How to Build a Strong Sales Pipeline in 2023

How to Build a Strong Sales Pipeline in 2023 Header

Let’s make 2023 the year you build your strongest pipeline yet. A sales pipeline shows the progression of leads and opportunities through various stages of the sales cycle, from initial contact to close.

In this post, we will focus on strategies to help grow your sales pipeline even when you (and your prospects) may be working with a limited budget.

You’ll find countless benefits to an expanded pipeline, such as:

  • Boost in sales-qualified leads
  • Increase in sales revenue
  • More motivated sales reps

Implement the tactics below to jumpstart your pipeline for the new year and for years to come.

The Essential Guide to Sales Pipeline Management​

Learn our strategic approach to tracking prospects throughout the pipeline, forecasting revenue, and closing more deals.

Identify target customers

The first step in expanding your sales pipeline is figuring out who your target audience is. This can be determined by creating an ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer personas. 

An ICP is focused on aspects of your target companies, like their company size, revenue, and industry. A buyer persona is more concerned with the individual buyers you’ll target, like their job title and role in the purchase decision.

With an identified target audience, your reps know:

  • Who to reach out and sell to
  • Which efforts to focus on
  • How to develop effective messaging

As you outline your personas, be aware of how your ideal buyer’s needs, and priorities, might have changed as they face new challenges in today’s landscape and the coming year.

Once you understand the components of your buyer persona — such as their job title, the size of their company, their challenges and concerns — you can begin building a list of prospects that may benefit from your solution.

Build your prospect list

Once you know who to target, it’s time to build your prospect list. We recommend targeting leads with an account-based strategy so you can find prospects that fit your criteria. 

An account-based strategy is a focused approach where a business targets specific companies, and the individuals within those companies, with tailored messaging and personalized engagement. The goal of this strategy is to build deeper, more valuable relationships with key accounts that can boost revenue for your business and get the most out of your solutions.

If you’re looking to build a list on your own, we wrote a list of sales prospecting tools to help you maximize your prospect database. As you think about which tools and methods are best for your organization, you should also take into account the accuracy of your contact data.

90 Day Turnover Rate

Based on the data shown from this recent study, organizations may be restructuring their departments more often than usual. This means decision makers may come and go, and your contact data may decay at a faster rate. That’s why you’ll need to always be on top of your prospect lists and ensure it has the most accurate information.

One method to ensure you have the most accurate information is through hiring a data service vendor. For example, EBQ’s data specialists are constantly combing through data to make sure your company has up-to-date records for your reps to prospect from.

Inbound lead generation methods, such as writing blogs and social media posts, are another effective way to build a targeted prospect list. You can generate leads by having visitors submit their own information through landing pages and forms. 

Once you’ve built out a prospect list, it’s time to provide the best outreach to qualify your leads.

Improve your lead qualification process and outreach

Moving your leads through the sales pipeline can be an arduous task. If you don’t have an efficient outreach and qualification process, then it will become even more time consuming. 

One way to combat this process is by having an SDR team dedicated to prospecting and qualifying leads. This can save countless hours for your sales reps so they can have more time to focus on closing deals.

There are two main processes you need to improve prospect outreach — a lead qualification process and strategic touch cadence. 

A lead qualification process is used to determine if a prospect has a need for your offering and is likely to purchase. Be mindful of the fact that your qualification process may look different compared to other businesses. 

No matter what your lead qualification process looks like, we recommend it includes these 2 questions:

  1. Are they the right person?
  2. Are they at the right kind of company?

Keep in mind that as your prospects face new challenges this year, they may not have the budget — or plans — for new solutions. Being aware of their obstacles will help decide your qualification criteria and how strict you need them to be. 

An outreach cadence defines the timing and methods of reaching out to prospects over a period of time. Most B2B buyers are busy these days wearing multiple hats at work, so you need to be persistent. This includes using different forms of contact, such as phone calls, voicemails, and emails. The frequency of these methods will vary as well depending on how cold or warm the lead is.

Identifying your target customers, building your prospect list, and enhancing your lead qualification process and outreach are 3 vital components for those wanting to build a strong sales pipeline for 2023.

Next, let’s discuss best practices for sales pipeline management.

Implement sales pipeline management best practices

The tactics listed above are powerful methods to build your sales pipeline. However, those ways can only get you so far if you aren’t properly overseeing your pipeline. That’s why you should better manage your sales pipeline with these best practices.

First, we recommend using a customer relationship management (CRM) platform if you aren’t already using one. A CRM, like Salesforce, can make your sales process more efficient and allows your team to get more done in a time when they may be working with less resources. 

This is achieved by being able to track which stage of the pipeline leads are in, which ensures more visibility for your team. Luckily, many CRMs come with recommended pipeline stages right out of the box.

Salesforce sales pipeline

Second, it’s best to tailor your sales pipeline stages to your unique sales process. For example, you may consider adding a pipeline stage for needs analysis because it takes time to get clients’ exact requirements for their solution. Aligning your pipeline reporting with your sales process can be more easily accomplished with the use of a CRM.

Lastly, pipeline management in a CRM allows you to use past and ongoing sales opportunities to forecast both revenue and your future pipeline needs. Think about all that you’ve achieved in the past years. How many contacts did you need in your database? How many sales-qualified leads did you convert? You can use those numbers from previous successes to help predict how many you may need to accomplish your revenue goals for 2023.

By effectively managing your sales pipeline, you will be able to better take care of your leads and keep them moving forward in your pipeline. 

You can also read our guide, The Essential Guide to Sales Pipeline Management, to better understand how to align your pipeline with your sales process.

Selling more to existing customers

You don’t need to put all your focus on bringing in new leads when you can increase your sales pipeline by tapping into your existing accounts. You can do this by upselling and cross-selling other solutions to your existing customers.

When was the last time your reps reached out to past customers? You may be surprised by the amount of revenue you can generate from re-engaging with past clients. They may be willing to purchase again and start another relationship with you.

It also doesn’t hurt to ask for referrals from clients you have a strong relationship with. If a customer is pleased with your solution, then they are most likely willing to refer your business to someone else. One study found that B2B referrals provide 30% more leads that generate revenue compared to other marketing channels.

When it comes to building your sales pipeline, it’s always best to think outside the box. During uncertain times, never disregard a thought — or strategy — you may have that can turn an opportunity into a long-term customer.

The Essential Guide to Sales Pipeline Management​

Learn our strategic approach to tracking prospects throughout the pipeline, forecasting revenue, and closing more deals.

How to build a strong sales pipeline throughout the year

Building a sales pipeline takes more than waiting for buyers to get in contact with you. As companies look to do more with a limited budget, following these strategies will help you fill your pipeline with high-quality leads.

In this post, we discussed what you can do to build a strong sales pipeline in 2023:

  • Identify your target customers and what motivates them to buy
  • Build your prospect list with a focus on data accuracy
  • Enhance your sales lead qualification and outreach with an SDR team
  • Utilize a CRM to better manage your pipeline
  • Tap into your existing clients to boost your pipeline

Even with the best strategies, building a strong sales pipeline can still take a lot of time, effort, and patience. If you need some help, our experienced SDR team can handle all of your sales prospecting. Visit our appointment setting services page to learn more about how our SDRs can set more meetings for your sales reps.

Let's Talk

Tell us about yourself and we’ll get in touch shortly.

EBQ Email