How to Increase Your Sales Pipeline by Improving Lead Generation

Jan 30, 2020
3 min read
For sales organizations, a strong pipeline is critical to success. By improving lead generation, companies can increase pipeline and performance. Here's how.

When it comes to tracking down prospects and improving lead generation, there’s no enterprise out there that isn’t challenged with continuously increasing sales pipeline. But that doesn’t mean that some organizations don’t have a competitive edge when it comes to keeping those leads flowing and filling their sales pipeline.

It’s important to build your pipeline to ensure you have consistent business throughout the year. Sales cycles vary and take different amounts of time to close. Your pipeline ensures you have deals in the works at all times so you can stay on track to hit your goals.

Ways to Increase Sales Pipeline

Today’s lead generation tactics are changing, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to be aware of both traditional tactics and the new, modern methods that have been emerging in recent years.

In a world where digital marketing and social selling become more critical every day, it’s a must for sales leaders to know how to increase sales pipeline through online vehicles and new technology, while also maintaining traditional lead flow best practices.

To help you get started, here are four tips to improve your lead generation and increase sales pipeline.

1. Encourage Your Reps to Engage in Social Selling

The best way to get a foot in the door with a prospect, regardless of your industry, is through a mutual connection. Every rep on your team should be on their social platforms actively building their professional networks, new relationships with people interested in your space, and joining online group discussions about your industry.

Let’s say your pipeline isn’t totally dehydrated, just a little parched. A few more qualified leads could help you make your numbers, and you know if you could just talk to that one executive, and make a connection with that amazing new company or client, you would have a whale of a deal, and no problem achieving your goals for the quarter. Social selling provides that boost you'll need. A good rule of thumb is to remember that even a lukewarm introduction is better than a cold one.

2. Embracing Content Like White Papers, Guides, and eBooks

The average organization gains leads by networking and gathering a prospect’s contact information. It’s crucial to align your sales and marketing teams to ensure you are working towards the same goals. Your marketing team can provide useful content that answers common questions and helps move deals father down the funnel.

For example, if a potential customer downloads an eBook on sales compensation best practices, you can follow up in an email with additional content around designing incentive compensation plans strategically. Every time someone interacts on your website and you respond accordingly with relevant information, you’re on your way to improving your sales pipeline.

3. Create Effective Cold Calling Scripts

Let’s be honest: cold calling and prospecting can be one of the most difficult roles—but it is crucial to increase sales pipeline. Sales cold calling scripts help guide conversations with potential customers and provide strategic responses to common objections your reps may hear.

These scripts can be extremely useful tools—especially in a cold calling or business development role, where salespeople have to make the right first impression and score the initial discovery meeting.

4. Adopt a Data-driven Sales Strategy

Visibility is your greatest asset in a sales organization. A data-driven sales strategy uses your performance data, along with third-party insights, to design more accurate sales quotas, capacity plans, territories, and incentives.

Here’s the catch: every company has data—but it’s often housed in static spreadsheets or home-grown systems—and it’s not useful in that format. You need to centralize your data in a way that helps you gain actionable insights. That’s when your data gives you a real competitive advantage.

Sales Performance Management (SPM) platforms help organizations become data-driven by aligning leadership teams, eliminating data gaps, and more accurately analyzing their performance.

Increasing Sales Pipeline with Data Insights

Your sales pipeline is critical to driving growth, but like your performance data, it’s not useful if you can’t gain insights from it. In order to truly increase your sales pipeline, you need to be able to have full visibility on where deals stand, new leads, and projected close/win rates.

When you have a deeper level of visibility, you can focus more on strategy rather than tactical execution of your sales plans. And that’s when you really start to see the performance take off.

Learn more about why data-driven sales leadership is important in this Q&A guide from Ventana Research.

  • Sales Planning
Karrie Lucero
Karrie Lucero
Content Marketing Manager

Karrie Lucero is a Content Marketing Manager at Xactly. She earned marketing and journalism degrees from New Mexico State University and has experience in SEO, social media and inbound marketing.