5 Must-Know Sales Pipeline Stages To Optimize Small Business Marketing

Many small business owners get their start quite humbly. You just have an idea for a business model or a product idea and you open up shop and start selling. But eventually, some savvy business owners decide that they want to have a bit more in-depth knowledge into consumer behavior in order to improve business sales and expand their company. If you are one of those business owners pursuing deeper consumer insight to better market your business, keep reading. Below, you will find out all about the sales pipeline strategies that you can use to optimize your business sales process and future marketing endeavors.

Initial Contact

The first stage of effective sales funnels is initial contact. This part of the sales cycle is when a consumer first makes contact with your business. This can be through a particular business ad or even worth-of-mouth referrals from someone who sits in the office furniture beside them at work. In the initial contact phases of sales cycles, it is imperative to track the different places customers encounter your business. This will help you make best use of the sales pipeline to optimize marketing strategies and overhaul your small business sales process.

Lead Qualifying

The next steps of the sales pipeline involve qualifying sales leads. The lead qualification stage on a sales funnel should be when a business learns more about their customer, just like you learned about your business life insurance policy. Those leads that were made through the initial contact stage will now need to be qualified. What is their likelihood of actually making a purchase? In this stage of all sales pipelines, the consumers likely to buy need to be sorted out from those that are not interested in your small business products or services.


Following these stages of the sales process, the evaluation portion puts the ball back into the consumers’ court. In the evaluation stage of the sales pipeline, consumers consider their options at hand. They are tasked with deciding whether or not to do business with you. They evaluate your business services and compare it with other available options. Clearly, this is one of the most crucial sales pipeline stages for both parties involved. It is where business owners like you need to go the extra mile to convince consumers your services are the best available on the market.


The next to last sales cycle stage is ultimately when a consumer becomes a customer. This is when your business makes a sale or closes a deal and a customer decides to buy your product. Not all sales pipelines reach this particular stage of course, just as not all franchises make franchise rankings for best in the country. In fact, most sales cycles do not. But, this is also a crucial part of the sales process where you could easily lose business. You need to know this if you are hoping to improve business sales process for your operations.


Customer retention is the last of the sales pipeline stages. During this part of the process, shoppers become repeat customers or they fail to return to your business. The data from these particular customer loyalty sales cycle stages will give you invaluable insight into business performance in a number of areas, but perhaps most importantly into customer satisfaction. If you are going to be creating a small business sales pipeline for your company, this is one of the most insightful sales cycle stages to inform yourself of.

Small businesses have sales processes that are quite different from the sales pipelines used by large corporations. But, small business owners could benefit from using the sales funnel stages employed at these larger, more successful businesses. If you want to start using the sales pipeline stages to help you improve sales figures and optimize marketing campaigns in the future, keep this post bookmarked. It offers all the details of sales pipelines and the stages you can use to improve small business sales operations for your business right away.

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