Why Sales Managers Should Focus on Early Stage Leads

The sales pipeline is different in every company and often in every product. But no matter what defines each stage of your pipeline, it’s imperative that sales leaders don’t make the common mistake of neglecting early-stage leads. The best sales managers will guide their SDRs through these oft-forgotten leads to create a healthier, more efficient sales pipeline. 

Teams must be better at managing their pipeline. According to a research study by Vantage Point, 63% of sales professionals state that their team does a poor job at managing the sales pipeline. With better management and conversion in macro-lead stages of the funnel, conversions can rise far greater than down the pipeline.

To Manage Your Sales, You Must Know Your Leads

To truly manage your sales pipeline, you have to manage every stage of it. It’s often tempting to only focus on the leads closest to closing and leave those still in the prospecting phase to the SDRs, but there’s a multitude of reasons that shouldn’t be the case. By only focusing on the low hanging fruit, sales leaders will often ignore the opportunities that would benefit from more nurturing. 

Your SDRs need guidance. Leaders have the experience to help. If leaders spend time analyzing the early-stage leads, they can better manage the SDRs on their team to get the best results. Managers who are able to locate the strongest types of leads will be better at guiding the SDRs in charge of prospecting them. 

On the other side of the coin, leaders who spend time focusing on the early stages of the funnel will be able to find the types of leads that most often fall through the cracks. Knowing where your opportunities are falling off at every stage of the funnel will lead to an all-around healthier pipeline.

Customer Centricity Starts With Sales

Recently, there’s been a focus on having a customer-centric approach to the way we do business. Creating the best experience for our customers is the best way to acquire and retain them. This goes doubly for sales teams, by creating a positive experience for your leads, sales teams lay the groundwork for a positive experience as a customer.

It starts at the very beginning. By providing focus to leads in the early stages of the buyer’s journey, sales leaders can create a better experience. They can guide SDRs on who to reach out to, where leads are falling through the cracks, and re-engage those who have dropped off. 

Starting with the early stages, sales leaders can control more as they progress through your pipeline. Gain insight into which are the best leads, see who’s dropping off, and utilize tactics to make every lead feel special and communicate their needs better by knowing them better.

Turn Insights Into Action Through Effective Communication

It’s imperative to follow up with your team on the insights you’ve found through the aforementioned lead management. Knowing which are the best leads, the ones in need of more support, those falling by the wayside, and the ones being neglected is meaningless information without effective communication. Be sure to clearly tell your team the ins and outs of the insights you find throughout the entirety of the pipeline. 
Sales nurturing is key and the sales leaders in charge should not focus solely on the big numbers. By getting into the detail of who your leads are, who’s buying, who’s likely to drop off, and how to avoid such scenarios, managers and other sales leaders can find more success by starting at the beginning. You can’t solve any problems if you aren’t looking at the full scope. 

Get in touch with XANT today to see how a sales enablement platform can help your sales team manage and maintain a healthy sales pipeline.

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