This article will speak about a framework for developing stages in CRM software to facilitate a sales pipeline that suits your company best.
Even though there is no universal sales pipeline, any B2B sales journey shares some common stages. We have compiled a list of stages that can be implemented to create an effective CRM sales pipeline. These stages are used to identify where a prospect is in their sales journey to match with a suitable deal stage in your CRM. You can change, add, or remove stages to define a sales journey and CRM pipeline that suits your business the most.
Everyone who corresponds to your buyer persona at the beginning of their sales journey can be considered an unqualified lead. We suggest creating a list of unqualified leads to guide them through your CRM pipeline; you can implement lead generation techniques to find these potential customers for your company. Here are some examples of how you can generate more sales leads:
- It is an effective way to locate potential customers through in-person relationship building. It is easier to figure out if a person is a potential customer by talking to them in real life. Of course, it depends on the specifics of your business, as in some cases, in-person networking can be out of the question.
- Another possibility to meet new people who match your buyer persona is by attending trade shows. You can either be a sponsor or ask representatives of your business to attend such events.
- It is possible to identify leads on social media; this goes for both B2B and B2C prospecting. For instance, LinkedIn revolves around professional networks, so be sure to implement targeting tools to raise awareness about your business before reaching out to a lead.
- It is also a great idea to generate leads through content marketing. This could be a blog, newsletters, etc. Create relevant and useful for your audience content to encourage them to provide their contact details or contact your business directly.
You need to tame the power of big data and seize your list of unqualified leads in your CRM. Keeping track of leads that correspond to your buyer persona but don’t pass the qualification process can help you and your team spare your time and effort. After you have compiled a list of prospects, start the lead qualification process.
Qualified potential customers
The lead qualification process takes place when you verify people on your list and estimate their worth for your company. There are certain stages, or rather questions to ask, that can designate lead qualification; let’s have a look at some of them:
- Will this prospect make the ultimate purchasing decision? If not, who are other participants in this decision-making process?
- Does this organization the lead represents have sufficient funds and budget to afford your service or product?
- How urgently does this prospect need your service or product? What does make them interested in your service or product?
You can receive answers to these questions by conducting online surveys, sending emails, calling, or arranging in-person interviews. Collect and record this data in your CRM after.
The moment leads are qualified, you will require an approach to manage them through the remaining part of your sales pipeline. You can use a CRM to make follow-up frequency automated, keep track of correspondence, and take care of scheduling when your sales team handles selling and pitching to your prospects. At this point, your sales force should aim to form relationships with prospects and move them through the sales pipeline effectively.
At this stage, you have defined and processed your prospects’ needs and have sent a formal sales offer. This is the point when your potential customers approach the stage of closing a sale; it is a crucial stage in your CRM pipeline. Keep in mind to define time frames and set notifications about customers who have received a proposal but haven’t closed the deal.
It is obvious that not every single proposal will be successful on the first try. It is crucial to include a negotiation stage in your CRM. This should be of use to your sales team as they will know which deals need their attention the most.
When the deal officially takes place, it is time for the essential “closed” phase. If there is a sale, you can start the onboarding process of the client. CRM software includes a payment processing option and document storage and management to assist the process. Some deals won’t result in a signed contract or a sale, although they are important to track anyway. If you keep a record of lost deals in your CRM, it is easier to analyze missteps to develop a better sales strategy and decrease the number of lost deals.
You need to mark clients who are in the stage of product delivery to remind sales representatives to stay updated on the delivery process. This step is crucial for developing long-lasting relationships with clients so that they return for more. You can use your CRM to remind your reps to stay in touch with prospects during the service or product delivery period and offer assistance if the necessity arises.
It is ideal when clients re-engage with your company at different stages and continue doing business with your company. Use your CRM to facilitate customer follow-ups; advise your sales force to focus on noticing upsell opportunities, new business, and new referrals. If the sales cycle goes as planned and your company gains a reputation as a reliable partner, your clients are more likely to recommend your services to their connections.
The Antelope CRM will become your best partner in managing and converting your prospects. Reach out, and we will provide you with detailed guidance on how our CRM can be of help.