Marketing and Sales Pipeline Management for SMBs

| 6 minute read
Tony Collett
Author Tony Collett
More opportunities, more earnings
If you want more qualified leads, higher conversion rates, more clients, and more earnings, you’ll need to ensure your organisation has the six key ingredients of an effective sales and marketing pipeline.
Having great salesperson or sales team is not enough to achieve this. The answer lies in having an effective, coordinated and collaborative marketing and sales regime. If you have these 6 elements in your marketing and sales kit, then your set up for more earnings.
1. Steady Stream of Qualified Leads
Focused, results-oriented marketing initiatives are essential for generating a steady stream of qualified leads. A start-up personal financial management company, for example, can gain traction by sharing practical advice through well-curated blog posts and investing in search engine optimisation (SEO) and PPC advertising.
In this scenario, a qualified lead will browse through the company website, read the blog, become a subscriber, or make contact through an internet search for ‘personal financial management companies.’
2. Lead Nurturing
A constant stream of good quality prospects does not always guarantee immediate conversion. This is where lead nurturing comes in – this is when you track your prospects’ needs, communicate regularly through a mix of channels, and offer useful or educational information and advice.
This is a discipline that often is neglected by the sales team and often is not well executed by the marketing regime. Well-executed nurturing will efficiently maintain touchpoints with leads and increase your conversions and can be done efficiently and effortlessly.
3. Qualified Lead Conversion
This is the point in the sales pipeline when a prospect starts to act through a buying decision and is a crucial collaboration of sales and the marketing people.
Take note that thousands of qualified leads do not equal thousands of conversions. This is why businesses have come up with ingenious ways of gently nudging prospects to take action. This stage is often done well by businesses because, traditionally they have got where they are with a solid sales function, but surprisingly, we have found that there can be ways of improving the conversion rates from ‘good’ to ‘best practice’.
4. Opportunity Management
The obvious point where the sales team really come into their own and having a good conversion rate is a hallmark measurement of your sales team. Often, what is not done so well is optimising the quantity and quality of leads and their effective transition to point of opportunity.
It is also surprising how many businesses have low conversion rates. Effective opportunity management depends on effective lead generation and lead nurturing as well as applying the appropriate sales skills.
If the lead generation and nurturing function sets your business up with attractive opportunities and if the sales people have the appropriate skills and will, it is only then that you will have a high conversion rate.
5. Current Client Account Management
Companies invest a lot of time, money and effort into acquiring new business. However, often the biggest opportunity for more earnings are right there in your current client portfolio. Account management is more than just looking after the key people, fixing problems and taking re-orders. Real account management also includes a constant probe on how a good client can bring more earnings for your business.
A well-managed and executed account management plan through sales and marketing efforts can produce significant results. Remember that your current clients are your brand voices. Take care of them so you can keep them, and optimise revenue.
6. Nurturing Past Clients
Make a point to look through your client database periodically.
Who are your past clients? What did they buy from you? Did you ever check if they were satisfied with your product (or service)? Is the information on them updated?
An effective marketing team can target and nurture past clients and generate new opportunities.
Perhaps you’re launching a new product or service. Get in touch and send them an invitation to test your new products, or email them special offers they may be interested in.
What is your current situation?
Are you looking to expedite an ambitious growth strategy? Maybe you just know that your business can achieve more revenue, but you are not sure why you’re not.
No matter what the reason, if you’re looking to optimise your marketing and sales efforts and grow your business, having an effective marketing and sales pipeline regime is essential. If you would like to know more, or want to consider an appraisal, get in touch and let’s chat!
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