At any given time, your sales pipeline might look like the line getting into the World Cup.
You’ve got some leads over here, some interested parties over there, and you’ve got a bunch of maybe’s and I-don’t-know’s in between.
You need to have a way to not only organize all your leads and customers, but also to segment and classify them in order to quickly (1) identify them and (2) prioritize them.
Getting All Specific With Your Pipeline
Not all leads are created equal.
That’s not to say you should blow off entire portions of your pipeline because they’re not “the chosen ones.”
But that does mean that you will have portions of your pipeline that will be in very different places and you need a plan of attack for each one.
For instance, you might have a new lead who’s really interested but isn’t the decision maker. Or a lead who’s just browsing and might not be ready to close for another few months, and not because he/she doesn’t want your product.
It’s a craps shoot. Or is it?
Really, it all comes down to how finely you’d like to segment all the different types of leads that literally or figuratively walk through your doors.
How to do that segmentation is a matter of organization using CRM.
JobNimbus makes this kind of segmentation really simple and granular by allowing you to create your own Contact Types, give each one a unique set of statuses, and tag them for added identification metrics.
Contact Statuses You Might Want To Work With
While the Contact Statuses you choose should be specific to your own business, audience, and workflow, here are a few that might help get you started.
Christine Donahe over at Impact Brand has a great list, and here are a few standouts from that list:
- Lead: These are the ones who have shown interest through actions (gotten ahold of you, etc).
- Lead – Qualified: These are leads with whom you’ve conversed or received a confirmation that they are indeed a good fit for your product or service.
- Qualified – Unsuccessful Connect: You’ve tried to get in touch with them to further the sales process but haven’t been able to connect/reconnect.
- Open Opportunity: This is where you have the opportunity to make a sale. They’ve shown interest, they’ve been qualified, and they just need that last push. Notes on the contact record can help you know what to do next.
- Lost Opportunity: Even lost opportunities can serve you well. Always track lost opportunities and the reasons why. This will help you better qualify and clean your pipeline in the future, as well as target your message and better your product/service.
There are, of course, many many more types and statuses to choose from.
And each one should be based on your own experiences and your needs.
Go big, but don’t overdue it either. Make sure you have the right amount to get a great view of your pipeline while not being too overbearing on your sales team (this is extremely important).
In everything, have moderation.
Don’t go loco with your statuses or you’ll end up with a jumbled mess when your sales team goes to actually put it in practice.
And don’t go too light, because then you won’t be doing yourself any favors with the amount of data you won’t be accumulating.
Remember the Goldilocks method and you’ll have powerful segmentation in place to engage new leads, set up new marketing campaigns, and re-engage existing customers.