Small business owners who want to form a corporation often have to wear many hats, including that of sales manager. However, as the business grows, owners will be able to hire a sales team and need to know how to build and track a sales pipeline.
Donna Fenn of Inc. magazine offers tips for entrepreneurs who are taking on the new task of managing a sales team. A sales pipeline is the amount of business that a company attempts to close in a month, quarter or year. This helps business owners track how many sales are closed, which can help with future sales forecasts. It can also facilitate the identification of what is contributing to low sales numbers, whether its low conversion rates or only getting a small share of a client’s total business.
In order to maximize conversions, start off by determining an account’s total budget, the likely length of the sales cycle and the key decision makers. Monitoring the amount of time it takes for the sales team to follow up leads can also be helpful. Often, the sooner a potential client receives a call back, the higher the chances are a sale will be made.
When adding new hires to the team, only expect them to carry one-third of an average load during their first month, advises Suzanne Paling, author of The Accidental Sales Manager.
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