Once concept that is very important in telesales and telemarketing is the sales pipeline. This imaginary figure does not look like the usual pipe. The top opening is wider than the bottom, taking the shape of a funnel. It represents how each lead turns into a sale or not as it goes through the pipeline.
First you start with leads, which can be a phone number, an e-mail address, a referral, or simply a name. These leads are entered into the pipeline and they are qualified – which means you determine whether prospect can be turned into a customer or not. Prospects are identified if they have the money to buy your product by asking qualifying questions. The lead is then trimmed of suspects. Those who qualify go further down the pipeline. You assess whether they can continue until they finally become a customer, which means a sale has resulted. The customer then becomes a repeat customer.
The pipeline depends on the product. Some products have a short pipeline; others have a longer pipeline like the more expensive products.
A pipeline serves as a guide to help you keep track of your leads, see if you are doing well in selling and make the necessary improvements. By turning your pipeline into a graphical representation of the outcome of your selling efforts, you can track how many of your calls get an appointment, how many of those appointments turn into a sale and so on and so forth.
Out of 100 calls in a day, only 7 would turn into a sale. If each sale is worth $100, that would give you a total of $700 daily sales. If you want to set your sales goal at $1400 a day, that means you have to double the number of calls you have to make. Your pipeline becomes a tool for you to reach your goals.
The nature of the pipeline alone indicates that you should not let a day pass by without feeding your pipeline with leads; you have to make the necessary number of calls daily in order to keep your pipeline flowing. Otherwise, you will find yourself one day without a sale because no appointments are set.
You can draw many conclusions just by looking at your pipeline. One obvious conclusion you can make is that it requires many leads for you to earn a sale. So make as many calls as you can so you can keep on selling!