Learn the importance of managing the client pipeline
Why is managing the client pipeline important?
Congratulations – you’ve secured your prospects, and have a number of potential sales in the pipeline. Time to celebrate, right? Well, not quite yet – there’s more work to be done. Effectively managing your client pipeline is one of the most important parts of closing sales – and creating opportunities for new ones in the future.
Think of the client pipeline as the drain under your sink. Water should flow smoothly through the pipe from one end to the other. A leaky pipe means you’re losing water along the way. In real estate, it works the same way: if your client pipeline has weak seams, loose bolts, and is constantly jammed, you’ll lose something – sales, clients, contacts – at some point during the relationship.
Managing the client pipeline is a process that allows you to provide better service, measure successes, and strategize. Having a well-managed client pipeline can help you allocate resources, increase sales velocity and size, and accurately forecast. Ultimately, an organized pipeline means a more efficient, effective business.
What do I need to do to manage the client pipeline?
1 – Clearly Define Your Process
Determine the stages of your process, and what should happen at each stage. Ensure your process is outward-looking, not inward-looking, at every step. Your team should be attentive to client needs and demands first, and concerned with making the sale second.
2 – Know Your Capacity
It’s easy to get excited about the fruit of your networking efforts. But don’t take on so many clients that you can’t manage them. This is an important part of pipeline management. Know how efficient you are at moving clients through, and know when to add new ones.
3 – Follow Up
This might be the Golden Rule of the sales world. Good communication creates a connection with your clients – an often-underestimated tool for closing sales. Follow up often, and when you do, make sure it’s with information or action that will make their lives better – not pushy sales pitches.
4 – Evaluate Your Successes and Failures
Take a scientific approach to your client pipeline, and take time to measure and analyze your pipeline statistics. Which actions caused you to make a sale, and which actions cause you to lose one? Determine which actions caused you to lose ground, and make changes: reduce response time, follow up by phone, as opposed to email, provide more detailed information, or offer a more complete customer service experience.