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Tech Insights 5 min read

Dynamics 365 Sales Pipeline: How to Optimize It?

As a business executive or decision maker, you likely often find yourself in situations where you have to quickly make a decision about a product or service. If you want to improve the quality of the data you collect, it is essential that you properly understand each stage of the sales process and the ideal journey your customers will follow to close a sale. But it’s much easier said than done! How can you ensure the quality of the data you collect about your customers’ habits? How can you learn from their behaviors and habits? This is where you need a sales pipeline or funnel in Dynamics 365.

What Exactly Is a Sales Pipeline in Dynamics 365?

Before we get to the heart of the matter, let’s explain exactly what a sales pipeline is in DYnamics 365. Also known as sales funnels, sales pipelines in Dynamics 365 are a set of stages that a prospect moves through in order for you to close a deal. Each stage that they move through has its own role and helps improve your chances of closing the deal.

·         Stage 1: Awareness

The first stage of a sales pipeline is the most crucial. This is where the potential customers get to know you as a company. Leads become aware of your company and important information that can help them through their purchase process through a blog (like this one!), an FAQ section on your website, or a regular newsletter. The more they consume your content, the more they trust your company. Over time you become credible in their eyes, and that’s when you can generate their interest in one of your products or services.

·         Stage 2: Consideration

Mission accomplished! Your lead is now interested in one of your products or services. They now see you as a potential supplier, and you can consider them a potential buyer. At this stage, you can refer to the potential buyer as a marketing qualified lead: therefore you should focus your energy on prioritizing this potential buyer in your sales efforts. You need to have more specific content at this stage that informs your lead about your products and services, answering any frequently asked questions they may have about the buying process. Developing a buyer’s guide is highly appropriate at this stage.

·         Stage 3: Decision

Congratulations: your lead is ready to purchase your services or products! Don’t disappoint them, and certainly don’t leave them alone! Provide them with various ways to contact you directly. Avoid indirect contact. Indirect contact tends to create frustration and increased waiting times for your customers. Why not contact them directly using automated emails? At this stage, nothing is prohibited: pick up the phone and give them a call!

So, sales pipelines in Dynamics 365 essentially enable you to concentrate your efforts on the right leads and prevent you from wasting energy on leads that are as of yet undecided. Therefore, by applying this concept you can gain time that you can later dedicate to leads with a real interest in your company.

Sales Pipeline Efficiency

We mentioned it in passing before, but great sales pipeline efficiency can be defined in five words: don’t leave your lead alone. To do so, you need to create marketing campaigns that feed the information proposed to your leads at each stage of your sales pipeline. Dynamics 365 Sales pipelines must be fast, efficient, and easy to move through. You should also implement strategies to collect data about the efficiency of each stage of your sales process. Where do you lose most of your leads? If you want to continually improve your sales, you need to answer this question.

Why are Dynamics 365 Sales Pipelines so Important?

That’s the million dollar question! If you’ve got this far through the article, but you’re still not sure about why you need a sales pipeline to help you achieve your business goals, let us show you the advantages.

Here are some (by no means all) of the advantages of a great Dynamics 365 sales pipeline:

  • A properly executed sales pipeline enables you to collect essential data about your sales process. This data will help you understand how effective your marketing campaigns are and how popular particular services and products are, and therefore you’ll be able to adjust and continually improve your sales performance. Be flexible!
  • It also enables you to free up time that could be wasting on leads that are never going to buy anything from you. Additionally, being too pushy with a lead who has already decided not to buy your product can damage your credibility. I’m sure you’ve already had to deal with a pushy sales rep at some point in time, do you really have good memories of your relationship with that company? I doubt it.
  • The data collected through your sales pipeline can inform you about crucial factors. You’ll be able to access data such as conversion rates, estimated deal closure dates of specific leads, and (and this one is the most important) estimated potential profit by client.
  • I’m sure you already know this, but knowing your ideal client empowers you to better steer your marketing strategies. Creating realistic personas could lead to you adjusting your sales pipeline or your product itself.
  • Sales pipelines provide you with an overview where you can easily see lost opportunities: Why did you lose that lead? At which stage? For which competitor? What is the potential risk of a product? Are your performance indicators properly defined? Having a solid understanding of this information and its impact can significantly help you better pinpoint the needs and expectations of your customer base.
  • All the above-mentioned factors contribute to this last one: a great sales pipeline empowers you as an employer to better focus your marketing team’s efforts. Using the data collected, your representatives will be able to optimize their sales process and make the right decisions at the right time.

How can Dynamics 365 Increase the Efficiency of a Sales Pipeline?

Regardless of the sector you work in, all businesses have to be able to use tools that transform data into information, so that you can use your business acumen to make the best decisions possible. Making the best decisions is an enormous challenge, but thankfully, Dynamics 365 is there to help you improve.

Dynamics 365 will collect and process data stemming from your sales pipeline. As I mentioned before, this data has to then be transformed into relevant, usable information depending on your objectives and circumstances. Dynamics will model your data using customizable reports. You don’t need to know how to extract and process data in order to make the best decisions, Dynamics 365 does it for you. All you need to know is what you’re looking for.

You also need to follow your leads through their buying process. You need to know why they don’t follow through with a purchase, when they hesitate, and most importantly, what drives them to make a purchase. < 365 helps by informing you when a customer interacts with your marketing campaign. It produces conclusions on the basis of your sales pipeline and helps you prioritize leads.

To sum up, Dynamics 365 and a good sales pipeline make the ideal team for any company striving to sell better and sell more. Dynamics also helps you to predict potential income for a set period, so that you can better plan your activities.

Thinking about adopting Dynamics 365? Get in touch, our team will be happy to tell you more about the product and advise you further!

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May 21, 2019 by Frédéric Charest VP of Marketing

Data-driven Growth Marketer with a Passion for SEO - Driving Results through Analytics and Optimization