How a Well-Oiled Sales and Marketing Pipeline can Accelerate Growth
If your pipeline is feeling uneven, don’t get discouraged. There’s plenty of resources to help you automate those processes, get your whole team aligned, and monitor the health of your pipeline.
There are lots of practices which can improve your sales and marketing pipeline, such as learning from experts in the field or taking courses online. But the most important thing to remember is that your pipeline should always be customer-centric. You can get started by focusing on how you can best help your leads, prospects, and customers.
Try to consider how you can make the customer’s experience so great that they’ll want to share your success with their friends and colleagues.
Rather than getting caught up in the jargon, let’s start by answering a few questions:
- What is pipeline marketing?
Pipeline marketing connects sales and marketing to valuable data which can become the foundation for decisions and goals in your business strategy.
- What’s the difference between a pipeline and a funnel in marketing?
While the pipeline measures what a seller does during the sales or marketing process, the funnel measures conversion rates through the sales or marketing process. In short, the pipeline measures the value of the deals in each stage of the sales process, while the funnel measures the quantity of the deals being made.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s start thinking about the two pieces of the pipeline which make up your customer experience; the marketing and sales teams.
First, the marketing team creates exciting content which draws the leads into the pipeline. Then the sales team interacts with those leads through a variety of actions such as phone calls, emails, and meetings.
The sales pipeline describes the specific series of actions that a sales rep takes so they can turn a lead into a prospect, and a prospect into a customer. Although many pipeline’s share general similarities, every company’s pipeline is unique to their business and to their customers.
What it Takes to Work the Sales and Marketing Pipeline
Good sales teams are proactive, opportunistic, and reactive. But the best sales teams are also methodical and meticulous. Armed with templates, trustworthy data, and the benefit of experience, the best sales teams know that the cadence and timeliness of follow up is the most important factor in turning a lead into a customer.
So what are the biggest signs of an underperforming sales team? The cooperation between the marketing and sales team as they move people through the pipeline is essential to ensuring a seamless customer experience. If leads slip through the cracks, then it doesn’t matter how many leads the marketing team is sending down the pipeline. In order to keep leads in the pipeline, the sales team has to know where every lead is on their journey with your company and when it's time to check in. This is where HubSpot comes in.
Why HubSpot’s Sales Hub is Worth the Investment
HubSpot allows you to be in an opportunistic mindset while always maintaining attention to detail. With HubSpot Sales Hub your sales team gets a notification when a lead opens your email or when a lead goes on your website. You can even see which pages interest them most on your website, allowing your follow-up to be timely and catered explicitly to their needs.
The Sales Analytics Reports you get in HubSpot’s Sales pro allows you to see deal velocity, deal push rate, and to track how long it takes your sales team to close. Want to see which of your email templates is obtaining the most responses? Or how many times a contact visited your website before reaching out? Only a software like HubSpot can accurately track how long these processes are taking, which in turn allows your company to make smart decisions in the present and better predictions about the future.
Five Steps to Creating an Effective Sales and Marketing Pipeline With HubSpot
- Follow up with the lead or customer: You can use sequences and reminders on HubSpot to map out a series of touch points with each contact. These touch points can range from personalized phone calls and meetings to email templates.
- Manage your contacts: You can use Hubspot’s lists to understand where each contact is in the sales process. Create personalized lists to pick out your best leads for the sales team to work versus leads the marketing team should nurture.
- Monitor pipeline metrics: Keeping an eye on metrics like the number of deals in your pipeline, average deal size, and close ratio helps you better manage the pipeline and make smart business decisions. Regularly review these metrics so you are always updated on the health of your sales pipeline. The Sales Reporting Tool can help you build a dashboard of the most important reports to share amongst your teams.
- Next Steps: For each step of the pipeline, consider the kind of additional content, resources, and information you can provide your leads, prospects, and customers to help guide them to the next stage. Use the data collected by HubSpot to ensure that your next action will be a success.
Want to build a healthy sales and marketing pipeline but not sure where to start? Download the Free Sales Growth Program and learn the best practices for scaling your business.
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