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Inbound Sales Journey Podcast

Inbound Sales Journey

Podcast hosted by Ryan Herman & Gray MacKenzie

Why Should I Run a Sales Pipeline Review?

Sales Pipeline reviews help align sales, marketing, and delivery around what needs to be done and eliminate friction and blame-shifting. Your agency should have a clear pipeline established that shows the entire sales process from start to finish.

Typically the easiest place to keep this pipeline is inside of your CRM. Almost all CRMs have pipelines built in as a way to track progress of a prospect as you lead them toward becoming a customer.

Quick note, if you don't have a clear sales process, start there, create a sales pipeline and get your current prospects into the correct positions accordingly. 

Pipeline reviews are meant to recognize good performance, improve accountability, and ultimately build the predictability & scalability of your agency (and the value). These are the insights that impact hiring, firing, training needed, strategic shifts, etc.

Who is Involved in a Sales Pipeline Review

Sales Pipeline reviews aren't just for your sales team. Below is a list of different team members to have at the review meetings and why they should be there.
  • Owner/Manager - Understand how the teams are meshing together and where potential weaknesses in the agency can be found and fixed.
  • Sales Team - Observe which types of leads progress quickly, and which never progress into a sale. Measure sales velocity and which reps are performing best.
  • Marketing Leadership - Great opportunity to have extra data for a SWOT analysis and decide what needs to change? What's the action plan?
  • Account Management - Do we have the capacity to handle the pipeline? Are there any operational increases/reductions necessary?

The sales pipeline is the heartbeat of your agency. It will provide you with objective truth regarding what is working well and what needs improved. Low on leads? Marketing needs to try something new. Taking too long to go from prospect to customer? Your sales team may need some training on creating urgency and closing deals. Things getting backed up as you try to transition from new customer to on-boarded customer? The account managers might need a more streamlined process in place to handle new clients.

How Do I Run a Pipeline Review

So what does a pipeline review actually look like? Here are some examples of what you should be including at your review meetings.

1. You need a pipeline-at-a-glance. This probably means a solid CRM with pipeline visualization. We use the HubSpot CRM and make sure that prospects have been added to a deal and that the deal is in the appropriate place in the sales pipeline.

2. Choose your KPI's. What do you care about? The KPI's can change over time, if you are new to the pipeline review process start high-level. Examples might include average new leads per month, new customers per month, sales velocity etc... 

3. Work from the bottom of the funnel to the top. These are leads that are in stages such as contract pending, solution presentation, etc.

4. Let everyone speak, but keep it productive. This falls on leadership defining the format and setting the standard.

How Frequently Do I Need to Run a Sales Pipeline Review Meeting?

If you are just starting this process our advice is start monthly.

Generally, larger teams should run a pipeline review more frequently than smaller teams. At some point, it also becomes a function of how organized/consistent your pipeline is. Have a good grip on your pipeline and the agency is in good shape? Go quarterly. Not feeling confident everyone is on the same page and organization is a struggle? Try bi-weekly. 

How to Connect with Ryan and Gray

Twitter:

@ryanrherman

@sgraymackenzie

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Ryan Herman

Ryan Herman

I’m in charge of two areas — ZenPilot's growth and our customers' wild success. I recently quit my corporate job to pursue my passion for entrepreneurship and the marketing industry.