Lead generation and conversion continue to be the most important aspects of marketing and sales. The customer journey to make it happen includes multiple stages and decisions you need to make.
If you want to make this process smooth as butter, you need to work on streamlining your sales pipeline.
But what is the best way to do that?
It’s simple, really. The best approach would be to understand how the sales pipeline works and use the right sales pipeline template for it.
In this article, you’ll learn what a sales pipeline is and how to create one. You will also get an overview of the best sales pipeline templates in the market.
What Is Sales Pipeline and Its Importance
A sales pipeline is a graphical representation of the buyer’s journey from prospect to customer. It offers a systematic procedure and helps with decision-making throughout the sales funnel.
The pipeline includes lead generation, qualification, proposal, negotiation, and closing stages.
It’s a critical tool for sales teams as it helps them track progress, identify bottlenecks, and forecast revenues. A properly managed sales pipeline increases sales efficiency and improves customer relationships.
A sales pipeline is a key component of a business as it helps with:
Revenue Forecasting: This helps predict future sales; you can do that by keeping records of all probable deals that are ripe for closure, their stages, and their chances of realization.
Sales Process Optimization: A sales pipeline offers an overview of the selling process. It helps in identifying any bottlenecks or gaps and improves conversion rates, thus increasing sales.
Resource Allocation: You can better allocate resources based on different sales pipeline stages. For instance, if there are a lot of deals in the proposal stage, you can divert more resources toward ensuring on-time proposals.
Performance Measurement and Management: You can graphically measure performance in the pipeline. This enables management to know who is performing well and who needs training or support.
Customer Relationship Management: The sales pipeline helps measure interactions with potential customers. This ensures timely follow-ups and better customer relationships until the conversion points meet.
How to Create a Sales Pipeline
Step 1: Define Your Sales Process
Creating a sales pipeline starts with outlining your sales process. You need to create customer journey maps that start from lead sources. These lead sources can be anything from lead magnets to landing pages, depending on your marketing strategy.
Your sales process also needs to have clear funnel-specific activities laid out. All of this will make your pipeline organized and easy to follow.
Step 2: Identify Key Actions at Each Stage
After defining the sales process, you need to go a bit deeper and identify key actions at each stage of the funnel.
To do that, you will need to define customer journey touchpoints. Customer touchpoints refer to occasions where your leads come in contact with you. That could be in the form of direct interactions, website visits, social media engagement, etc.
With touchpoints, you can identify key actions you need to take at each stage to help with funnel progression.
Step 3: Set Criteria for Moving Prospects Through the Pipeline
This step is all about helping your prospects progress through the funnel at the right time. For that, you need to set clear criteria about the top, middle, and bottom-of-the-funnel processes.
Ideally, the top-of-the-funnel activities include generating leads. So for that, you will need to define respective lead sources and strategies.
Similarly, for middle-of-the-funnel activities, you will need to work on lead nurturing criteria. And for bottom-of-the-funnel, set conversion criteria.
Step 4: Implement a System for Tracking Progress
Tracking your sales pipeline progress is necessary to identify potential gaps and challenges. To implement a system for tracking, set specific timelines, and task ownership. This allows managers and leaders to pinpoint areas that might be lacking behind.
Step 5: Regularly Review and Refine Your Pipeline
There is a good chance that your pipeline will need improvements as your business grows. Your lead sources, strategies, and even target accounts might change often. So you must regularly review and refine your pipeline based on changes in your buyer journey or the sales process.
How a Pre-Built Template Helps You Increase Sales
A pre-made sales template boosts sales by creating a structured and efficient framework to manage the sales process. The templates often come with predefined stages and actions. They help streamline the sales process and avoid missing crucial steps.
Using templates, teams can save time on administrative tasks and focus more on selling. These templates also usually carry built-in tracking and analytics features. And the templates are ready-made, so you need not invest time in the creation process, or you don’t need to know how to do a particular aspect, like a funnel chart in Excel.
If used properly, these features provide valuable insights into the sales process. This allows the sales team to evaluate process effectiveness.
