How to Build an Excellent Pipeline Team

Neya Abdi February 28, 2017

It’s old news that marketing and sales need an open line of communication. They can’t operate in isolation. Of course, today’s companies are well aware of that, but that recognition has lead to few results.

Presently, there’s an awkward dance between these two units. No one’s quite sure who’s taking the lead or who’s responsible for choreographing the steps, so everyone more or less continues what they were doing, albeit more self-consciously than before.

Why?

Well, it’s because leaders understand the need for integration in theory, but are struggling to put it into practice. Instead of throwing marketing and sales together and hoping for synergy, which has been the general approach, a more strategic team needs to be assembled. That team is your Pipeline Team.

Pulling The Squad Together

Your Pipeline Team will consist of key people from different areas of your organization, primarily in sales and marketing. They can take the work and activities from their respective departments and use it for effective pipeline generation. Each member of the team should be responsible for one of the following roles:

  • The leader aka the “keeper of the strategy”: whether they’re from marketing or sales, this person is the one in charge of (and answerable for) creating a smooth pipeline
  • The data analyst: If you want to go after the right customers, you need the info to understand who those people are, and this is the person who’ll know
  • A content strategist: To craft and communicate the right message
  • First class SDRs: The smart, frontline people who take everything put together by the team and uses it to approach prospects in a meaningful way

It doesn’t matter if someone doubles up on the duties. The most important part is assigning someone to each role. And the reason why this is vital brings us to the next questions which is…

Why Do You Need a Pipeline Team?

You already know what a pipeline is and why you need one. But you may be wondering why on earth you need an entire Pipeline Team.

A good pipeline is vital for closing deals and good people power great pipeline generation. So you want to make sure you’re bringing the right people together. Simply dashing a hint of sales into your marketing team (or a hint of marketing into your sales team) just won’t cut it.

Building a Pipeline Team will help you tackle the three biggest problems plaguing sales pipelines everywhere:

  1. An unclear definition of the target buyer
  2. Lack of clarity about marketing and sales’ respective responsibilities
  3. Poor strategy on how to engage with target buyers

The other reason you need to build a Pipeline Team? Accountability.

Since your means (the pipeline) is how you get to your end (closing the deal) there needs to be someone who is manning your pipeline’s quality control the same way there is someone who is accountable for reaching the month’s sales quota. And that person will need key players within the company (their Pipeline Team) who help implement their vision for an effective pipeline strategy.

Pipelines are a magnificent way to conceptualize the means of making sales, but it’s time to push the conversation further towards how to optimize them. Interested in learning what to do once you’ve got the right people in place? Stay tuned to our blog for the second installment or skip the wait by downloading our latest eBook The Future of Pipeline Generation.