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Microbusiness Sales Pipeline

Plenty of discussion is buzzing around the merits of having a solid CRM system. We all know why they work, but most start-ups or microbusinesses just don’t get around to setting one up. Or they start the process, but it quickly gets sidelined because of other, more pressing issues.

So why not just start with a simple sales pipeline? A pipeline can be set up as a Google doc or in a spreadsheet in about five minutes, and will become a tremendously powerful (and motivating) tool to use with your sales team, staff, business coach, or any other advisor. And, it’s a proven fact that as soon as you start reviewing your sales activities and results, new business will naturally come in.

As basic as it sounds, less than 10% of the companies I work with have had a sales pipeline when we started working together. Here are the steps to do it well.

  1. Start with sales activity (not results). Determine how you’re going to generate leads, write it down, and track those activities, whatever they may be (email marketing, newsletters, personal networking, Google Adwords, etc).
  2. Next, document every lead that comes through the door and what happened to it (pending, closed, or lost). Don’t skimp. If a potential client contacts you, it goes in the pipeline.
  3. Lastly, learn from the data your pipeline will provide. You’ll be amazed at how much you discover about your companies sales and marketing process.
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