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The ultimate goal of any sales team is to win profitable sales and close more deals successfully. But to close a higher number of deals successfully, the sales team needs a magic solution. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is that magical tool which can help your sales team to automate administrative work processes, manage sales pipeline, improve sales, track incoming leads, and follow up open opportunities.

An effective and well-structured sales pipeline is important for sales management to organize the sales cycle efficiently and reap maximum revenue.

What is a Sales Pipeline?

A sales pipeline is the visual representation of the entire sales cycle starting from identifying a hot prospect to the end of the sales process (closing or losing the deal). The sales pipeline clearly organizes all potential customers’ in various stages of the sales cycle.

Sales Pipeline Stages

By default, there are four different sales pipeline stages within a CRM application:

1. Initial Demo
2. Demo to the Key Decision Makers
3. Proposal Submitted
4. Price Negotiation

Once a lead gets qualified, it becomes an open opportunity and creates a separate record in the CRM tool. In the open opportunity status, the salesperson provides an initial demo or demo to key decision makers – a presentation of how the solution works and what the available features are in the current application.

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Once the potential customer is satisfied with the product demo, then the opportunity in the sales pipeline is moved on to the proposal submission stage. In this stage, a price quote is prepared, and a proposal is submitted to the potential client. If the prospect is happy with the proposed price and shows interest in purchasing the product without any further discussions, then the deal gets successfully closed, and an invoice or sales order is generated automatically.

In case if the client is not happy with the proposed price, then the price negotiation stage comes into play. In this stage, a series of price negotiations take place between the company and the potential client resulting in either a closed sale or a lost sale.

Besides streamlining the sales cycle, there are a few other reasons why sales teams should use CRM to boost the sales pipeline:

1. Frees up Administrative Tasks: CRM process driven automation software frees up salespeople from heavy administrative work by automating the workflow so that the sales team can focus more on their productive time on selling and devising effective strategies to reach potential customers.

2. Predict Future Sales: Forecasting is important to estimate future revenue, predict sales growth, show conversion rates, and acquire control of a prospect’s journey throughout the sales pipeline. Businesses can create accurate and reliable sales forecast reports with the help of CRM data, and this step is important to motivate the sales team in the right direction.

Initially, sales teams may push back against the use of the CRM solution. But when they realize the massive opportunities offered by CRM software which will help them in their everyday jobs, then they will begin to adopt CRM system to boost sales. Today, CRM offers instant access to key sales information, such as customer contact details, purchase patterns, past orders, and many more. CRM solutions allow employees to see key information around the clock in the sales pipeline, improves customer experiences, quickly follow-up with leads, organizes, prioritizes and tracks sales opportunities, and manages different sales pipeline stages.

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