An efficient pipeline is key to growing your business and using Salesforce in the best way possible. And there’s a couple of basic things that you need to remember about pipeline management.
1) Make sure all data is in Salesforce
The number one rule is to ensure that you have all of your information in Salesforce. Some companies big and small are not very disciplined and have their information all over the place. This step is imperative to be able to analyze all data associated with your pipeline.
2) Segment pipeline around your customers
You also want to plan your pipeline around the decision points of the customers. Traditionally, you start off with Prospects which are then converted into Leads and eventually Opportunities. If you don’t measure how many are coming in at which point in the pipe and how fast they convert, you won’t have much visibility into your business. After that, you’ll want to be looking at your Decision Points. It’s best to start with the customer’s Decision Points because they are the ones who decide to make contact with you or decide when they are ready to move through the sales cycle. Then you can assess your influence on those decisions—what can you do internally to help move the customer through the different segments of the pipeline. As long as you are thinking critically about and look at it from the standpoint of your company and your customer, you can really have a big impact on your pipeline.
The biggest thing to remember is that you should be improving those numbers over time as you analyze your pipeline. There are some industry-standard metrics that you can look at to get an idea of the type of progress you should be seeing, but knowing what is best for your company is the most crucial parameter to your success.