This section of the web site is about two essential parts of running a business, selling and promoting.
If you are to increase sales, then you have to sell or promote yourself. This should be an integral part of your marketing strategy and one that we will help you devise.
There is also selling to customers, or end users and selling to distributors, wholesalers or on-line.
A well devised promotion can be very rewarding, both financially and from a public profile viewpoint. Selling and promoting is about “Visibility”.
We will not only help you become more visible, but hone those Unique Value Propositions (USP’s) and make your message stronger and more credible.
Today, there are some wonderful tools at our disposal to helps us organise contacts and manage our sales pipeline. As part of lead generation we want to know at any give moment how much business we expect to sign in the next month or quarter. This information is managed wonderfully by Customer Relationship Management software programmes such as Act!, Maximizer or SugarCrm. These are inexpensive and help you manage your sales with greater efficiency, and at the same time they give you a 360 degree view of your sales. Let’s talk more of the very important - Sales Pipeline…
What is a Sales Pipeline?
A sales pipeline is a very important concept in selling because it is the recognition of the origin and result of each sale. Each sale starts as a lead — which is a phone number, a name, an email address, a referral or someone who walks into your shop — they are leads. From there, you qualify the lead, which means you make sure this person is capable of becoming a customer - either they have enough money or the right size company for your product.
So a sales pipeline goes like this:
lead —> qualified lead –> continue/advance –> customer –> repeat customer
Some products have a quick pipeline. Some products have a longer pipeline. Generally, the more expensive the product, the longer the pipeline (although that is only a general rule).
An important part of selling is to keep track of the ratios and numbers so you can understand your pipeline and improve it. How many calls does it take to get an appointment? How many appointments does it take to get a sale? And so on! Eventually, you’ll find that it generally takes 10 calls to make an appointment and 10 appointments to make a sale, for instance. Then you’ll realise that if you made 1000 calls last month and made £5000, then you’ll want to make 2000 calls to make £10,000. Once you start knowing your numbers, you start to understand your pipeline.
Suppose you make 100 calls one month and get 20 appointments for the next month, but that next month you’re busy going to appointments so you didn’t make any calls — how many appointments will you have on the third month? None! That’s because you didn’t feed the pipeline.
Of course, if you’ve transacted any sales already, you’re quick to realise that if you made £20000 in sales this month, it’s because you made 2000 calls last month.
Let Objective Marketing help you manage your sales pipeline or create one for you!