The Online Pipeline – Automation is the Key

February 27, 2009 by  Filed under: Advertising 

Anyone who is or ever has been involved in sales and marketing understands the concept of the pipeline. Although it’s not actually a pipeline in the strict sense of the word, the term refers to the process of developing leads for the sales person to “pitch” to. Since the number of leads is always greater than the number of sales-not everybody who expresses an interest actually buys something-sometimes the sales pipeline is also referred to as the sales funnel. In a funnel, the top is wider than the spout at the bottom, and some sales organizations diagram their sales process in this manner, so the ensuing diagram looks similar to a funnel.

A robust sales pipeline is essential to the success of any sales enterprise. And as most professional sales people would agree, sales is a numbers game. The more prospects flowing in one end of the pipeline, the more dollars will flow out of it. There are many other considerations at work here as well because not everybody who flows into the pipeline is qualified to buy, even if they really want to. So part of the selling process needs to separate these people out as “unqualified leads.”

In the bad old days of multi level marketing (MLM), the sales pipeline-or more accurately, the filling of the sales pipeline-accounted for a failure rate of “newbies” in the business of around 97%. The reason was pretty simple-filling the sales pipeline was about as much fun as emptying a septic tank. The first step was generally to make a “warm list” of family and friends who would then be pestered until they either bought something, or else told you to not bother them about it again. Some fledgling entrepreneurs would buy lists of leads-an expensive way to fill the pipeline-or go to the mall and hand out flyers. You were told to try everything, but nothing seemed to work.

The really outstanding news is that network marketing changed dramatically-for the better-when the internet came along. Over the past few years when the internet became a truly viable means of commerce, several very young-and now very rich-smart, and capable entrepreneurs pioneered a whole new way to fill an online lead pipeline.

The big difference is that now the leads come to the entrepreneur, instead of the entrepreneur going out and beating the bushes for them. By casting a wide net with the right messages, a steady stream of prospects-with the right system in place of course-eagerly and willingly enter the sales pipeline of their own accord. Conduct some online research to find such a system, and massive success will by yours.

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