Have you ever felt like you are getting a ton of leads but nothing ends up happening with them? One thing I have found is that as people get more and more leads, they rely on their own mind and things fall between the cracks. As you are growing it becomes more important to have a good pipeline management system. Here are four tips that I find the most important to have in your pipeline system for quick access and to make sure your deals are moving forward.
First, is for when you are communicating with a prospect. I call this “beyond next contact.” This is the day that I need to think about this prospect and reach out to them to do something. If you don't have a system that tells you when to think about them you are bound to forget about them and miss that opportunity.
Second, I look at the last time I contacted my prospects. Being organized and being able to look at the last time you reached out to them makes it easier to see how far apart the touches are. I know that I need to touch someone around 18 times before they are ready to buy, and I can estimate when they are going to be ready to move forward.
Third, I want to make sure my notes within the different fields are filled out correctly. After every interaction with a prospect I take the time to go into that field and add notes about the interaction. It is so helpful to go back and work out what has been discussed, what we did, if I left a voicemail or sent an email. This not only gives me the ability to recall details but also where we are in the process. This is also nice when you get a call from a specific prospect because it allows you to pull up the notes and see where you are with him or her.
Lastly, I make sure to run my pipeline and determine what the clear next step is going to be with this prospect. Is it going to be a phone call? Is it going to be sending an Email? Should I stop by their office? If I determine the next step during the current step, then when it comes time to connect with them again, I do not have to worry about what to do. I just need to take the action and do it!
Here are 3 other ideas you should look at when it comes to your pipeline:
• Opportunity open day – what day did this lead come in?
• Contacts - make sure everyone involved in the decision process is in your system.
• Products - be thinking about what is the service or product that will solve their issues.
One of the questions I get asked the most when talking about building and having a pipeline is what is the best customer relationship management (CRM) software to use and my answer is always the same. The best CRM is the one you actually use. It doesn't matter what system you buy if you are not putting the data into it.
It is important to remember that without tracking, you will have no idea what you are missing.
Don't let things fall between the cracks and make sure you are using pipeline management.