When you look up B2B lead generation online, there’s a lot of other jargon intertwined under this broad business growth term—leads, inbound and outbound marketing, sales development representatives, building a sales pipeline, etc. What does any of this corporate lingo mean, anyway?
While there is a lot of lead generation terminology to learn, the phrase “building a sales pipeline” may be one of the most important for you to understand. But fear not! We’re here to cover all the sales pipeline basics for you. In this blog, we’ll go over the following:
A sales pipeline is a collection of prospective businesses that your company would like to close deals with. It’s important to remember that prospects in the sales pipeline aren’t a list of businesses that are ready to buy. They’re opportunities for your sales development reps (SDRs) to introduce to your company, qualify the lead, nurture the relationship, and set sales appointments.
In the grand scheme of things, the end goal of a sales pipeline is to convert prospects into leads and leads into customers. However, there are a lot of sales and marketing actions that must occur before a lead is ready to become a customer, including outbound sales and inbound marketing efforts. By building a sales pipeline, you have the opportunity to grow your business both internally and externally.
A sales pipeline doesn’t just appear out of thin air, so how do you kick off your lead generation efforts? Here are some steps to help you get started:
Step 1: Create a List of Prospects
Like any lead generation program, a sales pipeline starts with developing a list of prospects. Strategic prospecting is essential for finding leads that meet your ideal customer criteria. This ensures your sales reps only follow leads that could result in a business opportunity that meets your qualifications.
As you create a list of prospects, it’s essential that you design an ideal customer profile for the business opportunities you want. This can include:
- Job title
- Industry served
- Number of full-time employees
- Square footage of commercial space
- Product or service interests
By grouping prospects, you have the opportunity to follow up with the right leads and customize your pitch based on their buyer persona. It’s important to remember that prospecting can take a considerable amount of time and effort from your sales reps, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an immediate ROI.
Over time, your sales reps can spend time building relationships with the prospects and discovering pain points with their current product or service solutions. Even if the prospect isn’t ready to make a change to their current solution yet, at least your sales reps can nurture the relationship over time and build value.
Step 2: Understand Your Sales Process
To have a sustainable appointment setting process, it’s essential that you and your sales team have a full understanding of how you want your sales process to work. A sales process should be easy to understand for everyone involved. It should be streamlined and simple to communicate between sales team members. With a sales process in place, it’s much easier to pitch the right leads at the right time. Additionally, it gives your sales reps the opportunity to pitch the products and services they’re most interested in learning more about.
Not sure if lead generation or appointment setting is the right business growth solution for your company? Download our guide to explore your options and help you decide which business growth strategy is the best fit for your company!
Step 3: Set Attainable Goals
To build a sustainable sales pipeline, you must set attainable goals for you and your sales team. These goals should be for the short term and the long term. By setting long-term goals, you have something for your sales team to work towards. Your short-term goals should align with the long term so they’re easier to reach.
Honestly, any B2B company can build a sales pipeline. But why would they want to in the first place? Building a sales pipeline is essential for business growth because it allows you to:
- Find qualified leads: Lead qualification ensures that sales reps follow up with the right business opportunities. Without a lead qualification process in place, you risk following up with leads that have little to no impact on your business growth.
- Generate predictable growth: With a sales pipeline, your sales and development teams have the opportunity to generate predictable growth. This allows your company to grow at a rate that’s sustainable.
- Expand your infrastructure: A sales pipeline gives you the opportunity to not only grow your business externally, but internally as well, allowing you to take on more opportunities.
You may hear the phrase “building a sales pipeline” a lot when it comes to lead generation, but do you actually know how to build one to generate sustainable business growth? Check out our blog to learn how to build a sales pipeline from our industry-leading experts!
It can be easy to get lost in all the B2B lead generation jargon, like “building a sales pipeline.” However, the sales and marketing experts at Abstrakt Marketing Group are here to guide you through the weeds. While the phrase “building a sales pipeline” may get thrown around a lot, it’s an essential component for sustainable business growth—both internally and externally.
Our lead generation specialists help B2B companies build sales pipelines that yield predictable growth opportunities. When you’re ready to enhance your company’s sales pipeline, contact Abstrakt Marketing Group!