Sales Pipelines Can Be Messy, But Very, Very Profitable

Sales Pipelines Can Be Messy, But Very, Very Profitable

Sales Pipelines Can Be Messy, But Very, Very Profitable. 
Like children that decide to feed themselves, sales pipelines can be messy at first!  As children grow, the process of eating will become easier for them, as well as anyone sitting in the vicinity. As you grow and mature in your marketing efforts, you are able to clean up the process and become more effective in selling your product or service.  Most marketing and salespeople have a tenancy to be more creative, fun and social. They are not known for systems and processes. They have a ritual for their creative process …..but most marketers and salespeople don’t thoroughly think  the sales processthrough a pipeline .Messy Kid Eating

Developing a sales pipeline can be an arduous process, but once it is done,it can become an engine to assist your prospects and customers in the buying process. There are 2 very critical pieces of information that you will need to know when you develop a sales pipeline:

  1. Which customers and prospects you need to put your efforts and resources into... and
  2. Which ones you can!

Simple bits of information that will become very valuable as you develop your system.

Definition of a Sales Pipeline

A sales pipeline defines a typical step-by-step process that sales reps and companies go through to convert a prospect into a paying customer. A sales 'stage' is created for each step in the sales process. This process is what allows you to direct your resources to the right place.

Example Sales Pipeline Stages

  • New Opportunity: This is when a lead is garnered from SEO, Facebook, Dimensional Direct Mail or any other channel.
  • Qualifying: Sales rep (or your automated campaign ) begins reaching out to the prospect to gather details about the prospect and their level of interest.
  • Demo: This is when your prospect agrees to a face-to-face meeting, free trial, online demo, etc. Use a name that accurately describes the nature of your business.
  • Proposal Pending: Assign this stage when the sales rep issues a quote, proposal or estimate.
  • Negotiating: After the prospect responds to a proposal, but requests some changes before committing to a purchase.
  • Won: Prospect makes a purchase
  • Delayed: Assign a stage like this when the Prospect is qualified and truly interested in your product or service, but their decision-making timeline has been delayed. This is also a time to kick in a nurturing campaign
  • Lost: The prospect either purchases from another vendor or decided he didn’t need your type of services.
  • Unable to Contact: Sales rep is unable to contact.

Add Automation

When you add an Automated Marketing Software like Infusionsoft to manage your sales pipeline, you can set up actions that 'trigger' when a sales rep updates the stage for an opportunity. This allows you to create strategic automated follow up, that is appropriate, based on the prospect's stage, and to control the messages that are sent. The actions may include creating a task, starting a follow-up sequence, sending one email, and more.  


In the example above, an action could be set up to trigger when the prospect moves into the proposal pending. This action might trigger a follow-up sequence that includes a series of 3 to 5 emails from the sales rep following up to make sure that the prospect received the proposal and to offer to answer questions, discuss other options, schedule another meeting, etc. The spacing of the emails will depend on how long it generally takes a prospect to respond to a proposal. Usually they are several days apart and are sent out over a 2 to 3 week period.


You might also set up an action for the delayed stage. This sequence could include a series of emails from the sales rep that maintains the relationship with the prospect until they are ready to engage again. The emails in this sequence are usually spaced farther apart, but it may span a longer period of time. The emails might include links to interesting blog articles from your company website, links to web pages that have free resources, etc.

Map out your company's typical sales process by observing your most successful reps. Identify actions for each stage, then set up your sales force automation processes in Infusionsoft.

 If you are interested in developing your own customer reactivation campaign: Contact your Ghost Chili Affiliate for more information!