What’s more, a pre-built sales template helps with consistency among the sales team. Everybody uses the same process and criteria for putting prospects through the pipeline. This increases collaboration and communication among the group members.
Now, we will have a look at some sales templates you can use for your sales operations that can complement the lead generation software that you use.
Atlassian’s Jira assists sales teams in closing deals that capture potential customers from the initial lead stage all the way until their final deal closure.
Jira offers various visualization tools to view sales pipelines as a list, board, calendar, or timeline.
Teams can customize their workflow to their specific needs and enhance their collaboration. Atlassian’s template also comes with timeline-tracking features for particular stages and tasks. The managers can assign these timelines to the team.
In short, Atlassian creates an effective way for sales teams to manage their tasks to close potential deals.
Bitrix24 sales pipeline management lets you link together every stage that leads up to a deal, both within your sales team and in other departments. You can use our pipeline templates, set up pipelines that continue after your objective to attract customers back to your business or create separate pipelines for different segments of your database.
Identify your customers, set the stages of your pipeline, and connect them all together seamlessly with Bitrix24’s sales pipeline templates. With this powerful tool, you can easily track and manage your sales process, from lead generation to closing the deal.
Bitrix24 allows you to customize and configure your pipelines according to your specific business needs, whether you want to create separate pipelines for different customer segments or design a pipeline that continues after achieving your objective and offers a wide range of possibilities to suit your requirements.
By defining the stages of your pipeline, Bitrix24 ensures that all the steps leading up to a deal are properly linked and synchronized. This not only streamlines your sales process but also facilitates collaboration between your sales team and other departments involved in the sales cycle.
With Bitrix24, you can take your sales management to the next level. It provides you with a comprehensive overview of your sales pipeline, empowering you to make informed decisions and take timely action.
Say goodbye to manual tracking and disconnected processes – Bitrix24 has got you covered!
You can easily find your sales pipeline template in your free account: CRM —>Deals —> General —> Sales pipeline and tunnels; just create an account and try it for free now.
Bitrix24 is available in 17 languages, including English, German, French, Polish, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.
HubSpot streamlines sales pipeline management with its free sales pipeline templates. It automates statuses for every deal and estimates the probability of each deal’s success.
This provides the ease of monitoring a deal’s status within the sales pipeline. The template comes as part of HubSpot CRM, which strives to automate tasks and integrate with existing tools.
Hubspot CRM allows you to customize conversion paths throughout the funnel. It incorporates a system to replace complex formulas with data entry while allowing flexibility in calculating rates.
monday.com helps simplify the process of managing customer needs, interactions, and sales team processes through its sales pipeline templates.
The template integrates with marketing efforts, captures the importing of leads, and gives you a view of all their deal statuses. Some other key features include storage and management of contacts.
With monday.com, you can easily create multiple views for data visualization and automate repetitive tasks. It also integrates with tools like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Mailchimp, among others. The template facilitates collaboration and helps you track revenue, cost, and time estimations.
Smartsheet‘s sales pipeline templates help business owners and professionals deal with all aspects of their sales process, starting from the initial lead-generation stage to the final closing negotiation stages.
You can use the template for either personal or professional purposes. It’s a part of Smartsheet’s broader offering – a system for managing dynamic work that offers features for workflow automation and content management, such as blogs and forms, along with other functionalities.
Smartsheet’s template reflects the more common sales pipeline model. A model that tracks leads through various activities to close deals.
ClickUp‘s sales pipeline templates allow you to be more organized and optimize each stage of the sales process.
To start with, you can visualize the sales funnel in a single view. They can manage customer data by dragging and dropping it on various objects and can also prioritize leads according to criteria like urgency, value, and potential.
ClickUp’s template improves collaboration with the purpose of speeding up product development. All-in-all, it’s a user-friendly and accurate template for sales forecasts.
The template has features like:
Custom Statuses: Allows the creation of tasks with 30 custom statuses that allow for better customer progress tracking
Custom Fields: Facilitates management of customer relationships as well as visualization of customer data
Custom Views: Offers four different views through ClickUp configurations making accessibility, organization, and understanding of information easy
Project Management: Offers features like time tracking, additional tags, dependency warnings, emails, and description updates via annotations
ClickUp’s Sales Pipeline template exists to simplify processes and click things up a notch.
