In order to meet your revenue or sale targets you have to build a sales team and a process to enable the team achieve its objectives. This is achieved through managing a sales pipeline. The sales pipeline refers to the steps taken by the sales team from identifying the target through to closing a sale. The qualifying business opportunities are all tracked from target customer level through to closing a sale. The highlights in building a sales pipeline include the following;
You have to be clear as to budget you aim to achieve. The budget should neither be too low or too high to achieve. The team must however know that the sky is the limit. In life you can achieve anything provided you focus on it.
Agree on the target organisation
To achieve your goal you have to focus on the target organisations that have the type of budget to buy from you. Identifying the target you need to do some research on the target organisation including sales team meetings. You have know the targets buying practices among other things
Building relationship with the target
After identifying the target we have to build the relationship with the potential customer which will enable to talk business. During the initial stages no attempt to sale should made unless the potential customer makes a purchase. Building relationship is aimed at creating an environment which the potential customers buy instead of the team selling to the target. We need to create different touch points with the potential customer.
Expression of interest
Some you will be required to put together an expression of interest. The expression of interest gives a high level profile of the selling organisation so that the potential buyer can short list the potential suppliers to the organisation.
This is when you are specifically requested to put in a proposal to supply goods and services. The most important is to understand the needs of the potential customer in order to put in a winning proposal. A winning proposal is the one which fully meets the need of the potential customer at affordable cost. Sometimes you will be called upon to defend your proposal. The potential customer is mainly wants to establish the capacity of the potential seller to supply them on a consistent basis.
Closing a sale
Time comes when a sale has to be closed because your proposal was successful. For lessons learnt you have to keep a record of why your organisation won or lost the proposal.
Role of staff
The role of staff has to be made clear if you have to achieve your sales budget. All staff are responsible for attracting, serving and retaining customers. The staff should be trained to be good ambassadors of the organisation.
Monitoring and evaluation
You have to monitor the performance of the sales pipeline to establish the performance when compared to the budget and the reasons for variance with the aim of taking corrective action.
John Muhaise Bikalemesa
Director: Big Drum Advisory Services limited