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Do You Use a Customer Pipeline?
Frank DiBartolomeo --  Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals Frank DiBartolomeo -- Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Centreville, VA
Sunday, September 10, 2023


“Keep your sales pipeline full by prospecting continuously. Always have more people to see than you have time to see them.”

– Brian Tracy, self-development expert

Do you have a speaking business? Do you have a speaking business customer pipeline? If you don’t, you don’t have a sustainable business.

What is a customer pipeline? It is a way to categorize what business you are going after by tracking how close you are to winning this business.

Your speaking business will live or die according to how closely you track your customer pipeline.

Below, I introduce the customer relationship management (CRM) tool, why you need to use one in your speaking business, and two essential functions of your CRM.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Readers of these articles know I am a proponent of the Power of Three. You can remember three items pretty easily. However, if I ask you to remember more than three things, your memory will get more spotty as the number of items increases.

You can’t remember all the tasks you must perform to bring in paying customers to your business. Enter Customer Relation Management (CRM) Software.

One of the primary purposes of a CRM software tool is to organize your customer pipeline of prospective customers. You cannot remember all the to be performed on prospective customers in your customer pipeline without a CRM tool to manage the work and remind you of the follow-on tasks through sound notifications you need to complete to nurture prospective customers.

There are several CRM software tools on the market. The most important thing is not that you choose a particular CRM tool. The most important thing is choosing a CRM tool and using it. All CRM tools have their own way of organizing your customer pipeline.

You can Google the Internet to discover reviews of particular CRMs. Choose the one you think is best for you and use it.

So, using a CRM is imperative to organize your customer pipeline.

One of the critical features of your CRM is a way to show the different stages of your customer pipeline graphically.

Customer Pipeline Stages

Now, what is a customer pipeline stage?

For example, a client you are negotiating with is in a different customer pipeline stage than someone you have just sent an e-mail inquiry to. Someone who has replied to your e-mail inquiry is in a different customer pipeline stage than someone you have talked to on the phone.

Depending on the prospective customer, there will be different tasks you will perform, particular to the prospective customer.

The Speaker Lab Program recommends the following stages:

  • Lead-In (10% probability of success)

  • Contact Made (30% probability of success)

  • Phone Meeting (50% probability of success)

  • Proposal (80% probability of success)

  • Contract Negotiation (90% probability of success)

The best way to display the pipeline work is in a Kanban Board. A Kanban board is a set of columns with the Lead-In customer pipeline stage as the left-most column and the Contract Negotiation customer pipeline stage as the right-most column. The remaining three customer pipeline stages are Contact Made, Phone Meeting, and Proposal in that order from left to right.

As your prospective customer progresses through the different customer pipeline stages, it is progressively moved to the next column to the right.

It is essential to realize that some prospective customers, probably the majority, will not make it entirely through your customer pipeline. That’s OK and to be expected.

Because of this, as your customer pipeline goes from left to right, the amount of pipeline work will diminish due to prospective customers dropping off. The Lead-In column will have the most prospective customers, with the Contract Negotiation column having the least prospective customers.

Keeping track of prospective customers in a Kanban board is necessary but insufficient for a viable business.

Because you will not be able to remember the tasks you have to complete for prospective customers, your CRM must be able to set tasks and remind you when the tasks have to be accomplished.

Customer Pipeline Task Reminders

Along with the ability to set up your Kanban board, an essential feature of your CRM tool is the ability to remind you of the tasks you need to perform on prospective customers and a sound reminder of when you need to complete the tasks.

Your CRM should be in sync with your business calendar tool. When it is in sync with your calendar tool, the task will show up as a reminder on your calendar with a sound notification to do the task thirty minutes before, one hour before, a day before, or whatever notice you feel you need.

An added feature some CRMs have is providing you with a list in chronological and, maybe, priority order of the tasks you need to perform.

So, using a CRM with a Kanban board to set tasks synced with your calendar with sound reminders is imperative to organize your customer pipeline.

Remember, without a customer pipeline organized using a CRM, you will not have a business for very long!

Call to Action

  • Use a CRM to organize your customer pipeline

  • Use your CRM to organize the current stage of prospective customers into the following categories: Lead-In, Contact Made, Phone Meeting, Proposal, Contract Negotiation

  • Use your CRM to put customer pipeline tasks on your calendar with sound notifications for whatever warning you need

“Sales is an outcome, not a goal. It’s a function of doing numerous things right, starting from the moment you target a potential prospect until you finalize the deal.”

– Jill Konrath, sales strategist, speaker and the author of the sales books Selling to Big Companies and SNAP Selling

Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.

Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals by improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Reach Frank at frank@speakleadandsucceed.com and (703) 509-4424.


Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!

“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”

Available now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Frank DiBartolomeo, Jr.
Title: President
Group: DiBartolomeo Consulting International, LLC
Dateline: Centreville, VA United States
Cell Phone: (703) 509-4424
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