Time is an invaluable resource, and you need to make the most of it at every opportunity. The only thing is that there is no exact method to calculate how fruitful you are with time. That probably explains why 34 percent of salespeople indicate that the effectiveness of their efforts is only minimal.
However, measuring sales pipeline velocity can be the first step to increasing your company’s revenue and optimizing your sales process. That means building a more efficient, cohesive sales team and bringing targeted changes to your sales process is possible when you optimize your pipeline velocity rate.
Having precious leads sitting in your CRM is not enough. That’s because when leads reach the top of the sales funnel, roadblocks may emerge, preventing the average salesperson from hitting their quota. This happens because prospects tend to move sluggishly for longer than they should and appear to never reach the bottom of the funnel.
In part, that explains why optimizing sales pipeline velocity is something you cannot afford to overlook.
What Is Sales Pipeline Velocity?
Simply, sales pipeline velocity refers to the speed at which your prospects move from the top of the sales funnel to its bottom. Note that the metric applies regardless of whether you lose or win leads. In other words, it is a measurement that helps you understand the speed at which you are making profits. You can also view pipeline velocity as the value of every individual lead over a specific period.
As such, a formula is what matters in this case and not just a single parameter. The following are the components of that formula.
The Importance of Pipeline Velocity
First, understand that realizing a smooth transition of prospects through all the sales cycle stages is a challenge if you do not have a healthy pipeline. That implies that the slightest change in how you operate can improve sales pipeline velocity and increase your revenue as well.
So, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to monitor your pipeline velocity from time to time. Sales and revenue forecasting are part of the essential aspects of every enterprise. As such, understanding how fast leads move through your pipeline and the value of each can help you improve those numbers.
The bottom line here is that pipeline velocity can help you realize higher conversion rates by accurately optimizing each stage of your sales process.
What Is the Goal of Sales Pipeline Velocity?
It is worth mentioning that pipeline velocity can help your sales teams because its goal is twofold. Indeed, part of the priorities of your sales team is increasing qualified leads and reducing the number of unqualified ones in the pipeline.
On the other hand, sales leaders focus on moving deals through the pipeline as fast as possible. In that case, pipeline velocity can help you assess the effectiveness of both goals. Additionally, sales pipeline velocity will prove instrumental when setting realistic sales goals and quotas. That, in turn, allows you to gain insight into your daily returns.
Insight Into Improving Pipeline Velocity
Monitoring your pipeline velocity regularly allows you to grow your enterprise and help it thrive. This metric helps you discover how to accurately optimize every stage of your sales process to increase conversion rates. Here are a few tips for improving pipeline velocity.
1. Consider Nurturing Your Leads With Value Driven Content
Emailing or calling your leads numerous times with high value messages allows you to move them through your sales pipeline. The focus here should be reaching out to leads proactively in a way that creates value and builds trust. Do this by making sure your content touches them through social media channels, and by simply remaining in touch with them to demonstrate that you care, are thinking of them, and that building relationships is important to you and your organization.
For instance, you can send your leads a blog post (protip - that can be generated by your marketing team or something your team did not write but is valuable). Include a message like, "After coming across this article, I thought you would find it useful." By doing so, you are nurturing your leads with value versus trying to nurture them constantly with sales focused messages.
The intention, in this case, is to be a resource that understands your leads, what is important to them, and what will provide them value versus a constant buy now drumbeat.
Once your prospects discover that your primary objective is providing value, they will be more receptive to investing more and more of their time to learn about you, your company, and your offers, ultimately unsticking leads in your sales funnel and increasing your sales pipelines’ velocity.
2. Streamline Your Sales and Marketing Departments
Aligning sales and marketing plays a significant role in optimizing pipeline velocity. That is the case because if your marketing unit sends unqualified and half-baked leads to your sales department, your sales pipeline will be clogged and slow. As such, improving communication between the two departments can improve the lead qualification process.
Ultimately, that will increase the speed of moving leads through your sales pipeline.
3. Prioritize Qualified Leads
Indeed, giving every possible lead a chance is advisable, but it may not be practical if you have a large population of leads. Plus, not all leads are created equal. Leads will be in different stages of the buyer's journey. Treating them all the same is ineffective and inefficient. To increase pipeline velocity think about:
Prioritizing sales velocity is critical since a full pipeline does not necessarily mean you will realize a desirable outcome. Measuring your pipeline velocity regularly and tracing anything that may affect it is paramount in this case.
Identifying your ideal company profiles and personas allows you to target prospects with greater chances of converting to buyers. So, you need to remain creative. And working with other units within your entity is not an option in this case. Doing so supports your sales cycles, which makes them more efficient.
Also, remember that high-quality leads are an indispensable factor when it comes to speeding up your conversions. You will only find success once you identify what makes your sales velocity spike.
If you'd like more insights on how you can improve your sales leadership, contact us. Or sign up for our newsletter for more valuable resources.
Had a great time during my interview with one of my clients, AVentPro. This client produces events both virtually and in-person. The last few years have dramatically shaped the events industry and I am super proud of the smart pivots, learnings, hard work, and growth at AVentPro.
In their Spotlight Series we talk about being an effective speaker (presenter) and the importance of bringing audiences together to create connection. The main lesson is that no matter what, there is tremendous value in bringing people together. This can be smaller groups like leadership or company wide meetings or making it a point to attend conferences to grow, expand your knowledge, and make new connections.
If you run a sales organization I highly recommend revisiting how you bring your teams together and use time together to inspire, share knowledge, create community, and get into action.
AVentPro Spotlight Series - Interview with Karl Becker