The goal of most businesses, especially from the sales side, is to turn as many leads as possible into customers. Many different things have an impact on that goal during different stages of your sales process. One of the best ways to optimize your company’s sales efforts is to pinpoint where opportunities for improvement lie.
Analyzing your sales pipeline with sales deal tracking software is a great source for pinpointing these opportunities. Instead of trying to comb through raw data in numbers, you’ll be able to visually determine where changes can be made to increase sales effectiveness and grow revenue.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the difference between your sales funnel and your sales pipeline to understand what sales pipeline management looks like, the benefits of pipeline tracking and deal management, as well as some options for the best sales pipeline software.
Sales Funnel vs Sales Pipeline: What’s the Difference?
Your sales funnel and sales pipeline are very similar and often misunderstood to be the same thing, but they are indeed two different things entirely and provide you and your team different insights. It’s important to know the difference to understand why tracking your sales pipeline and sales funnel management is important.
Think of your sales funnel as the deals from the customer side or the buyer’s journey. The sales funnel follows the stages in your sales process that the leads go through before becoming customers. The funnel is a numerical representation of the quantity and prospect conversion rates through each step of the sales process.
On the other hand, your sales pipeline (aka deal pipeline) is the specific stages that the deals go through and revolves around the actions taken by the sales reps, or the seller’s journey. For example, common stages of a sales pipeline include: prospecting, qualification, sales meeting, proposal, and then closing. When looking at a sales pipeline report, you’ll be able to see the quantity and value of the deals in each stage of the pipeline at that moment. Using this information can help forecast revenue and identify any potential bottlenecks that may be present in the sales process.
Like the sales pipeline, sales funnels can vary in specifics from company to company. But, in tracking your sales funnel, you’ll more than likely be looking at deals as your prospect is in the awareness phase (which will have the largest number of prospects), followed by the consideration phase, the intent phase, and finally the decision-making phase.
Instead of looking at these things in raw line item numbers, you’ll be looking at them in visual depictions in the shape of a funnel, with the top being the largest and getting smaller as it goes down. (Check out our in-depth article, which also provides a sales funnel template, for more info.) Why exactly should you be tracking your sales pipeline? Let’s take a look.
The Benefits Of Pipeline Tracking & Deal Management
Effectively tracking and managing the deals in your pipeline brings a variety of valuable benefits that can help your team grow your sales pipeline and continue to increase revenue. Many of the benefits are due to the fact that all of your team’s deals, no matter where they are in the sales pipeline, are easily accessible in one central location.
This means that your sales reps will be better organized and far more able to prioritize the more important prospects that have a higher chance of closing, allowing them to hit their quotas more consistently. With pipeline tracking, your team can easily visualize opportunities to optimize their efforts to retain as many prospects as possible who are going to be ready to buy. Having everything in one place for your team can also improve team communication and collaboration.
For sales leaders, you’ll have improved visibility into the sales funnel and pipeline. This provides the insights needed to make effective data-backed decisions and improve forecasting efforts. With deal management done through a sales pipeline software, you will be able to monitor important key performance indicators (KPIs) in real-time.
For example, you’ll have a way to forecast sales revenue for the months ahead by knowing how many prospects your sales reps are currently working on (lead velocity rate). You’ll also be able to break down the rate of conversion at each stage of the pipeline, the total number of opportunities within each stage, and the length of time prospects spend at each stage.
Tracking and managing deals also helps highlight where along the sales process and deal pipeline things can be done to make the sales cycle more efficient. It’s often very difficult to discern where problems and opportunities exist through analyzing line item spreadsheets. With this information visualized through deal tracking, your team can bring in sales automation capabilities to help streamline tasks and help reduce bottlenecks that may be happening in the pipeline.
With the improvements in the sales process made possible through pipeline tracking, your sales team will be able to better understand the needs of their prospects and build more genuine connections with them because you will be able to offer more tailored solutions. This then leads to more loyal long-term customers.
Take advantage of the potential opportunities for additional revenue in your sales deal pipeline and increase conversion by utilizing robust software that is available for pipeline tracking and deal management.
Benefits of using sales pipeline software summarized:
- Sales reps will be better organized and able to focus their attention on the best opportunities.
- Effective sales cadences can be determined to be able to reach out to prospects at just the right times
- Improved communication and collaboration within the sales team.
- Sales leaders have better visibility into the sales process and pipeline to make effective data-backed decisions.
- With more in-depth visibility and insights, more accurate sales forecasting can be done.
- Critical KPIs can be easily monitored to get a clear picture of your sales funnel and processes.
- Sales automation can be implemented where it’s needed most in the sales process to help retain more prospects and streamline the conversion process.
