Best strategies for building a pipeline from scratch

One of the fastest ways to grow your business is through a booming sales pipeline. You can build one even if you are starting from scratch - it may take some hard work but it won't be hundreds of hours!

I am going to show you how to create a scalable sales pipeline.

Is a sales pipeline really important? A sales pipeline refers to a linear sequence of tasks that all need to be completed before a sale can occur. It's a process, plain and simple.

A well-defined sales pipeline makes it much easier to understand and plan for success and build sales. One that is properly utilized, provides any sales rep with the resources they need to make informed decisions to help propel their business forward.

sales funnel stages

What's the best way to build a sales pipeline? It turns out that there are few simple steps to do it

Here are 8 steps on how to build a sales pipeline that can increase your company revenue

Who is your audience? Your customers determines everything. To make the right business decisions, you need to know who you are speaking to and why they need or want what it is that you are offering.

Understanding what motivates leads to take steps in your sales pipeline saves you time, effort, and makes your sales funnel more effective.

Businesses often assume that they know who their audience is and tend to only rely on gut instinct as opposed to data to back this up. This can lead to major mistakes in the sales funnel as brands don't know for sure if their audience agrees with the messages they're putting out there.

When you get the first ideas of people who need your product/service, you're already one step closer to building a pipeline. Some will work out and some won't. The important thing is that you are taking steps to better your business and increase your company revenue.

Step 1: Understand your product

Know your product inside and out. It will ensure you and your sales team are able to present it in a positive light and answer questions diligently. Plus, you'll be able to have insightful conversations with potential customers who need help deciding the best option for their needs.

Step 2: Understand Your Audience

To find the data you're looking for, just try a few of these:

Your CRM: What are your most profitable customers' common traits? Or your average existing customer traits?

Google Analytics or similar: try your best to get as much information as you can about your website visitors by analyzing the data you're given.

Your support team: Customers often deal with the same challenges day-in and day-out. Customer service agents are in the perfect position to offer solutions for these challenges, and let the sales department know what those challenges are.

Surveys: Performing an annual survey will allow you to get insight into your target audience. This can help you develop strategies that are more saleable, remember who your ideal existing customer is, and what obstacles they are facing.

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and most other social media sites provide you with the data of the people who are interested in your content. This provides you with insights into your target audience, such as their interests and demographics.

Good sales reps are experts on their product, but great ones know their prospects inside out. This helps them push the right buttons emotionally when they're talking with them.

Step 3: Create buyer personas from your ideal customer profiles

Buyer personas aren't just a marketing buzzword - they're crucial tools for guiding the direction and strategy of your company. Although we don't always get to pick and choose who our ideal customers will be, we can prepare by creating an accurate and comprehensive profile of exactly the type of people we want to help once our business is up and running.

Without a buyer persona, your audience research is relegated to spreadsheets - which isn't super helpful when deciding your marketing efforts.

A persona is based on the target customer of your product and your ideal customer profiles. Based on what they want from your product and how they use it, you can create a user profile that includes key demographics.

To make a purchase decision, customers often want to collect as much information as possible before making a choice. They might consult others afterwards to gather opinions, however companies must ensure that their messaging is consistent throughout the decision-making process. Are your customers more likely to rely on content or advertising? Do they need detailed technical information or do they rather have an overview of the product's features and benefits?

The answers to these questions will direct your decision-making for each step of the sales process.

If you want to boost your conversion rates at the start of the pipeline, it's important to segment your leads early on in your sales plan. If you speak to everyone in one way, they won't be satisfied.

finding new leads

Step 4: Find new leads

You already know who your audience is; you understand the motivation behind their behaviors, and you know what truly compels them.

Now it's time to start generating leads. The type of lead generation technique you should use is dependent on your industry and audience.

For example, if your audience is very active on YouTube and spend a lot of time watching videos there, a good sales strategy could be to create valuable videos for them.

You can use a tool like Lead Scrape to create a list of potential customers and their email address, or some of the methods below.

Lead magnets: Offer downloadable guides, eBooks, templates, or worksheets designed to draw in potential customers.

Social Media: Some industries might not be the ideal fit for social media! But for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it has become all the rage recently. Giveaways and webinars can attract quality leads - even in B2B sales.

Offer a free trial: a good business strategy can be to offer a short trial of your tool or services.

Search engines: Always keep organic search traffic in mind - the type of person who is looking for a solution will go online and search for what they need. To make sure your site comes up, you should optimize it and make sure there are links to your site on pages where people might be searching for a solution like yours.

Step 5: Divide prospects into different groups

If you want to boost your conversion rates and sales goals, it's important to segment your leads early on, this will improve the customer journey.

When it comes to prospect grouping, there are four ways to go about it:

A simple way to make sure you have diverse groups is by focusing on the following: age, gender, ethnicity, income size and education.

Group leads by their pattern of buying. It is important to know how they buy and what methods they go by like brand loyalty, frequency....

