In Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms the term ‘sales pipeline’ typically refers to a systematic process of overseeing, monitoring and managing future sales. Typically, your potential customers move through various stages from awareness to enquiry and finally purchase.
When clients and prospective residents and their families are evaluating what products and services will best meet their needs, they may take the following actions with your organisation:
- A customer service representative may meet with a prospective client or resident and ask specific questions to help determine the needs, budget and timeline.
- A customer service representative will send a detailed quote providing information about the best solution and cost to meet the needs of the prospective client or resident.
- A customer service representative may work directly with the prospective client, resident and/or family member on final negotiations and ensure the appropriate terms and conditions are understood and contracts are signed.
A pipeline report from a CRM platform will typically show the value and quantity of potential clients and residents and what stage of the pipeline they are as per when the report is run.
The sales & marketing funnel is different from the sales pipeline. The funnel shows the conversion rates of prospective clients and residents as they move through the stages. Visually represented as a funnel, because of its shape. Your marketing function ensures the top of the funnel is wide, to provide as many prospects as possible. The funnel narrows as prospects are disqualified or decide not to purchase.
Now back to the question, does your CRM come with a sales pipeline? The short answer is no. Invest time in documenting the stages or buyers journey of your own prospective clients and residents before you evaluate a CRM solution:
How do your prospective clients and residents . . .
- Find out about you?
- Decide they need you?
- Evaluate your products and services?
- Compare you against competitors?
- Connect with you?
- Make an appointment or book a tour?
- Confirm the next steps with you?
- Review contracts and terms and conditions?
Questions to ask:
- How long do prospective clients and residents spend in each stage?
- What is your conversion rate of enquiry to purchase?
- What is your …..
For a copy of all the tips and tricks for building a sales pipeline, please take the CRM Self-Diagnosis. It’s free. For more information about Mirus Australia’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform named Mirus Admissions Companion, please contact us here.