When many people hear “pipeline acceleration,” they might initially think it’s strictly a sales term. We typically speak of pipelines as a sales concept. But pipeline acceleration is a critical business area requiring collaboration across departments for success.
From Meta to Google to Coca-Cola, the most successful companies worldwide have a long history of creating disparate teams and putting them together to achieve important goals. In 2012, Google even conducted an internal study codenamed “Project Aristotle” to study the dynamics of groups within a larger company. Some of its most important inventions have come from unexpected teams or individuals working on something outside their main responsibility.
Pipeline acceleration is one of the most important collaborative projects any organization can take on. When done properly, it can help a business achieve its revenue goals more efficiently and help marketing and sales team members work together to create less waste and redundant work.
What is Pipeline Acceleration?
To summarize, pipeline acceleration means moving prospects through the sales funnel more quickly. It’s sometimes called “sales acceleration” or “closing speed,” but the central idea is the same: getting a prospect from a qualified lead to a paying client faster.
As we mentioned above, pipeline acceleration isn’t just something for your sales reps to be thinking about. Research firm Forrester says the intent is to improve lead management “from cold to close,” but also that it “demands full joint and sales and marketing involvement, commitment, alignment and participation from beginning to end.” That means your marketing team has to take ownership of pipeline acceleration, too, even if many elements are ultimately under the domain of the sales team. For example, the sales team is typically the only part of the company that holds direct meetings with prospects, even though many other people may be involved in helping to set the agenda for that meeting or creating assets for the salesperson to use at the meeting.
Should you even bother with pipeline acceleration? Yes – for several reasons.
The Benefits of Pipeline Acceleration
You don’t have to look hard to see the obvious benefits of moving prospects through a sales pipeline more quickly – when you start experiencing greater revenue and more satisfied customers, the advantages make themselves swiftly known!
Beyond the obvious benefits of closing more deals faster, pipeline acceleration also helps create shared goals and outcomes for different team members at your company. Working towards the same goals builds a sense of unity in the organization, even if your team operates on different projects with various tasks.
Pipeline accelerations also create a deeper understanding of your ideal buyer persona. When you have people from diverse backgrounds and job functions looking to help a prospect reach a decision more quickly, it tends to create a deeper, more well-rounded understanding.
Finally, successful pipeline acceleration will increase communication in general among your firm. Since the process requires such a high degree of collaboration between departments and job functions, your team members will develop a natural rapport and working cadence with one another that will be easy to carry over to other projects. Understanding how coworkers collaborate is important for organizations of every size, even a small startup with only a few people.
You might think communication is better at smaller companies, but counterintuitively there are many examples of large organizations communicating better than smaller ones. Bigger companies tend to have more streamlined processes and workflows that can naturally guide a team into successful collaboration.Understanding how coworkers collaborate is important for organizations of every size, even a small startup with only a few people. Click To Tweet
These are just a few of the many reasons to implement pipeline acceleration. If you’re convinced it’s important but unfamiliar with how to get started, the next section is for you.
Implementing or Developing Your Pipeline Acceleration Program
Like any other initiative, the first step is taking inventory of where you are currently. What steps have your sales and marketing team taken to move prospects down the funnel faster? What about other departments? In this stage, try not to judge progress or worry about where you are. You want to get a sense of previous measures and their results.
If your audit has determined you are fairly early in the process of pipeline acceleration, that’s okay – it just means you may have to start with a more simplistic approach. Consider steps like holding joint meetings between departments, creating a few shared goals, or even producing an activity you can complete together.
If you’re a bit further along your journey to implement pipeline acceleration at your company, consider the tips below:
- Create a living set of guidelines shared across the appropriate departments. Doing this is relatively easy nowadays with the several collaborative team platforms available, from Notion to Slack to Sharepoint. This compilation of guidelines and processes can serve as an internal wiki, helping your team document the pipeline acceleration processes but also allowing them to improve their written communication skills.
- Pay close attention to metrics before and after implementing various initiatives to help promote pipeline acceleration. The numbers and data you gather should come from the same places so you can understand how it has changed based on the steps you took. This clues you into the results of your pipeline acceleration so you can better understand what is and isn’t working.
- It’s about the client first. Much of the advice in this article has been about what to do from an internal perspective. In analyzing these ideas, it can be easy to lose the forest for the trees can be easy. You must always consider your understanding and communication with prospects and clients. All of the pipeline acceleration work you do should focus on learning how to better meet prospects’ needs, thereby getting them to a sales decision more quickly.
Final Thoughts on Pipeline Acceleration for Companies
It’s easy to come across an idea like “pipeline acceleration” and assume that it’s too complicated for your organization to implement or something that you’ll get to eventually but don’t have the time to focus on.
But even if you’re a relatively small company in the earliest stages of your growth journey, closing deals more quickly is critical. It will help your business get closer to meeting tangible business goals and establish a culture of communication and collaboration. That’s a worthy goal to pursue, even if your business is only a handful of people – small companies often lack the formal guidelines around communication and business initiatives that are present at larger organizations.
Looking to learn more about pipeline acceleration or get some expert help with incorporating it into your business? Our team at FunnelEnvy is ready to help. We’ve got many years of combined experience with funnel optimization, CRO, and other important elements of pipeline acceleration across several industries, from tech to healthcare to manufacturing.
To learn more about working with us and see if we’re a good fit, please fill out this short quiz.