Group prospect leads by: the area where they live. People who live in the same city, state, or country often share similar values & preferences.

Smart segmentation can help you make your customer's journey easier and provide a strong sales pipeline.

Smart segmentation may seem like a difficult task, but once you understand the importance of each part of your customer's journey via lead conversions, you can find areas where you might need to modify your marketing approach so that potential customers are put through different routes and your sales pipeline can improve.

Step 6: Clarify your sales process so prospects are more likely to buy

Once you've identified the triggers for your customers, implement a sales process that improves your company sales performance, more than you could have ever imagined.

Here's what you'll need to do:

1: Analyzing and understanding your current process and the reasons behind which you're using it can help you answer many questions that might arise.

Figure out the following:

Which channel produces the best leads? Focus on your number one performing one and two, don't waste time on the others. Play to your strengths.

What is the time frame for closing a sale? Is it possible to reduce the time from which you or your salesperson close a sale?

How many emails or phone calls do you need to make before you can get a commitment in the buying process?

Are you talking to the right people? Maybe you're targeting the wrong people if your sales seem to always be low.

How do you know if you are losing sales? At what point in the process do numbers dip?

2: Write a list of the steps you took or your marketing team took to close your most successful deals.

Think about your most successful deals. Have you noticed a pattern in your most successful deals?

How did your workflow change in each case?

What is the average order amount of these deals?

How were the proposals that closed successful deals phrased?

What is the identity of the person who bought the items in question?

To help you sell better, turn your answers to questions like these into templates.

3: Apply fresh strategies using data from your pipeline.

If you realize conversions improve as you go down your pipeline, is that providing any insight?

To get your prospects on board at the very beginning, focus more on the initial offer. Having an enticing offer will make them more interested in your company.

If you had a report available for download, I suggest providing a course, webinar, or video instead. These offer a higher value and may result in more leads at the outset of the pipeline.

Step 7: Revive old leads

It's important to follow-up with prospects. These people are still in your pipeline, and are still a sales opportunity after all. If they don't buy right away, it might be because the timing wasn't right or they might not need what you're selling just yet. You can keep them in your sales cycle by following up with them later on down the line, you never know, old leads could rake in sales figures that may just help your company achieve their sales targets.

typical customer journey

Step 8: Convert

Your audience is smart and open to your product or service. They just need a little nudge in the right direction, and your sales funnel should be completed.

By now, you've worked hard to narrow down your ideal customer profile and understand the people who are most likely to buy. Here are a few ways to ensure your hard work doesn't go unrewarded and you improve your sales growth:

Keep your sales page simple: remove any confusing information. Ideally you should only be highlighting three of your most important features in a way that they stand out and grab the potential client's attention.

Use video to make things more personal. Video is the new personalized sales pitch made possible through technology. Instead of your sales team having to read a boring email about their potential clients' challenges, allow them to get to know them by seeing their faces, laughing or being touched by what they have to say.

It's good to offer two CTAs: one for people who are ready to buy and another that people can use if they're hesitant about buying just yet. Send them your newsletter or offer them a free trial so you can follow up with them later if need be.

Don't make them fill out a twenty-five pages questionnaire just to get started. Make it easy for the customer to decide to purchase from you.

To get the most out of your pipeline, measure & track basic metrics such as: average time spent in each stage, cost per opportunity, ROI, It's important to find out how long it's going to take to close a deal and lead conversion.

When it comes to the sales process, many individuals find tracking many metrics can be time-consuming. To tackle this, identify the few most important metrics instead.

A small conversion rate increase, when done correctly, can help you achieve big gains at the last stage.

A marginal rate increase at the point when a company presents its product to prospective buyers can make an appreciable difference in conversion rates for all downstream sales stages.

In a typical company, data is scattered in different silos. Marketing has its own data which differs from the one of the sales team.

It's not always easy to come to a solid, conclusive decision on a single topic. But with fragmented data, there is a chance of coming up with a flawed decision because of the narrow point-of-view.

Having a source of concrete and solid information increases the likelihood that you'll get a high quality and consistent result. One of the most important components in a company's working environment is their CRM. But its role extends past customer data management and includes email, meeting, and phone records - all which need to be part of the CRM system.

This helps everyone to gain a clearer perspective.

Many reps spend most of their time doing something other than selling. They end up spending huge chunks of their day on administrative tasks and provide little value to the customer. A sales tool could help them spending less time on admin and more on their prospective customers.


The best way to turn prospects into customers is to listen closely and pay attention to what they need. Focus on understanding what challenges they're facing and how you can help them.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's the difference between a sales forecast and pipeline?

    Forecast encompasses a prediction of sales that a business is likely to experience in the near future. A pipeline, on the other hand, refers to potential business being developed and can refer to those that have not been fully realized.

  • You can set up a reverse sales funnel that tells you what number of leads will need to be generated from the bottom, middle and top of your funnel in order to meet your target goals.