The secret to meeting quota in today’s market?
Well, for starters, you need to ensure that you have a steady stream of interested buyers coming your way.
And that’s where pipeline generation can come in handy.
With the right pipeline generation strategy, you’ll be well on your way to driving sustainable revenue growth for your company.
Join us as we break down everything there is to know about building an effective pipeline generation strategy.
- The definition of sales pipeline generation
- Major differences between pipeline generation and lead generation
- Benefits of pipeline generation
- Drive revenue growth
- Boost efficiency
- Improve forecasting
- Gain insights to better personalize campaigns
- Improve alignment between sales and marketing
- Potential challenges involved with pipeline generation
- Sales and marketing aren’t on the same page
- Requires the right tools
- Market conditions can change frequently
- Ineffective lead nurturing
- How to create an effective pipeline generation strategy
- Understand your ideal buyer personas
- Build a content strategy around your buyer personas
- Encourage cross-department collaboration
- Give your team the tools they need
- Optimize your website with pipeline generation in mind
- Nurture your leads throughout the funnel
- Don’t forget about paid marketing
- Monitor and optimize your pipeline
- Using interactive demos to enhance your pipeline generation strategy
The definition of sales pipeline generation
Just to make sure we’re clear on the basics, when we talk about a sales pipeline, we are referring to the visual representation of all your prospects and where they are in the sales process.
With this in mind, sales pipeline generation is the process of building and maintaining a consistent stream of prospects that are interested in buying your product. It involves building out the stages of the pipeline as well as defining the factors that determine when a buyer should move from one stage to the next.
On top of this, to build an effective pipeline generation strategy, you’ll need to focus on refining your leads and moving them through the pipeline as efficiently as possible.
A winning pipeline generation strategy can help you get a clear understanding of your most valuable buyer personas, improve sales forecasting and planning, gain insights to create more personalized campaigns, and ultimately help you drive a steady stream of revenue for your company.
Major differences between pipeline generation and lead generation
While pipeline generation might sound similar to lead generation, there are some key differences between them that you should keep in mind.
Pipeline generation is focused on collecting leads with a high intent to buy, taking the quality of the leads into consideration. Meanwhile, the process of generating leads is about gathering as many leads as possible, without taking the buying intent or the quality of the lead into account.
In the simplest of terms, lead generation puts the emphasis on quantity over quality. And because of this, B2B companies will often focus on short-term conversions and use gated content or forms for generating leads.
On the other hand, pipeline generation is all about the long game and working on initiatives that will create awareness among potential buyers. When done right, pipeline generation also helps nurture leads, works to move prospects throughout the sales process, and emphasizes turning prospects into paying customers.
Benefits of pipeline generation
While it’s essential to manage your existing sales pipeline, it’s also important to ensure you have a constant stream of high-intent buyers knocking on your door.
Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about getting meetings booked with your team, it’s about getting deals done and converting prospects into paying customers.
Here are all the different benefits pipeline generation can have on your overall sales strategy:
Drive revenue growth
It’s not enough to just close one deal.
You need to be consistently closing deals to make sure you are always making quota and driving revenue growth for the company.
And that’s where pipeline generation will come in handy.
Because pipeline generation puts the emphasis on understanding and maximizing the sales process, an efficient pipeline generation strategy can help you boost conversion rates. And this in turn can drive revenue growth.
Unlike lead generation, which can be less predictable, pipeline generation can help you create a sustainable stream of sales coming in.
Successful pipeline generation involves monitoring how prospects move through the phases of the pipeline.
And tracking this can help you find potential red flags with your sales process and any areas that are inefficient.
This allows you to make any adjustments that are necessary to your sales strategy and make sure your sales process is as efficient as possible.
An effective pipeline generation strategy can go a long way in helping you enhance your sales forecasting.
This is because pipeline generation involves analyzing historical data to gauge sales trends, looking at conversion rates to find areas that can be improved, as well as sales velocity to make predictions about future sales.
By monitoring and evaluating buyer behavior as part of your pipeline generation strategy, you can help your sales team make more informed and data-driven predictions.
Gain insights to better personalize campaigns
We already mentioned how pipeline generation involves looking at customer data.
Well, insights from customer data can be gained to create super personalized campaigns. And personalized campaigns can improve the buying experience, give you an edge over the competition, and ultimately improve your conversion rates.
When you customize your campaigns to your target audience, there’s a greater chance that the prospect will want to continue moving through the buying journey.
Improve alignment between sales and marketing
We may have said this once before, but in case you forgot, we’ll say it again. Marketing is your friend!
And the more aligned your sales team is with marketing, the better.
(We’re not just saying that because we’re marketing content writers.)
In addition to all the other benefits we mentioned, pipeline generation can help improve communication and alignment by creating a shared understanding of the sales process, offering more detail into buyer behavior, and a clear process for lead handoff and collaboration.
It can also provide a common standard for tracking and gauging performance.
If and only if sales and marketing work together, both teams will not only be better aligned, but you’ll also be able to maximize your pipeline generation, improve your performance, and optimize your sales process.
Potential challenges involved with pipeline generation
Nobody said building a strong pipeline generation strategy would be easy. But given the benefits, it’s absolutely worth it to invest in pipeline generation activities.
Here are some of the challenges that are associated with pipeline generation:
Sales and marketing aren’t on the same page
We weren’t kidding when we said sales and marketing need to work together.
