7 key sales pipelines

Series: A Call to Action - Part 5 of 6Are your pipelines bursting at the seams? Creating multi-sales-channels or pipelines is a method used to grow businesses quickly. If you have just one channel or pipeline then you are limited to the success through one singular channel. 

Having all your eggs in one basket isn’t a sound business principle unless you stand head and shoulders above the rest and you clearly are the dominant market player, even then its not a good practice, what if that market segment has down turn? Or a competitor adapts to a market shift creating a product or service far superior to the one you're selling?

When it comes to your pipelines there are several areas to consider:

>>> Determine your target markets, the scope, size and geographic locations

>>> Consider splitting your territories into zones using council perimeters, or country counties 

>>Generate a series of lead generation methods (previously discussed)

>>> Setup up a database system that can track your various channels

>>> Determine how you will manage your pipelines and what metrics are being used 

>>> How do you classify your pipelines funnel or sales activity, where are prospects in the process

>>> Have a specific “Call to Action” to gauge responses and test across different pipelines

>>> Test your product or service in small quantities to start before increasing the program

>>> Monitor how your sales forecasts are going against your lead programs and filter the waste

>>> Offer Specials or Value Added Propositions periodically to find buyers in the purchasing mode

Here's a Call to Action you can use: Developing your market territories and strategies will lead you to your 7 key pipelines to increase your sales. Determining how to best use each of these key pipelines will be applied differently from business to business. You’ll need to understand these business channels and how they best apply to your business and how you can take advantage of each channel to grow your sales.

The 7 key sales pipelines for startup businesses are:

1. Direct Marketing - Mailers, Promotional messages or other advertising forums
2. Telesales - Connecting your business on the phone or direct selling via this medium
3. Face to Face - Usually follows telemarketing, for building in person relationships
4. Website - build subscribers, gain followers to your blog the hub for your online lead generation
5. Social Media - Find the best channels to direct your call to action to engage your prospects 
6. Trade Shows - A great way to connect with people that are focused on your business segment
7. Events - Are a cost effective method to showcase your expertise and build more followers

While there are several other business channels, which we’ll focus on in another blog series, these 7 key pipelines for sales are the corner-stone for any startup business. Ultimately these 7 key pipelines will offer you a series of avenues to grow your business and turn those leads to gold.

A closer look at the 7 key sales pipelines for B2B startup businesses:

1. Direct Marketing - Mailers, Promotional 
The oldest most used form of communication is the flyer, and it still works, while other advertising forms like mailers or catalogs for B2C operations can be also be highly effective bang for your buck. When it comes to B2B print is making a come back, due to shift and focus into social media, seo and email marketing. This provides an opportunity to delivery samples to your target prospects, provide a catchy interesting, and engaging mailing piece. 

2. Telesales - Connecting your business on the phone or direct selling via this medium
Probably the next oldest form of communication behind the direct mail piece, and this channel still works also, while relatively low return it might be one of your only options. Cold Calling isnt for everyone, and we certainly dont recommend cold calling. What we do recommend is Using Telemarketing Effectively, by creating an interest in the program before you call. Better still understand the company you are calling and be able to advise them exactly why you are calling and how your product or service is what they need. This means doing your homework on a company.

3. Face to Face - Usually follows telemarketing, for building in person relationships
Generally most B2B relationships require the old face to face meeting. While Social Media is changing the landscape, along with technology shifts with conferencing tools like Google Places or Skype, when you're getting started its about meeting your prospects and building trust. Being prepared for these meetings is paramount to your success; never be late, sit in a place where your customer is facing a wall and will concentrate on you and your message, be thankful for their time, always ask "do we still have the 30 minutes scheduled for our meeting today" so you know where you stand and if you have to move to your shortened presentation that you've planned and practiced. Get to the point immediately, there is no need to break any ice, like to talk about a fishing picture or sailing boat on the wall, or how good the RedSox baseball team is, you're there to close a sale, get down to business immediately. Always ask for something at every meeting, the opportunity to present your Cost Benefit Analysis, the chance to take a tour of their business, request a meeting with other important decision makers. Keep on point and show the customer the money early.

