How to Create a Sales Pipeline with Zoho CRM
Updated: Aug 19, 2022
A sales pipeline is the lifeblood of any sales organisation. It is a visual representation of your sales process spanning the point of lead capture through to the close of sale. By capturing and managing your sales pipeline in Zoho CRM, you can improve sales productivity and forecasting accuracy. In this blog post, we will show you how to create a sales pipeline in Zoho CRM and manage it effectively!
What is a sales pipeline?
A sales pipeline is a sales management tool that helps sales reps visualize their sales process and track their progress towards their sales goals based on defining key stages in the process. It is typically used to manage the sales funnel, which is the journey that a lead takes from being a suspect or an opportunity, through key milestones/stages of the sales process, until they are either converted into a customer or lost as a sales prospect.
A solution or service based business, typically has the following stages in their sales pipeline :
What are the stages of a sales pipeline?
Whilst every business is different and will have its own unique sales process, there are typically five key stages that most sales pipelines will have in common.
Lead generation: This is the stage where leads are generated and captured, either through marketing campaigns, referrals or from sales reps prospecting activities. In the prospecting stage, sales reps reach out to potential prospects to try and qualify them as sales opportunities.
Qualification: During this stage, sales reps will further qualify opportunities by assessing whether the prospect has a need that the product or service can address. They will also attempt to asses if the lead is budget conscious and whether they are ready to buy.
Needs analysis: In this stage, sales reps try to understand the specific needs of the customer to determine how the product or service can address those needs.
Solution proposal: Once the sales rep has a good understanding of the customer's needs, they will put together a quote or proposal that outlines how the product or service can meet those needs.
Negotiation and closing: In this final stage, sales reps negotiate with the customer to try and reach an agreement on price and terms, and close the sale.
Building a sales pipeline with Zoho CRM
Now that we've covered what a sales pipeline is and what the typical stages are, let's take a look at how you can build a sales pipeline using Zoho CRM.
Creating a new sales pipeline with Zoho CRM
Head over to Setup > Customization > Pipelines
Click on the new pipeline.
Enter a unique name with the layout that is associated with your pipeline.
Add the stages that is most suitable to your sales process
You can create new stages by clicking on the 'Create new stages link'
Enter stage names like the ones highlighted above
You can set any sales pipeline on Zoho CRM as your default by clicking on the 'default checkbox'
How to build a successful sales pipeline?
Now that you know how to create a sales pipeline, let's take a look at some tips on how you can build a successful sales pipeline.
Define your sales process: The first step to building a successful sales pipeline is to define your sales process. This will help you identify what stages are needed in your pipeline and what activities need to be carried out at each stage. This is something that FWRD specialise in helping our clients with.
Set sales targets: Once you've defined your sales process, you need to set sales targets for your reps. This will help them stay focused and motivated as they progress through the pipeline. Each opportunity can have a percentage assigned to it which indicates the probability it will convert.
Monitor pipeline progress: It's important to keep an eye on how your sales reps are progressing their opportunities through the pipeline. Are they moving deals forward or are they stagnating? If you see that reps are struggling to move deals through the pipeline, you may need to provide them with additional training or support. Perhaps they are bottle necking at key stages or too much time is passing in between follow ups and the leads have gone cold. Reports and dashboards will help you identify this information in order to ensure more of your opportunities convert.
Adjust your sales process: As your business grows and changes, so too will your sales process. It's important to regularly review the stages in your sales pipeline and make changes where necessary. This will ensure that your pipeline is always fit for purpose and the information you want to report on is being accurately reported.
How does Zoho CRM assist with sales pipeline management?
Zoho CRM is a sales pipeline management tool that helps sales reps to effectively manage their sales opportunities and close more deals in less time. Zoho CRM provides sales reps with the ability to track their prospects progress through the pipeline, set sales targets, automate follow ups, capture valuable notes on requirements and record the history of communication. We can also configure real-time alerts when deals move from one stage to another or when they get stuck at a stage for too long.
Additionally, Zoho CRM gives sales managers the ability to monitor pipeline progress across the team in real-time and provide reps with the support they need to close more deals. Zoho CRM is a powerful sales pipeline management tool that can help sales reps to increase their sales productivity and improve their conversion rate.
Maintaining your sales pipeline with Zoho CRM
Now that you know how to create a sales pipeline and how to build a successful sales pipeline, let's take a look at how you can maintain your sales pipeline with Zoho CRM.
Keep your sales process up to date: As mentioned earlier, it's important to regularly review your sales process and make changes where necessary. This will ensure that your sales pipeline is always up to date and relevant.
Train your sales reps: It's important to provide your sales reps with the training they need to be successful. This will ensure that they are able to progress deals through the pipeline and close more sales.
Monitor pipeline progress: As we mentioned earlier, it's important to keep an eye on how your sales reps are progressing through the pipeline. Zoho CRM provides sales managers with the ability to monitor pipeline progress and provide reps with the support they need to close more deals.
Adjust your sales process: As your business grows and changes, so too will your sales process. It's important to regularly review your sales pipeline and make changes where necessary. This will ensure that your sales pipeline is always fit for purpose.
Creating a sales pipeline with Zoho CRM is easy and can help sales reps to close more deals. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your sales pipeline is always up to date and relevant.
Zoho CRM is a powerful sales pipeline management tool that can help sales reps to increase their sales productivity and close more deals in less time.
If you're looking for a CRM that can help you define then track your sales pipeline, Zoho CRM is the perfect solution. Our team of experts are available to help you get properly set up to start using this powerful tool.
Need help implementing Zoho CRM into your business? Book a time to speak with us today. We would be happy to assist you in maximising the value and capabilities this incredible software.