A sales pipeline is a marketing term for the journey a prospect goes through before purchasing a product or service. Sales pipelines can help TVC associates know which activities are right for each stage and plan sales tactics that will turn prospects into customers.
There are four main steps in the pipeline: Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action.
Awareness is the top of the sales pipeline and contains the largest amount of people. At this stage, the prospect learns about your product for the first time. For TVC Pro-Driver associates, this usually occurs when a trucker visits a sales booth.
Ideally, the prospect will become aware of the problem your product solves during this stage. He or someone he knows may have just gotten a ticket and now he realizes how important it is to have legal protection. If he doesn’t understand the problem, it’s up to the associate to bring him up to speed.
In the interest stage, the prospect actively seeks a solution to his problem. There are less people in this part of the pipeline, but they are more likely to actually purchase the product. Prospects can quickly go from the awareness stage to the interest stage during one visit to the TVC Pro-Driver booth.
At this point, associates should continue to attract the prospect with compelling statistics, like TVC Pro-Driver’s 92 percent success rate, or the fact that 60 percent of drivers will get a ticket within a year. Member testimonials are also powerful persuasion tools that can be used in this stage.
This stage is also when prospects start throwing out sales objections. Keep selling value by demonstrating how a TVC Pro-Driver membership protects their livelihood. The TVC Marketing YouTube Channel has an entire playlist dedicated to overcoming sales objections.
The key moment in the sales pipeline that all associates hope to reach is the decision stage.
This is when you should make sales offers using all the tools in your training manual. The prospect is paying attention to your offer and weighing the different plans so he can make a decision. He may want all the benefits of the 4885 Plan, but is enticed by the Green Plan’s price tag.
Being creative in this stage can be the difference between closing the sale or having the prospect walk away. Highlight additional benefits like the WellCard, TVC’s travel assistance program or the monthly newsletter that is full of helpful industry insights. People love to feel like they are getting something for free, and it can persuade them to sign on the dotted line.
If the prospect wants to walk away, get their contact information first. Then, follow up with them within five minutes. New leads are ten times more likely to convert if you follow up within that time frame. A simple email or text message can go a long way toward endearing the prospect to you and selling a membership.
The prospect becomes a TVC Pro-Driver member in this step of the sales pipeline. He’s signing on the dotted line and given you payment information. But your job here is not done.
We now want this new member to be our advocate, telling all his trucker friends how great TVC Pro-Driver is and how professional their associates are. We also want him to remain a loyal customer and renew his membership year after year.
Following up with new members right before they make their second payment is a great way to continue building the relationship and turn them into a brand ambassador for TVC.
Bringing it All Together
The sales pipeline is one of many sales and marketing tools that can help associates go from talking to a prospect for the first time to getting an ongoing payment method for membership.
The visual representation of the pipeline is meant to provide a guide to help determine where the prospect is and what selling tactic to use to convert them. Sales professionals all over the world use this tool to increase their conversions and make more commission. We hope the same is true for you!