Sales Pipeline Guide: What is, Benefits and How to Manage it

Keeping it simple, sales pipeline management is nothing more than estimating incoming cash flow or, how much you'll make from your sales opportunities.

Sales professional negotiating and closing a deal with a customer.

Every business is focused on being profitable. From a generic point of view, it means that they need to sell stuff (either products or services). Without selling there’s no money coming in and, therefore, no growth.With that in mind, it’s safe to say that every company must manage their sales pipeline to analyze their sales performance in its targeted market.

One of the most significant signs of an organized business is an effective sales pipeline. Healthy businesses have high converting pipelines without blockages/bottlenecks.

Outside an ideal reality, there’s no such thing as a sales pipeline that converts 100% of the leads into customers. Even the most simple of purchase cycles are influenced by a diversity of factors. What a stronger, well-structured sales process does is make sure the process is converting as well as it possibly can.

What is Sales Pipeline? 

The Sales Pipeline is made up of the stages you have in your sales cycle. It can also be understood as the process Sales Reps make in order to turn new leads into real customers, generally in a visual way.

The process begins with the user identifying a problem (or several) and searching for a solution. Generally, the marketing team will take care of this first step, since it is typically the stage where the users have their first contact with the business.

When the buyer comes to the conclusion that the service or product is the solution they are looking for, signing up is the next step. And great news: you have a new lead who has entered into your Sales Pipeline!

From this moment on, the Sales Reps work through some steps:

1 – Prospecting

2 – Preparation

3 – Approach

4 – Presentation

5 – Follow-up and Handling Objections

6 – Closing

In a customer-centric process, the reps will understand the customer’s needs and present the best way of dealing with that problem (selling their product or service, of course). During the Sales Process, it is also essential to set expectations until the deal is closed. You can also follow some Sales Pipeline Practices: here.

4 Benefits of a Sales Pipeline:

All leads in one place

When you centralize the sales funnel information, it’s possible to visualize your leads’ information in one place. Much easier and efficient than store data in different tools, like email and excel.

Track the performance

Look at process’ information and be able to compare conversions among people and months to 

Standard of execution

Creating an efficient Sales Pipeline process means that all salespeople will know the playbook to follow since the moment a lead manifests an interest in your business until the closure moment.

Improve conversions and time management

With an efficient process, the sales team will have more time to dedicate to leads. And it means: being more efficient and higher conversions. 

How to Manage your Sales Pipeline

When it comes to building your sales process from scratch, you can use the market pattern (as we have shown before). Regardless of the typical sales process, it is always important to tailor the steps for your company’s needs.

In a simple way, you can shape your process by:

  • Defining the steps of your whole process
  • Understanding the main information you need in each step
  • Questioning if there is any way to improve it. Are there steps that you can put together? How to optimize them?
  • Using a platform to build your steps and have current data

Manage your Sales Pipeline with Pipefy!

Pipefy’s Sales Pipeline Template is a step-by-step process, specially developed to enhance your team’s focus and productivity. It’ll guide them through all the steps of the sale: from prospecting, to properly qualifying hot and cold opportunities all the way to effectively closing the deal.

Instead of resorting to fragile spreadsheets or complex and expensive CRM systems, start using Pipefy’s free sales template and run your sales pipeline smoothly and without any concerns.

Use the Sales Pipeline template now

Head of Customer Support @Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to write informative pieces teaching users to make the best of Pipefy. Besides being in charge of product knowledge, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover and a professional photographer.