Having an effective, clear, and easy-to-use sales pipeline template is an incredibly important asset for every coaching business.
You might be thinking, “That sounds great but my business isn’t big enough to need a sales pipeline right now.” In fact, now is the best time to create a pipeline management tool that fits your specific business need.
Think about it.
Would you rather put in the work now or wait until you’re busy only to have to stop your momentum and double back to do something you should have already done?
Plus, developing a pipeline now also acts as a sales forecast template to help you plan for the coming months or even secure investment if needed.
Start With a Basic Template
There are a lot of sales strategy templates available out there, but you will never go wrong if you start with the basics.
CRM tools will often base their sales pipeline management off a basic template and then allow you to customize based on your own needs.
Of course, your coaching business will have its own unique needs and measurements but it doesn’t matter if you sell landscaping services, marketing advice, children’s toys, or something else. There is a basic sales funnel template to follow.
What is this template? Typically, a good template will have several crucial steps.
First is the “leads” section. If you are just getting your business off the ground then this is where you will spend a lot of your time initially. Here is where you input all leads that you may have. This could be a business card you picked up, a cold call list you plan on tackling, or based on some networking you have done.
Leads don’t necessarily have to be hot or cold to make it into the first section of your sales funnel template. This is why we call it a funnel. You start with a wide opening and then funnel down the potential business to find the clients who are worth your time and effort.
Contact Your Leads and Move to Step Two
The second section of your template can be for prospects. These are people you have contacted and had a discussion with about your product or service. Or when you generate leads online, which is highly recommended, showed some interests in what you have to offer.
While ranking leads were optional in the “leads” section of the template, it is very important to be ranking prospects after you have contacted them. Call them hot and cold, green and red, or whatever ranking system you want to use – just be sure to rank them.
Focus your efforts on the hot prospects, get some early success under your belt, and then move on to the next batch of prospects. You can also automate the whole process when you focus on getting clients online.
There should also be another section for leads that are a hard “no.” These are leads that you do not want to spend any more time on. Call the section “lost” or something more creative but be sure there is a place to put the leads that did not turn into prospects.
Not all leads have to be lost forever but they should be separated from prospects that are worthy of your time right now.
You’ve Got a Meeting, Now What?
Your hot prospect has shown interest in your service and has asked for a meeting. It sounds like they might be interested but the deal is still not done. How do you advance this client through your sales funnel template from the “prospect” category?
You should keep notes as the client moves into the proposal stage. When is the meeting? Best you use an online calendar to schedule. What is their pain point? Have you identified any specific needs that may affect the proposal? The more information you have, the more personalized and effective your proposal can be.
They Loved the Proposal!
Your prospect moved into the proposal stage and now they’re ready to sign on the dotted line! However, the job isn’t done just yet.
This stage is the finalization stage.
Either you both sign a coaching contract now, or you send them to your order page where they can pay online.
The important thing to keep in mind is to keep the steps simple and clear. There should be no question about when a client moves onto the next step in the sales stage funnel. If there are questions then your funnel has a blockage and that may prevent clients from moving to the final “closed” stage.
Make your sales pipeline template your own and be sure to tweak it as your business needs change or evolve. With a well-developed pipeline, you can see where your business is today and forecast for tomorrow.