- More tailored solutions can be offered to help solve prospects’ pain points.
- The sales team can increase the number of prospects that are converted into customers.
The Best Sales Pipeline Software Tools To Manage Your Deals
With today’s sales technology and visual capabilities, sales deal management is way past a sales pipeline template in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. Sales pipeline tracking software can help increase the accuracy of your team’s deal management process and enable reps to spend more time where it matters most.
There is even software available that makes it possible to effectively handle deal management from within your customer relationship management (CRM) platform directly, providing a sales pipeline dashboard for the most important KPI’s. The best part is you don’t have to have a lot of technical experience to utilize these tools. Here are some of the options available:
The Hubspot platform helps to automate administrative tasks and get more visibility into the health of your business. This also applies to your team’s deal management. With the mobile-friendly deal tracking software from Hubspot, you and your team can store, track, manage, and report on all of the deals that the team is currently working, helping to optimize the effectiveness of your sales cycle.
Within the deal tracking dashboard, your reps can automatically create and take action on deals when contacts take specific actions that could potentially lead to revenue. Reps can also set customized triggers to notify the team when prospects complete certain actions within the sales cycle. Plus your team can use automated playbooks to efficiently move deals forward through the sales pipeline.
Sales leaders can customize sales pipeline reports to monitor the most important metrics and overall performance.
When utilizing sales technology, it is important to use robust tools that serve multiple purposes. If you are looking for options for the best field sales tool with deal management capabilities, Map My Customers is your answer. Built with the outside sales rep in mind, Map My Customers’ mobile CRM provides an interactive deal dashboard that helps your team visualize your sales pipeline, manage where each prospect/customer is in the process, and implement actionable strategies to increase revenue. This function operates essentially like a kanban board, but one that is purpose-built for sales teams.
The column names are customizable and could be set to things like deal stages or the close month. Then the deals are represented by cards that can easily be dragged and dropped to different columns. You can automatically see the total count and value of the deals in each column. The columns can also be filtered by things like deal owner, stage, or account groups.
Along with visualized deal tracking, Map My Customers centralizes all of your team’s customer and prospect information in one place, provides customized sales pipelines updated in real-time, and makes sales territory mapping and routing easier than ever. Not only can you visualize your sales pipeline and track prospects through each phase, but you can also view your deals and prospects on your territory map color-coded per pipeline stage.
The Lead Finder feature within the platform enables reps to optimize their prospecting efforts like never before. They can search the map for new leads that may be near their current location, along their sales route, or near current customers that they are visiting that day. These new leads will show as pins on the map and can provide detailed business info in just a tap. They can then be easily imported into your account and synced back to your CRM.
Enable your team to make informed decisions that will help make the most out of deals and grow your sales revenue with Map My Customers.
Another option of sales CRM with built-in sales funnel and deal pipeline management, Pipedrive helps you visually organize your business and make data-backed decisions to improve sales processes. In this sales platform, you can manage leads and deals and track them along every step of the sales pipeline. You can create unlimited sales funnels and pipelines with customized stages to fit your sales cycle. Filter the funnels by stage, per rep, etc.
If your team actively uses tools from Google Workspace, including G-Mail, Google Calendar, and Chrome, the sales CRM and pipeline management software from Copper integrates with Workspace tools seamlessly. Optimize your sales processes and keep your finger on the pulse of your sales pipeline. Copper helps you qualify, track, and measure the opportunities in your sales pipeline so you can nurture them into thriving, long-term customers. View each stage of your sales pipeline and visually pinpoint opportunities and conversions. With Copper, your sales reps can more effectively focus on the leads that are most likely to close and help drive continued revenue increases.
Implement Deal & Pipeline Tracking to Boost Your Team’s Sales Revenue
As you can see, tracking your sales deals along your team’s sales pipeline allows you to quickly pinpoint what is working, what isn’t, and where new opportunities might be hiding in your sales pipeline. Your sales reps will be more organized and have the insight they need to focus on the right prospects at the right time, significantly boosting sales effectiveness. Sales leaders will have more visibility and accurate data to make informed decisions to help optimize sales processes.
Today’s successful sales teams have moved past using a sales pipeline template in Excel. But, deal and sales pipeline tracking does not have to be difficult. With robust software available, you and your team can easily get complete visibility into your sales pipeline and funnel. View everything from where leaks might be present to how quickly your team converts prospects into customers to real-time insights on lead behavior.
With the knowledge gained from tracking your deals along the sales pipeline in real-time, you can streamline your sales process and convert more prospects into loyal customers for your company.
Get started with deal tracking today!