As a founder, one of the most important things you must worry about is your sales pipeline. These are the people who will buy your products and inevitably build your brand. It’s up to you to build a solid pipeline that continues to flow freely for many years to come. Here’s a guide to doing just that.
#1 – Know Your Demographic
If you want to properly sell your product or service, you’ll need to take the time to get to know the people who are most likely to buy it. By truly understanding the challenges they face, you’ll know exactly how you should market your product to build its value. For example, if you’re selling baby products, your target demographic would likely be parents and grandparents. Get to know their challenges and struggles, then address these in your advertising campaigns. You want your leads and prospects to feel like you are offering the best solutions for their day-to-day life.
#2 – Reach Out through the Proper Channels
Now that you’ve taken the time to fully understand your demographic, it’s important to figure out how and where you can best reach them. Using the aforementioned example, if your startup company sells baby products, there are a few ways to go about this. You can purchase ads on popular parenting sites, you can optimize your website for search engines using phrases related to baby care and parenting. You should also campaign through social media to generate interest and put your name out there.
#3 – Follow Up Often
Once the leads start coming in, this presents a new challenge. How should you follow up with these people without harassing them? Social media is great for this; once you’ve invited people to “like” your page, you can present them with new content regularly, and you can even invite them to get involved in discussions with others. Email is also another great way to follow up since it allows people to consume information on their own time. Finally, depending on your industry or niche, you may choose to follow up with a phone call or an in-person meeting to truly build rapport.
#4 – Hire the Right People
If you rely on salespeople to help build your pipeline, then it’s important to focus on hiring the right people for the job. Be sure that you’re hiring people who represent your company in every way. For example, hire people who would (or do) use your product or service themselves. If you’re selling baby care products, hire parents who understand the challenges other parents face on a daily basis. These are the people who can make a difference in building your sales pipeline.
#5 – Prioritize Your Leads and Prospects
Last, but most certainly not least, you’ll need to set some priorities when it comes to your pipeline. Existing customers often feel like they’re left behind once they’ve made a purchase, and in many cases, that’s true. Don’t focus so much on generating new leads that you forget about your loyal customers. A solid loyalty program consisting of discounts or opportunities to review products will help you keep your pipeline flowing freely.
Building your sales pipeline isn’t about reaching everyone all at once. It’s about reaching the right people in the right places – and at the right times. The goal should be to solve their problems in a way that is valuable to them, and to make them feel like your company puts their needs first. Everything else will fall into place in time.