Whether your company sells vacation packages, nutritional supplements, skin care products, or business opportunities, every network marketer needs to know the stages of the sales process known as the sales pipeline.
While every marketer or sales rep possesses their own unique selling methods and strategies, all of us should be using the pipeline (also known as the sales funnel) to evaluate if a lead is a good fit…
The sales rep finds a new lead, they get their contact information and reach out to them and assess if they’re a good prospect to pursue to close the sale.
But when marketers don’t use the sales pipeline stages, they can be leaving money on the table. It’s easy to lose leads, waste time on unqualified leads, and stunt the growth of the business.
To prevent you from making these mistakes, we’re here to help with the info about the sales pipeline stages you need to know.
Stage #1: Finding a New Lead
In this stage, you identify a new lead from a referral, your social media pages, or other means.
You record their contact information by jotting it down or putting it into an automation software database to move your lead further down the pipeline.
If it’s in the budget, these types of databases are a smart way to have all your contact information and notations about your prospect in one place, as you won’t have to dig through handwritten notes which can be super time-consuming.
Stage #2: Initial Contact
The first contact can be one of the most challenging aspects of the sales process. People are busy and not always easy to get a hold of in the first place
Your lead stays in this sales pipeline stage until you make contact. As you know this could be immediate, weeks down the road, or even never if the lead decides to ignore your attempts.
At this stage, you also need to determine how you will schedule follow-ups for each attempt: By phone, by email, or even by snail mail.
You also have an opportunity to send your lead a newsletter or friendly email notices about product discounts and trial offers, all with the goal of moving the lead to the next stage of the sales pipeline.
Stage #3: Engagement
By the engagement stage, you or your sales rep has connected with your lead either by phone or online. This is the stage to discover as much information you can about the prospect without overwhelming them.
The goal here, as you may know, is to find out if this person would make a qualified lead.
This is what you need to know:
- Does your prospect have interest in your product?
- Do they have your product in their budget?
- Do they have the authority to give you the green light?
Depending on your industry, you might need to have one or more conversations to determine if your lead is qualified.
Learning this information is key! Imagine if you’ve spent hours on the phone with your lead or crafting personalized emails for weeks only to discover that he is not the key decision maker who can authorize a purchase. Not the best use of your time, is it?
If you find the lead isn’t a qualified one, make sure to note this information in your records. This will help you to avoid wasting time or wearing egg on your face if you contact them again by mistake.
Stage #4: Onboarding
At stage four of the sales pipeline stages, you’ve qualified your lead. They have the power to authorize the purchase, the budget to afford it, and the interest in what you’re selling.
At this stage, you’re ready to customize a proposal and close the deal. There’s always the chance the prospect will take time to return the paperwork, which can slow down the sales process.
But a quick follow up by phone or email can be a good reminder to help get your lead back on track.
Prospects can be forgetful when they have a lot on their plate. Others can be major procrastinators when they’re on the fence.
Stage #5: Commitment
Up to this stage of the game, you’ve contacted, engaged with, and qualified your lead.
Now you’re ready for a meeting or a commitment of some kind to move the sales process to the next level.
You can schedule a face-to-face meeting with your prospect, set up a free trial of your product, or send a product sample to your qualified prospect’s home of business.
Your qualified sales lead is almost there! You’re moving to the last of the sales pipeline stages.
Stage #6: Closing the Deal
You’ve made it to the last process of the sale and you’re ready to close. You’ve won the prospect over!
You send all the paperwork to sign, make the financial transactions, and collect payment. The deal is finalized. Your prospect is now your customer.
You send an email thanking your customer to build a relationship and send your customer links to other relevant products.
A delighted customer can be your best sales tool. They can recommend your products to friends or business associates and help you build your business.
You can also follow-up and ask them for feedback, a customer testimonial for your website, or to post a review on your social channels or on Google reviews.
Final Words on the Sales Pipeline Stages
Now you know the stages of the sales pipeline that help move your prospect forward to the final sale. Incorporate these steps to help you evaluate your sales lead, get them qualified, and build your network marketing business.
Yoobly provides tools, tips, content, and other help to those in the network marketing industry. Contact us for a free consultation today and learn how you can boost your revenue!