Certified Public Accountants, especially CPA firm owners or partners, have little time or energy to actively sell their business in an effort to gain new customers. However, to develop organic growth within your accounting firm, having a strategy that takes advantage of B2B sales is absolutely essential, and this is where having a sales pipeline can drastically improve your bottom line. Not to be confused with sales funnels, which are less process driven and geared towards procedures rather than activity, sales pipelines allow CPAs to completely visualize their active prospects and to transform leads into clients.
What is a Sales Pipeline?
Sales pipelines are specific ways that accounting firms deal with potential customers, and often help you visualize open sales, where all sales are in the closing process, and how your firm is doing in sales compared to targets and budgets. Sales pipelines should be simple and well organized and provide a visual display of all potential buyers of your services as they progress through the different stages of your purchasing process. This visualization is often realized through a sales pipeline management tool, such as Cloud Practice Accounting, that allows you to analyze your sales and help keep your firm in control of its sales process.
The Importance of a Sales Pipeline
Leads are important in any line of business, and the accounting industry is no different. Recent research by HubSpot found some serious problems with not having enough leads, with nearly 75% of all companies with fewer than 50 new opportunities a month missed their revenue goals. Alternatively, only 4% of companies with one to two hundred new leads in their sales pipeline missed their revenue goals. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that you need a large number of fresh opportunities in your sales hopper at any given time.
Sales Pipeline Management
Effective sales pipeline management starts with arming your employees with the correct tools that allow the entire sales process to be broken down into manageable sections. Furthermore, the sales pipeline management tools that you do choose should give internal stakeholders the power to manage the process from lead to signed contract. While there is countless advice out there for individuals who are willing to listen, an effective sales pipeline management process can be distilled down to collecting current customer and lead information, determining the value of new leads, identifying decision makers, following up on a regular basis, measuring results, and analyzing outcomes.
Why Every Company Needs a Sales Pipeline
With the creation of an accurate sales forecast aside, firms that utilize an organized sales pipeline earn more revenue than those who do not. While organic growth, or growth without acquiring another accounting firm, hasn’t always been a hallmark in the CPA world, generating, maintaining, and converting new business leads into new customers has several benefits for any company. By establishing a sales pipeline that is reviewed and curated on a regular basis, you can increase revenue by staying in contact with potential customers or leads, but who refrain from singing up immediately after inquiring about your services.
Moreover, CPA firms do not typically have a dedicated sales force, therefore it’s often up to owners and partners to drive new business to the firm. By establishing a sales pipeline and sales pipeline management initiatives, your organization will gain a better understanding of your company’s sales process, become astronomically more efficient and effective in developing sales strategies, provide a clear view of prospects, and close deals in less time and with less effort and associated costs.
Accounting CRM with Sales Pipeline
Investing in a sales pipeline management CRM will offer a centralized location for client accounts which is especially helpful if you manage remote workers. Furthermore, a practice management CRM also provides a tool for reporting, sales pipeline management, and numerous other features.
Now that you’re familiar with sales pipelines and best practices to manage them, it’s time to find a great software tool that allows you to capture new leads and place them into your sales funnel. Cloud Practice Accounting allows your CPA firm to manage the entire sales process for your organization from the first contact to engagement. Get started with Cloud Practice Accounting today by contacting a sales associate.