Going from your first couple of clients to a sustainable business can feel like an insurmountable task. Continuing to run a business with a new client always in the wings and just the right amount of active projects seems like magic or luck. But the solution to both, is a sales pipeline tool.
A sales pipeline is a visual representation of the different stages of the sales process, from initial contact with a potential client to the final sale. By using a sales pipeline tool (sometimes interchangeable with a CRM), you can easily see where each potential client is in the process and what needs to be done to move them to the next stage.
Here are a few reasons why using a sales pipeline tool is important for managing the growth of your freelance business:
As a freelancer, it's easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks of your business. With a sales pipeline tool, you can see all your potential clients and projects in one place, making it easier to stay organized and focused on what needs to be done. Use this 5-step trick from Austin L. Church and track all your communication in a pipeline so you don't forget who you emailed or when.
A good sales pipeline tool will help you see which potential clients are the most promising so you can prioritize your time and effort accordingly. No reason to spend equal effort on a low-paying project just outside your scope and a well-paying project in your best subject. Give extra effort to the projects solidly in your niche with clients you can't wait to work with.
Choose a pipeline tool that lets you see the entire sales process from start to finish, giving you a clear view of where each potential client is in the process. There are so many out there. One of them will have a view that makes the most sense for you and gives you the "aha! this is my business!" kind of feeling. When you see prospects in their respective stages of the process, it is easier to identify bottlenecks and areas that need improvement and allows you to make adjustments as needed.
It won't happen immediately, but using a sales pipeline faithfully - week over week, month over month... you got the picture - will give you a clear picture of how your business is growing. This can be helpful for setting goals, tracking your success, and making informed financial and business decisions with data to back it up.
Without a clear system in place, it's easy to get overwhelmed trying to keep track of all of the moving pieces to running your own business. Your perfect sales pipeline tool will let you input your custom sales process, easily view each stage and the prospects in those stages, and keep all your communication centrally located (so you don't have to go searching).
Hectic’s sales pipeline helps you to visualize which deals are the most promising to help prioritize your time. Keep all your communication with dream clients in one place so you stay top of mind when they're ready for you. And set up exactly the stages that make sense for your freelance lifestyle.
Take control of your business instead of hoping for the right clients to come to you. A little intention can help drive a lot of good luck.