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A 5 Stage Sales Pipeline Management Model

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Effective sales pipeline management is vital to your business. Align your teams around a ‘lingua franca’ to better manage deal qualification, forecasting and the sales process.

We know the B2B sales pipeline is changing.  Inbound marketing and emerging marketplaces (like 99designs, Thumbtack and BlurGroup among others) manage elements of prospecting and the lead generation cycle outside of direct sales. Marketing plays a bigger role to drive inbound leads into the sales pipeline and marketplaces can replace some elements of sales outbound prospecting.

In complex or considered sales, the professional management of the sales process from working lead to committed remains vital.  It is important to get the sales team on the same page and using the same sales process. Quite often, we see companies that are not using a common language for the sales pipeline. Forecasting is much more difficult when we are unclear about the status of each deal and the stage in the process. Firms often over-invest in some deals and under-invest in others while colleagues who support the sales effort become frustrated when time is wasted.

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BANT SCOTSMAN or TAS for Sales Qualification?

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Collaborative Qualification

This post was updated in Q3 2019.

Good Qualification is Vital

One of the critical drivers for revenue success is an increase in close rates by the sales team and effective qualification is critical to that metric. Not only will effective qualification help the sales team focus on the right deals, the very exercise of qualification inspires better engagement tactics in the sale.

Because of the self-directed buyer and the ability to measure engagement levels online, today’s qualification process is collaborative across marketing and sales. BANT, SCOTSMAN, TAS and our own FACT model help with both sales and marketing qualification and should be configured in lead scoring qualification and identifying qualified leads including the MQL – marketing qualified lead and SQL – sales qualified leads or opportunities.

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