
    • Organize your leads,
    • Outline the buyer’s journey,
    • Associate sales activities with each stage of the journey
    • Determine the number of stages needed

  • From there, reverse-engineer how many leads you’ll need at the top of your sales funnel in order to meet your revenue targets.

  • Tracking your pipeline velocity can help with this exercise as well.

  • Salesmate and Airtable both offer terrific free sales pipeline templates to help you get started.

  • We strongly recommend each company adopt and utilize a CRM to help organize leads and be able to quickly and fully analyze performance at each stage of your pipeline.

  • Even if your business doesn’t sell Software-as-a-Service, utilizing SaaS metrics can really help you optimize your sales process and profitability.