Why Maintaining Opportunities in the Funnel from Prospect to the Won Stage in a CRM!

Ensuring a Healthy and Successful Sales Pipeline by Properly Maintaining Opportunities from the Funnel to the Won Stage in a CRM System.

Sales Funnel

The sales funnel illustrates the entire journey a prospect undergoes, starting from initial product or service awareness to making a purchase decision. It typically comprises stages such as awareness, interest, consideration, intent, and finally, purchase. At each stage, there’s a drop-off as some prospects progress through the funnel while others disengage. This visual representation of the conversion process aids businesses in comprehending the lead flow across various engagement stages.

Sales Pipeline

The sales pipeline, a subset of the sales funnel, comprises specific deals or opportunities actively pursued by sales representatives. It delineates the individual stages each deal advances through until it’s either won or lost. Offering a more concentrated view, the sales pipeline outlines current opportunities and their respective statuses within the sales process. Sales managers frequently leverage the pipeline to monitor deal progress, forecast future revenue, and allocate resources efficiently.

Weighted Pipeline

Taking it one step further, the weighted pipeline assigns a probability or weight to each opportunity based on its stage of closing. This probability is typically derived from historical data, sales representative intuition, or specific organizational criteria. By assigning weights to opportunities, sales managers can generate more accurate revenue forecasts and prioritize deals with higher probabilities of closing. The weighted pipeline aids sales teams in concentrating their efforts on the most promising opportunities and enhances forecasting precision.

The Role of CRM in Successful Startup

In a startup, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is really a MUST in monitoring success or failure. By tracking opportunities through the funnel, startups gain insights into business potential and learn how to drive growth and profitability at a later stage . By enhancing visibility and forecasting future revenue, startups can initiate or refine sales strategies. CRM empowers startups to overcome barriers, ensure continuity, and safeguard investments through improved customer engagement. It enables startups to make informed, data-driven decisions for business development, relationship management, and sales.

  • Visibility
    Accurately tracking opportunities as they progress through the pipeline, this visibility allows forecasting of future revenue and helps in making informed business decisions.
  • Resource
    Understanding where opportunities are in the pipeline enables teams to allocate resources effectively, identify bottlenecks at a particular stage, assigned pre-sales or tech resources and accelerate the sales cycle.
  • Best Practice
    Tracking opportunities through the pipeline to identify barriers, progressing, and patterns, to develop strategies and implement best practices that lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Engagement
    Enable sales to maintain consistent and personalized communication with prospects throughout the sales process, build stronger relationships and increases the closing of deals.
  • Decision
    Capturing data at each stage of the sales process, to analyze metrics such as win rates, average deal size, and sales cycle length, to make data-driven decisions to optimize sales cycles.

Important Tasks to do for the Startup

For startups to maintain opportunities from the funnel to the final stage in a CRM, it is crucial to consistently prioritize the accuracy of data within the CRM – ALWAYS!

  • Regularly Update
    Consistently update opportunity records in the CRM with relevant information such as prospect interactions, deal progress, dates, volumes, stages, probability, and next steps.
  • Sales Stage
    Stages in the sales process within the CRM to provide clarity on where each opportunity stands and the probability related to the stage, helps to focus and what actions are needed to move deals forward.
  • Support
    Training and support to sales on data and using the CRM effectively includes importance of CRM, training on accurate entry, and best practices, CRM functionalities, and sales process optimization.
  • Automation
    Utilizing automation features within the CRM to streamline repetitive tasks, such as sending follow-up emails or updating opportunity statuses, reducing manual effort and ensures consistency in sales.
  • Metrics
    Define and monitor key metrics related to CRM funnel, pipeline and weighted pipeline, this is reflecting if you are successful on the right way of if you may fail, look at your business progression regularly.

And even if you don’t like it, the DATES are so Important in CRM!

Within a CRM, key dates, deadlines and schedules are required for effectively managing revenue streams and forecasting in a mid-term plan, these dates are essential as they provide accurate visibility into the timing of revenue generation, enabling proactive measures in sales efforts or alignment with investors regarding financial goals.

  • Creation
    Sales opportunity or deal is created in the CRM is important for tracking the age of deals and understanding how long they have been in the pipeline. Revive deals when they are dead!
  • Closing
    Anticipated date when a deal is expected to be closed, you can estimate and shift this date during the progress of the deal, but it is crucial for forecasting and planning, as it helps predict when it starts.
  • Scheduler
    Scheduler date when a deal is actually closed or finalized but the revenue is not supposed to be realized right after the closing, like in a deployment timeframe over a certain period of time shipping products and delivering services over time or any prepayment with deferred revenue bookings in P&L.
  • Recognition
    Revenue is recognized according to accounting principles (e.g., GAAP or IFRS), to determine when revenue can be officially recorded in financial statements, impacting cash flow projections and financial reporting accuracy.
  • Payments
    Payment for a sale is expected to be received from the customer as for cash flow management and ensuring timely collection of revenue.
  • Subscription
    Subscription-based products or services, this is the date when a customer’s subscription is set to renew is essential for forecasting recurring revenue and understanding the long-term revenue potential of subscription-based models.
  • Contract
    Contractual agreement with a customer comes into effect in case to track payment agreements where the commencement of revenue-generating activities not aligns with closure or has other revenue recognition policies.
  • Expiring
    Ending of contracts with a customer, plus reminders before the agreement expires or is due for renewal and important for planning contract renewals, upselling opportunities, and forecasting future revenue streams.

At BestExperts we aim to emerge as your business initiator and sales enabler, specialized on tech startups or technology players entering new markets. Within our assessment and initiative program, we are prioritizing a strong foundational pipeline and drive partner opportunities, evaluating the potential for a mid-term-plan in the first months to success, protecting ventures and driving business initiatives.