pipeline management

5 Ways to Scale Pipeline Management as Your Team Grows

Growing your sales team is great news for your business, but it also introduces a number of new issues. For one, information tends to fall through the cracks more often, and maintaining the consistency of your workflow becomes more difficult.

One area of special importance is pipeline management — the day-to-day work that your managers do in coaching your reps and deals. As your sales team gets bigger, you need to figure out how to manage your pipeline at scale. Here are five strategies for your sales pipeline to experience fewer growing pains.

1. Hire Skilled Lieutenants Into Your Team

It might be tempting to think so, but you won’t be able to manage your sales pipeline all by yourself, especially as your team grows in size. While growing your team and scaling your pipeline, you’ll need to hire lieutenants who can provide assistance along the way.

Your sales managers should be smart, effective liaisons between executives and individual representatives. Since managers are responsible for setting targets, forecasting, and coaching, finding the right people for your organization is a critical task.

2. Build an Early Warning System

You should never be caught in the cold about major problems with your sales pipeline. By keeping your pipeline updated and keeping track of the right metrics, you can create an “early warning system” that will inform you well in advance if you’re at risk of not reaching your targets.

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For example, monitoring the meetings that your reps are having with new prospects will make sure that the top of your sales funnel is full and you won’t be starving for deals in a few quarters. Meanwhile, measuring the speed that deals take to go through each stage will determine whether there’s a bottleneck somewhere in your pipeline that’s costing you business.

3. Have a Well-Understood Sales Process

Sales teams that have taken the time to put their process to paper are setting themselves up for success. According to a 2015 study by the Harvard Business Review, companies with a formal, structured sales process saw 18 percent more revenue growth than companies that lacked one.

Your sales process should have clear, established stages and milestones that all of your team understands. To start developing a sales process, observe how you conducted your most recent deals. Determine the major steps for each deal and the time you took to go through each one.

4. Find a Role for Sales Ops and Enablement

Often overlooked or misunderstood, sales enablement and sales operations are critical to the success of your sales team. Both functions are intended to improve your efficiency and effectiveness by getting the right information to the right people.

Although they’re typically involved at different stages of the buying process, both teams need to collaborate in order to maximize their impact. Schedule regular meetings between team leaders and create a document outlining team members’ responsibilities.

5. Don’t Freak Out About Every Deal

Sales can be one of the most stressful positions in a company, and it’s especially stressful when you’re working on a major deal. With a substantial profit to be made, it’s easy to feel like closing on a deal is a make-or-break moment for your company and your career.

However, when your sales team is growing and your sales pipeline is a healthy one, then there should always be more deals coming your way. If you find yourself stressing about a particularly important deal, take a deep breath and trust in your ability to bring in more business in the future.

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