For companies with complex sales cycles - in high technology, industrial machinery, and advanced materials, for example - improving sales pipeline performance is essential for achieving revenue growth. But these firms face significant challenges determining which accounts should be the highest priority, what actions will advance the sales process, and how best to ensure internal alignment to achieve a healthy distribution of pipeline opportunities.
You can pursue a straightforward set of actions to improve Pipeline Management. These actions, which are best executed when supported by a Pipeline Performance Management application, are as follows.
Know your sales process -
In complex sales cycle, it’s important to understand the discrete stages for converting a lead to a sale, which will vary in different markets. A complex sales cycle might be one where multiple stakeholders are involved, for instance, and there is a significant risk of needs and solutions changing during the sales process. Understanding how to advance the process from one stage to the next is essential, allowing you to anticipate when the prospect will want additional information and when to take action to move decision makers toward a purchase.
Achieve real-time visibility into opportunities -
In any dynamic business environment, sales opportunities will shift overtime: new opportunities will emerge, and existing ones may decline in priority. Achieving real-time visibility into these opportunities lets you respond quickly with appropriate resources. You need to know the current profit potential of each opportunity, the prospect’s position within the sales process, and the up-to-date activity history. Beside offering insight about specific opportunities, good visibility can shed light on the overall health of your pipeline. A healthy pipeline should have a balance distribution of opportunities across the sales stages, thereby enhancing the chances of meeting targets. Giving timely visibility, management can address an uneven distribution before it has an adverse impact on revenue and resource planning.
Establish a rigorous process to plan and monitor performance -
Clearly, understanding your sales process and achieving visibility into opportunities are necessary conditions for improving pipeline performance. However, performance can only truly improve if this information is leveraged in the context of your internal sales planning and execution process.
Pipeline performance management with zacCRM -
The pipeline performance management features of the zacCRM (customer relationship management) application provide sales professionals and managers with functionality they can use to analyze their pipeline, identify opportunities, and simulate what-if scenarios. Instantly, they can trigger the right actions to resolve issues and help representatives meet targets. The solution allow managers to track performance based on range of metrics including churn rates, quotas, and expected year growth. They can view interactive real-time charts encompassing targets achieved to date, the pipeline filtered by sales stage, recent changes in the pipeline, and more. zacCRM features simple-to-use navigation through interactive analyses, allowing managers to identify and follow up on relevant opportunities - effectively merging analytics and action into one application.
zacCRM is integrated with the full array of zacERP solutions covering enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and many others. Thus through its central position in the lead-to-order process, in particular pipeline performance management plays a key role in enhancing the performance of processes throughout the enterprise.