A sales pipeline aggregates individual customer sales funnels into a composite picture that measures the health of all sales prospects.
Now that we have the definition, let’s dive into the health piece of it. The health of a sales pipeline is often reflected by the following four metrics:
- The number of deals in the pipeline
- The average size of a deal in the pipeline
- The close ratio, or the average percentage of deals that have been closed
- Sales velocity, or the average amount of time it takes to close a deal
How can you measure and track the health of your pipeline? Check out this blog.
Prospect to Customer Lifecycle
A sales pipeline also visualizes the lifecycle of various customer prospects, from initial interaction to deal close. TechTarget has a great article that outlines four core stages in the prospect to customer lifecycle. We want to build on that, separating their second stage into two (numbers 2 and 3 listed below).
THE LIFECYCLE OF PROSPECTS – YOUR POINT OF VIEW
- Gather incoming leads
- Qualify into a marketing-qualified lead (using methods such as lead scoring)
- Further qualify to a sales-qualified lead
- Engage a qualified lead into a sales cycle
- Register the deal as closed, on hold or lost
Have you clearly defined your lifecycle, applying process and automation to maximize your pipeline build efforts? How do you stack up against the four pipe health metrics? For tips and tricks on building a strong healthy pipeline, download this eBook.