Reliable forecasting is always a challenge. Knowing what deals will end up in the closed/won stage is a skill that requires data and intentionality. You will build a strong forecasting muscle by collecting conversion data and constantly calibrating the probabilities associated with each deal stage. Having reliable forecasts help entrepreneurs plan their business proactively against growth. – Dan ParsonsThoughtful

6. Unclear Communication With The Sales Team

You need visibility and accuracy. Do you know the answer to important questions like how long does it generally take to close a deal? What type of leads should you prioritize? Transparent communication with your sales team is key as they will have specific insights about each deal in the pipeline today. One best practice is to document everything. This will give visibility into the status of the pipeline. – Karim ZuhriCascade Strategy

7. Staying Organized

One of the biggest challenges facing entrepreneurs when it comes to sales pipeline management is staying organized. To stay organized, entrepreneurs need to implement a system for tracking their sales pipeline. This could involve using customer relationship management (CRM) tools to create spreadsheets and more. Whatever system you use, the important thing is that it works for you and your team. – Dustin LemickBriteCo

8. Accurately Categorizing Leads

A pipeline is only reliable and helpful if it is well-managed and maintained. The challenge is accurately categorizing the pipeline by the likelihood of closing and keeping it up to date as a client or customer moves through the pipeline. We update our pipeline each week with new leads, cold leads or updates as to where leads are in the funnel, such as whether they are asking for a meeting or negotiating on price. – Laura SilverBlue Door Communications

9. Having A Flexible Pipeline

Managing your pipeline means having a process in place to oversee the flow of your leads and opportunities. A flexible and transparent process is highly important, but it must still end in your business’s favor. You can set up a system where your representatives will feel guided but not constrained. A flexible pipeline will also allow you to accommodate different analyses and queries at once. – Udi DornerSetSchedule

10. Lack Of Follow-Up

One sales pipeline challenge entrepreneurs face is letting their hot leads go cold because of a lack of follow-up and an unorganized tracking system. In order to address the issue, you have to get a trusted CRM to track and organize your leads. This will reduce duplicated contacts and log contact histories, which is helpful to your sales team so they can effectively communicate and follow up. – Pavel StepanovVirtudesk

11. Receiving Responses

The biggest challenge in the sales pipeline is getting prospects to respond. Everyone is so inundated with email and digital communication that to be successful, you have to break through the noise. Do this through personalization, relevance and differentiation. Make sure your personal notes and insights are timely (recent articles or awards), and set yourselves apart through imagery or video. – Chase FlashmanShipSigma

12. Building Returns Into The Pipeline

Your product will not always sell through at the retail level, so along with sales, you must also build returns into your pipeline. If you plan on accepting returns, make sure to also protect the integrity of your product pricing with a seller agreement that stipulates they will send the merchandise back to you rather than sell it to a liquidator that will discount it. – Kelley HigneyBug Bite Thing

13. Lead Qualification

Lead qualification is always a challenge when it comes to sales and, most importantly, entrepreneurs as they may not be in a position to afford additional resources or tools yet to assist in that effort. One solution here is to engage advisors with subject matter expertise to assist in this critical work. – Geoffrey RocheCore Education PBC

14. Neglecting Higher-Quality Leads

Effectively maintaining your pipeline is an often overlooked necessity. Most sales pipelines are full of pipe dreams, as salespeople may be hesitant to move on from those they “hope” will close, so they end up diverting attention from those who will close. Making sure your sales pipeline is finite, workable and well-qualified may lead to less volume but it will give far higher quality opportunities. – Chris McGrathEsteemed Inc

15. Broad And Generalized Dashboards

Today’s economic challenges often delay a prospect’s ability to move the sale forward due to financial resource availability. Therefore, dashboards being used to manage pipelines need to go beyond gross numbers of prospects to include data on time in the pipeline, the challenges to the purchase and what sales are doing to help the buyer overcome those challenges. More detailed dashboards need to be used. – Jerry CahnAge Brilliantly