Because if they don’t, it can lead to inconsistent messaging, a decline in the quality of your leads, and ultimately impact your pipeline generation.
That’s why it’s essential to always keep your marketing team in the loop and work together to create a buying experience that meets the needs of your target audience.
Requires the right tools
Not having the right tools can make it much more challenging to generate and manage your sales pipeline.
To build a proper pipeline generation strategy, you’ll need a CRM tool as well as an interactive demo platform. Otherwise, it’ll be much more challenging to track and nurture leads, monitor your sales process, analyze your data, as well as forecast and plan.
If you use an interactive demo platform (like Walnut), you’ll be able to create, deliver, and analyze personalized interactive demos that can be used as part of your sales pipeline generation strategy.
Market conditions can change frequently
The market is always changing.
And this means that your customers’ needs will also shift. Not to mention, there are always new competitors joining the space.
That means you need to stay one step ahead and continuously adapt your pipeline generation strategy. This can include monitoring market trends and the overall competitive landscape as well as updating or changing the type of content you’re using.
Ineffective lead nurturing
Unfortunately, if you’re struggling with lead nurturing, there’s a good chance it’ll impact your pipeline generation strategy.
This is because lead nurturing is all about tracking down and engaging with potential buyers. As part of lead nurturing, you need to send your target audience relevant information that will be interesting and helpful in each stage of the sales funnel.
But if there are issues with your lead nurturing, it’ll be much harder to move buyers through the sales process.
To avoid this, make sure the information you are sharing is the most relevant for each stage of the buying journey and moves buyers closer to the end of the sales funnel. It should also be personalized to your buyers’ specific needs.
How to create an effective pipeline generation strategy
That all makes sense. But the real question is: How are you supposed to build a winning pipeline generation strategy?
Glad you asked!
Here’s everything you need to build a pipeline generation strategy that will help your team make sure you have a steady flow of qualified leads coming your way:
1. Understand your ideal buyer personas
Before you start building out your approach to pipeline generation, you need to identify the ideal buyer personas for your product.
This will help you make sure that you’re investing your marketing efforts and resources in the right people.
To better understand who your target buyer is, you’ll need to do some market research, pinpoint the pains that your product solves, get feedback from your sales teams based on their interactions with leads, and analyze your contact database to spot trends.
2. Build a content strategy around your buyer personas
Now that you understand who your target audience is, you’ll need to create a content strategy that resonates with them and helps guide them from one phase of the buying journey to the next.
This is essential as having the right content and sharing it at the right time for your audience will help you connect with buyers, educate buyers, and get buyers to trust your brand.
For your content strategy to be successful, you need to make sure you use a mix of different content types and align your content with your audience’s needs.
3. Encourage cross-department collaboration
While different departments at your organization may work in silos, this can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications.
That’s why you need to make sure that every department involved in pipeline generation, especially sales and marketing, are aligned and on the same page about the common business objectives.
On top of this, consistent communication between the different departments involved will help make sure each party has what they need to succeed.
4. Give your team the tools they need
To build your pipeline generation strategy, make sure your team has what they need to generate a steady stream of qualified leads.
And that includes an interactive demo platform (cough, cough like Walnut).
With an interactive demo platform, you can embed your interactive demos on your landing pages or include them in your outbound communications. Not to mention, you can also include lead collection forms within your demos.
This will go a long way in helping you generate a steady flow of high intent leads.
5. Optimize your website with pipeline generation in mind
Once you get leads to your website, you need to make sure that it’s optimized to get buyers to want to continue in the buying journey.
We recommend using your website as a way to educate customers on the product’s unique value proposition and what challenges they can overcome by using it.
You can do this through website copy, videos, blog articles, and of course, interactive product demos.
The benefit of interactive demos is that it gives prospects a true-to-life experience to help them better understand what it would actually be like to use your product. And let’s face it, it’s also way more interesting than learning about a product through a slide deck.
6. Nurture your leads throughout the funnel
It’s not enough to just generate some leads. It’s about keeping them interested and excited about the product that you’re offering from the start of the buying process until the very end.
One way to do this is by sending leads content at each stage of the sales process that educates them and helps push them closer to a purchasing decision.
This helps establish trust with buyers and helps them be more confident about making a purchase from your company.
7. Don’t forget about paid marketing
To nail your pipeline generation, you need a mixture of organic and paid marketing.
When done right, paid marketing can help you boost the authority of your brand, drive traffic to your landing pages, and generate buzz about your company and product.
8. Monitor and optimize your pipeline
There’s always room for improvement. And this is especially true of your pipeline generation strategy.
We recommend constantly monitoring not only the content you’re using, but also the specific channels you use so you know what’s working and what isn’t.
Once you have this data, you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments and better understand what to do going forward.
Using interactive demos to enhance your pipeline generation strategy
Growth is the name of the game.
Whether it be growing your pipeline, your sales, or your revenue. But to achieve growth in SaaS sales, you need to perfect your pipeline generation strategy.
And part of that is offering the right content to buyers at each and every stage of the sales funnel.
With an interactive demo platform (like Walnut), you’ll be able to embed interactive demos in your landing pages and outbound communications to help you gather high-quality and high-intent leads.
Not to mention, with an interactive demo platform, you’ll be able to analyze the performance of your demos so you can constantly make improvements going forward.
Ready to boost your pipeline generation strategy? All you need to do is click the “Get started” button.