Manage your sales pipeline with Odoo
Kevin Pérez [Vauxoo]
12 May 2021
A sales pipeline consists of those stages that are used to follow up on the prospects that come to your company until they become customers. Throughout this blog post we tell you about the stages of a sales pipeline, why you should have one and how to manage it to improve your sales.
Closing sales depends on several factors, such as: attracting the right prospects, a good market analysis and above all on a well-defined pipeline when selling. Without a process there is no exact record, nor visibility of where each prospect is heading, and therefore no improvement can be generated if it is not known with certainty where it is failing.
Every business needs sales, but it is very important to keep in mind that they are not only actions (phone calls, emails, quotes), you must have an order when serving customers to obtain consistent and predictable results. This is where the sales pipeline comes in.
A sales pipeline is about the steps a prospect takes to a business until they become a customer. It consists of a series of steps or stages which are oriented to continue the client's decision process (Opportunity, Qualified, Proposal, Won / Lost).
Stages of a sales pipeline
1. Prospect: The prospect comes to the company through marketing efforts, public relations or promotional activities that the team establishes. It all starts with being curious about your company and wondering if it is possible that your product or service solves their needs.
2. Opportunity: This stage consists of those prospects who have already arrived at your business, you can start with a call or a meeting to generate a demo of how your product works and what problems it solves, it is here where the sales representative identifies if it meets the requirements criteria to be considered a qualified prospect.
3. Qualified: Prospects enter this stage if the sales rep considers that they are qualified as an opportunity to win. Calls, meetings and emails are generated to identify the needs, through all these actions it is discovered if they meet the following criteria:
Do they have a need that can be solved with your product or service?
Do they have a budget in mind to get started?
Do they have a time planned to solve that need?
Are they the right person to authorize the purchase?
If the prospect meets all the criteria, it is time to generate a proposal.
4. Proposal: A proposal is generated, and a negotiation begins here, if you agree with the proposal, if not, another call must be generated to agree on the new or missing needs of the prospect.
5. Won / Lost: If the prospect has accepted the proposal, they become a customer and can go to the won stage. If the prospect has left the pipeline in any of the previous stages it is marked as a lost opportunity.
Why should I have a sales pipeline?
1. Visibility in all sales opportunities: A sales pipeline allows you to visualize how sales opportunities progress in the different stages of your process.
2. Systematize what works: When you have an clear order in your sales pipeline, you will be able to notice when some stage does not align with your process, or even that there is a stage before or after the others.
3. Obtain insights based on your prospects: As you use a sales pipeline, and you begin to get to know the prospects that are arriving, you will be able to obtain valuable data for your pipeline. In one example, if you start to notice that your sales reps take a lot longer at one stage of the pipeline and spend a month trying to move a customer from one stage to another then you should consider practical training, so they can get through that stage.
4. You will be able to generate a forecast of your income: Using a sales pipeline you will be able to obtain a report of how many prospects you have acquired and how many you have lost in a certain amount of time, and you will be able to use this data to generate a forecast of how much you will sell in the next period.
How do I build my sales pipeline?
To start building your sales pipeline, you will have to identify from which channel your prospects come through, visualize what will be the stages they will go through before finalizing the sale and what will be the actions you will take in each of the stages.
How do I manage the sales pipeline?
Remember to follow up with your prospects: When a new prospect enters your sales pipeline, you must identify if they meet the criteria of each stage to move on to the next ones in the pipeline. The longer you take to follow up with the prospect, the greater the likelihood that they will drop out of your pipeline.
Monitor your sales pipeline metrics: Optimizing requires data to find a point of improvement.
How many prospects have reached the "Won" stage this month?
What were the reasons the prospects reached the "Lost" stage?
How long does it take on average for the leads in each segment to reach the "Earned" stage?
How many interactions on average does it take to get a sale?
The more you analyze the data that your sales pipeline provides and the longer you understand where you can focus, the greater the results.
Sales pipeline in Odoo
In the sales pipeline, initiatives are generated, qualified and closed throughout the sales cycle. The Odoo CRM module has a Kanban-type board, where the stages are brought from the left end and move to the right side according to the progress that each one has. Each stage refers to a process in your sales pipeline. An example would be: New, Qualified, Proposed, Denied, Won / Lost.
You can work with the pre-designed board, or you can change it, as well as add new ones, you will also have the possibility of making automation customizations in the change of stages to generate instant communication with the customer prospect.
A well-structured sales pipeline will allow your team to maintain a greater control throughout the sales process, and it also allows you to obtain an overview of initiatives, as well as opportunities and potential customers.