Mapping out your sales pipeline is an essential part of maximizing the success of your team’s efforts. It helps guide management decisions that can reduce any bottlenecks within the sales process and give reps a clear roadmap, allowing them to pinpoint where their efforts are and will be most effective.
Some use sales CRM tools that can categorize sales data and create visualizations to display the sales pipeline, show the separate stages, and show how many customers/prospects are in each stage of the buyer’s journey. But, many still rely on Excel and Google spreadsheets to visualize the different stages.
If you are not using a CRM to map your pipeline, this article is for you! We’ve put together several options for a sales pipeline template that you can use to start visualizing what your team’s sales pipeline looks like.
Customize the Sales Pipeline Stages to Your Business
To give you an idea of where to start when it comes to how to build a sales pipeline, you can look at the common “core” sales pipeline stages:
- Prospecting: This stage involves all of the activities that are meant to uncover and drive new leads to your business.
- Lead qualification: Not all of the leads that are brought in through your team’s prospecting efforts are right for your business. This stage separates prospects that are interested in learning more about your offering (and have a higher chance of closing) from those that your reps shouldn’t spend much time on.
- Demo/Sales Meeting: This is where the rep introduces the product or service that may best fit the prospect’s needs/wants. At this point, the rep will also be evaluating whether there is a strong case for sending the prospect a proposal.
- Proposal: In this stage, the prospect will get a summary of how your company can help meet their needs and how you provide a better offering than your company’s competitors. The rep will also be outlining the full details of the product/service that the prospect would be getting, along with any agreement details, etc.
- Negotiation/Closing: At this stage is where discussion happens to adjust pricing, expand or shrink the scope of work, and manage expectations to come to an agreement that will result in a mutually beneficial partnership. Effective closing techniques will be used to help seal the deal.
- Retention: The pipeline (and sales process) doesn’t end after an agreement is signed. This critical stage involves providing exceptional customer service and long-term account nurturing, opening the door for upselling and cross-selling opportunities and referrals to new prospects.
Understanding these stages gives you a place to start. But it’s important to understand that every company has a different sales process. So, when building out your sales pipeline, the stages should be customized as needed to fit your organization's particular sales cycle.
For example, some companies split the negotiation and closing stages out into two separate stages that each involve more specific sales activities.
Take a close look at your sales process to determine what exactly your sales pipeline stages may look like.
Sales Pipeline Templates You Can Use
As mentioned above, some sales CRMs can help you and your team visualize and track your sales pipeline. But, if you don’t currently have that capability, you still need to be mapping out the stages of your sales process in the form of your sales pipeline.
These 5 sales pipeline template examples will give you a place to start. With these, you will have a useful framework to use to visualize your sales cycle stages in the form of your pipeline and begin to identify what is working and where improvements may be needed.
Here are some options for a sales pipeline template to help get you started:
This free, customizable, and easy-to-use template is perfect for new businesses, especially those who are just launching their sales efforts and/or are not ready to invest in a CRM yet. With this template, you can start tracking your team’s new, in-progress, and closed deals along with the next activity and potential dollar value in each stage, enabling you to build out your pipeline.
The template breaks down the numbers into four business quarters with overall totals for each. It also provides a Deals Insights tab that gives you the total number of deals in each stage, the number of deals by rep, and a comparison of actual sales versus your forecasted numbers for each quarter.
This sales pipeline management template from Close, built for use in Google Sheets, is an easy-to-use visual dashboard that enables you to track your team’s deals through the sales pipeline and summarize current sales efforts. The pipeline stages and opportunity status can be easily customized within the template to fit your business’ needs.
You can view your team’s opportunity summary, the number of open opportunities, the number of closed opportunities, the number of won opportunities, and more! Plus, since it is in Google Sheets, you can easily share it with your team and collaborate in real-time.
For those who love having robust visual depictions of data, this sales pipeline tracking template from Indzara is a good choice. This template, which is built for Google Sheets, helps you track and manage your team’s leads, quickly see where the value lies in your pipeline, what your average conversion rate is, determine where deals are being lost, and more!
You can easily customize, add to, and edit the data within the template to maintain a real-time depiction of your team’s sales pipeline.
From the teams behind HubSpot CRM and Aircall, this sales pipeline Excel template will enable you to start managing your team’s sales pipeline more effectively. With this template, you can easily monitor the status of every deal through the pipeline, see the probability to close, deal size, and more.
The spreadsheet is broken down into the four quarters for the year, giving real-time forecasts of the projected sales revenue for each quarter. The template can be easily customized and edited to enable you to keep your finger on the pulse of your team’s sales pipeline.
Download a Free Sales Pipeline Template
This free sales pipeline template is a Microsoft Excel and Google Doc-friendly tool that can be customized to provide value and insight into the deals in each stage of the sales cycle. To download, make a copy and save it into your folder or workspace before editing.
At first, an Excel or Google Sheets sales pipeline template will be an easy-to-use option if you are a new business. But, as your business grows, it will not be able to scale with you. Once you’ve outgrown a template, it will be time to invest in an intuitive sales CRM (like Map My Customers) that can meet your team’s needs, help you maximize your sales pipeline management, and grow with you.
With a tool like that, you’ll be able to effectively visualize, analyze, tweak, and expand your pipeline as needed, ensuring the continued success of your sales team.
Begin to Optimize Your Sales Pipeline Management Today!
Visualizing your team’s sales pipeline is critical to your business’ success. Doing so will help drive management decisions to effectively optimize your team’s sales process. Thus, helping to ensure your team is closing deals consistently and meeting (and exceeding) sales goals.
By using one of the sales pipeline template examples that we covered above, you’ll have a good starting point to build out exactly what your business’ pipeline looks like. Then you’ll have a good starting place to begin effectively managing that pipeline.
Focus on optimizing your team’s sales efforts and confidently start building out your sales pipeline with one of these templates today!