The Complete Guide to Building a Sales Pipeline

Get visibility into your deals across all stagesA well-designed sales process is an essential tool for account executives to achieve their sales goals. With a defined sales process in place, account executives can effectively guide prospects through each stage of the buying journey, from initial contact to closing the deal.

A clear sales process provides a roadmap for account executives to follow, ensuring that they don't miss any crucial steps and can easily identify any stalled deals. This allows them to manage their time and resources more efficiently, and focus their efforts on deals that are most likely to close.

In addition, a well-designed sales process enables account executives to better understand the needs and motivations of their prospects. By taking a consultative approach and providing relevant solutions, they can build trust and establish long-term relationships with their clients.

Overall, a well-designed sales process helps account executives to work smarter, not harder, and achieve their sales goals with greater efficiency and effectiveness.r.

This page will provide you with insights into the different stages of a sales pipeline, the process of creating one for your business, and common errors to avoid.

What is a sales pipeline?

The sales pipeline provides a visual overview of the opportunities at different stages of the sales process, giving valuable insights into the number of deals and their overall value. This information helps salespeople to determine which deals to prioritize and where to allocate their sales efforts. Additionally, the sales pipeline allows salespeople to project their expected revenue for the upcoming months based on the current deals in the pipeline.
Sales Pipeline Stages

What are the sales pipeline metrics you should track?

Number of Deals

To effectively manage your sales team, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the number of deals in the pipeline. This refers to the total number of qualified opportunities that are actively being pursued by your sales team at any given time. By tracking this metric, you can better manage resources and make informed decisions about where to allocate sales efforts.

Average deal value

Each lead has the potential to generate business, although the value of the deal may fluctuate as the lead progresses towards becoming a customer. By estimating the potential deal value, you can make more accurate revenue projections for your business.
It's important not to solely focus on the biggest deals, as prospects who demonstrate genuine interest and a willingness to invest in your product or service can be just as valuable. In fact, a series of smaller deals may convert into revenue more quickly than one large deal. Therefore, it's important to prioritize deals based on the prospect's level of interest and likelihood to convert.

Average win rate

While numerous opportunities may enter the sales funnel, not all of them result in a successful sale. To measure the effectiveness of your sales process, it's important to track the average win rate, which is the percentage of opportunities in the pipeline that convert into actual sales.
Be realistic when assessing if a deal is a genuine opportunity. The truth is, many companies may not need your product, and a high 'closed-lost' rate can lead to false assumptions. When adding a deal to your pipeline, honestly evaluate the chances of winning it.
By analyzing this metric, you can identify areas where individual salespeople may need to improve their performance and implement strategies that have proven to be successful in the past. This information can help you optimize your sales process, increasing the number of opportunities that convert into sales and ultimately boosting revenue.

Sales cycle length

The duration that a salesperson takes to move a prospect through the different stages of the sales pipeline is known as the sales cycle length. This metric tracks the time it takes for a lead to progress from initial contact to making a purchase.
Sales cycle lengths can vary between five to seven stages depending on the company and typically include activities such as sales prospecting, lead nurturing, and objection handling. The length of the sales cycle can be influenced by factors such as the product or service being sold and the size of the deal, particularly in B2B sales.

By monitoring the sales cycle length, businesses can identify areas where the process can be improved to reduce the time it takes to close deals and increase revenue. Additionally, understanding the sales cycle length can help sales teams plan their activities and allocate resources more effectively. On Meow you can freely customize your sales funnel, with open source you benefit from a free software model, check our guide on open source. In addition you can check for each deal for how long it is already in the current stage of your sales process. .

Pipeline value

The pipeline value, which is the sum total of all deals in the sales pipeline, is an essential metric for businesses to track. By monitoring this metric, companies can estimate their revenue in the upcoming months and develop strategies to optimize their sales process.

Moreover, understanding the deal value of each opportunity can provide valuable insights into the distribution of deals in the sales pipeline. By comparing the average deal value with the individual deal values, businesses can better understand which deals are generating the most revenue and where resources should be allocated.

Overall, tracking both the pipeline value and deal value is critical for businesses to effectively manage their sales pipeline and make informed decisions about their sales strategy.