Spreadsheet.com has sales templates that help track and analyze your sales pipeline effectively. You can log deals, companies, contracts, and interactions in this template.
You can link deals, their status, clients, and interaction to all their sheets. This gives an entire view of the sales process. The dashboard helps you visualize and analyze sales deals by status, deal owner, or target close date.
This part of Spreadsheet.com’s broader offering falls under the ‘single flexible platform’ category. It’s for users wanting to leverage the best features of spreadsheets that include information duplicated easily between people, teams, and organizations.
Airtable offers comprehensive sales pipeline templates designed to simplify sales processes. It contains a graphical representation of every stage of the buyer journey.
The template allows sales representatives to have a structure for their daily duties. This includes tracking, follow-up steps, sales readiness, and areas of improvement, making it suitable for any sales reps, managers, or team leads.
Airtable’s template serves as a central sales pipeline tracker to allow real-time sales information. It streamlines asset and task management without needing multiple documents and spreadsheets.
The Salesmate‘s sales pipeline template is an example of a template that works as a guide in helping businesses build and execute a successful sales process.
It provides a clear view of the sales pipeline stages, magnifying attention paid to all sales leads. As each sales stage is customizable, you focus on leads with better conversion chances.
The Salesmate template also helps forecast sales based on past performance. And it gives expected close dates for each deal. This is ideal for sales experts who analyze various sales data to build funnel stages.
Essentially, this Salesmate template improves lead generation, enhances productivity, and avoids funnel leaks.
The Salesflare free sales funnel template helps you keep track of sales leads in a neat and organized manner. It displays the sales process visually, allowing you to check out, improve, and forecast revenue.
The template is customizable and enables you to add or remove stages and team members. It also allows you to set targets before entering them into the spreadsheet program. The template enables you to add sales leads, deal size, expected closing date, and the sales rep working on the deal.
The ‘Insights’sheet gets automatically updated with data entered based on setting the required timeframe for deals in the worksheets. It displays forecasts of revenue, conversion rates, and the performance of sales reps.
Lastly, Salesflare’s template allows you to check that no lead goes unmonitored while still improving each phase of the sales process.
Asana‘s sales pipeline template can track pipeline progress and action items for specific accounts. You can simply add or update information wherever your prospects are in the sales funnel.
Asana provides multiple views so that you can focus on new leads, their top accounts, or at-risk opportunities. You are free to customize the template with custom fields for estimated opportunity value, lead status, and more.
Asana‘s templates integrate well with other business tools like Salesforce, so you can streamline workflows and collaborate cross-functionally in different ways. The template works across sales teams of all sizes by building and growing their pipelines.
Todoist lets you organize and communicate better with clients by preparing a pipeline in a structured manner.
Itprovides an avenue to monitor leads while ensuring their progression throughout the sales pipeline.
Todoist’s template is capable of handling the complexities faced by all sales teams in their pipelines.
Pipefy‘s sales pipeline template is a customizable tool to simplify the sales process. It offers a visual representation of the pipeline journey from lead generation to deal closure.
This allows field personnel and teams to track opportunities and identify all potential leads. You can access performance tracking and estimate bottlenecks for adequate resource allocation.
What’s more, Pipefy also lets you create personalized charts to separate deals based on cohorts. The template requires no or minimal coding making it easy to deploy even for non-IT personnel.
Wide application integrations allow it to connect with existing ERPs, HRISs, and CRMs.
Managing a sales pipeline has become much easier, thanks to pre-built templates and tools.
But which one should you go for?
As far as features go, these templates, by themselves, don’t differ too much. Most of them offer decent organization features and allow you to customize the pipeline.
They also offer good tracking functionality to monitor your leads. But, the main factor to consider should be the integration capabilities. After all, your sales pipeline template is usually a secondary component of managing your funnels. Furthermore, you can always create a sales pipeline by following the steps we discussed.
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