The definition of pipeline refers to all the potential customers that salespeople have on their desk or in a CRM system that they are working to get to press the golden buy button.


What does pipeline mean?

As written above, pipeline is used in sales. The customers that are in the pipeline are those that the sales people are working on but have not yet closed.

The translation of pipeline from American to English is rørledning, which makes good sense.

Especially at B2B sales, a purchase is rarely completed on the same day as it is started - similarly, the oil does not pass through the pipeline immediately, it takes some time from the tap being opened to the oil flowing out.

What is pipeline control?

A good salesperson is good at managing their pipeline. There must be a fine balance between bringing new customers into the pipeline, processing them in the pipeline and closing them in the pipeline.

If the balance is not maintained, the company risks falling into what is called a sales slump. Sales bottlenecks mean that there is too much pressure on sales, so that production cannot keep up.

It can also be the other way round, that there will be a lack of sales, as the salesperson has not been in the field continuously and acquired new customers.

As you can probably guess, an unbalanced pipeline affects several units in the company - not just the seller. It can cause over- or under-production and the economy can be affected as well.

It is therefore every salesman's job to make sure that the oil in the pipeline is constantly flowing at roughly the same pressure - all the time.

3 tips for your pipeline work

  • Follow up on leads in your pipeline
    Follow up on the leads in your pipeline in a natural way.
  • Make an ABC analysis of the customers in your pipeline
    Do you have many customers in your pipeline? Then divide them into A, B and C customers.
    A customers are the ones in which you get the most benefit and therefore the ones to work with as a first priority etc.
  • Bury the dead leads
    Don't keep working on a customer who won't buy from you. Forget that customer, bury that lead and get on with working on other leads that could potentially put money in your pocket.

Martino Mike d'Apuzzo

Partner & Senior Digital Advisor

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