4. Website - build subscribers, gain followers to your blog the hub for your online lead generation
Today people want to learn about you and find out what they can, if you don't have a website, then you're behind the game. Website development is a messy business and its hard to find the right fit, while there are tools in the market to get you started, the free sites almost always come across as below average and come across as amateurish. If you're going for a low cost entry level option then keep if uber simple, you can do a one page website that is a parallax which comes across as a portfolio or simple display site, so long as you have a place to capture an email and a call to action there. If you're a solopreneur then you should have professional photo shoot done and incorporate that imagery for the personal touch into your one page site. The main hub of any website today is the blog and it has many purposes. Positional, search, informative, educational, and importantly allows you to capture in-bound leads.

5. Social Media - Find the best channels to direct your call to action to engage your prospects 
The newest and fastest growing segment of course is social media. Though the rate of return on this is beyond low, even lower than telemarketing. Its a long term journey and while some are having success, most are well behind on the ROI here. Simply put social media marketing requires you to have engaging, interesting content, or at minimum a quality point of view, that you can build your online social presence with to earn the readers valuable time. A secondary position is to curate content from leading influencers in your industry to position yourself as a thought leader and mix in your own content. Be where your customers are, create an engagement plan, sell slowly and build trust over time. Importantly get started today on the channels that matter most and don't wait until you have your content perfect, its unlikely you ever will.

6. Trade Shows - A great way to connect with people that are focused on your business segment
Another oldie and a goodie, a gathering of people in a common space with common interests. Hang out where your customers hang out, thats the oldest method in the book. If you wanted to say develop relationships with really any industry segment there is likely to be a trade show. Now while there is limited access to decision makers, these events are a great way to meet, greet and capture information. They also require some planning as many of these events nowadays are so big that if you go unprepared you might end up wondering around the event wasting time working out who to talk to. Most events have a floor plan or a list of vendors, plan out who you want to talk to before hand and why, have a clear message, keep it short and move on to the next. If you spent 5 minutes with each person you could see about 10-12 people in 1 hour, meaning at a day long event if you were on the go all day, you could meet 80-100 people, not bad if they're in your target markets. Also a great way to reverse market and use your direct marketing piece, create a warm call and start a relationship.

7. Events - Are a cost effective method to showcase your expertise and build more followers
While events might be similar to a trade show, they are a little different. There are two ways to look at events. The 1st is that there are many events across the communities where opportunities exist and where your customers are hanging out, some may be more social than others. The idea of events is really to host your own events, create your own speaking engagements, breakfasts, meet ups, instructional or educational, and always softly deliver your sales message. While there are the events created to wow you and quick sell you Ive never been a fan of those events or seminars. While I might attend because my prospects are likely to be at a seminar, I'm just unlikely to buy something from a guy peddling it from a stage, preaching how great they are. Well unless it's Tony Robbins or someone like that, but I dont need to attend a live Tony Robbins seminar to feel the juice! Find a setting where you can invite people to come along and hear you speak, or join a group where you can speak. A very powerful channel or pipeline once you find your area of expertise. 

By now you should know how to dollarise and you would have considered the different options and you’ll be able to put a value per customer acquisition on each of the 7 key pipelines and how to effectively close more sales by blending these pipelines together.

Here’s Our Call To Action: There are more business channels that you can use to build your company’s pipelines why not contact one of our experienced sales agents to find out which pipelines would work for your business and how. We can offer you a FREE CONSULTATION and provide you more insight on how to build your business channels, or better still we can OFFER YOU A BUSINESS CHANNEL FOR FREE! Contact us today to find out how you can get a tailor made new business pipeline for FREE!

All the best and Good selling out there!
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A Call to Action - Part 5 of 6: 7 Key Sales Pipelines 

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About the Author



About Adam Mole

Adam is the proprietor of start up BPO company Transeo and has been working with offshore and outsourcing services for more than 20 years. Adam is passionate about small business. He likes to write about his experiences in sales and startup business ventures. In his spare time you'll find him on one of Sydney's south coast beaches surfing and smiling. Email Adam at and follow Adam on Twitter @adam_transeo.


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