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In your business there are three major pipelines, sometimes confused with one another but are distinctly different, each is relevant and important to your business, and one without the other would probably result in the 90%+ outcome of startups, failure. To better the chances of your successes after losses or to maintain and increase the wins after you’ve already won, you need to be aware of the three pipelines and how to make the most of all of them.
1. Sales Pipeline
This in practice is having a list of leads, people who you have qualified or you’re in the middle of qualifying after targeting to deliver your solution, product or service that will meaningfully improve their lives.
2. Development Pipeline
This is the tasks set to complete every component of a product and the entire process of developing it from start to completion, chunk by chunk, in order to have all those components come together in the prepared design.
3. Marketing Pipeline
This is a quota of tasks to be filled for outreach to new potential clients, creating exposure, broadcasting media, developing advertising planning, promoting and running campaigns that revolve around human stories.
The Sales Pipeline is necessary but is greatly more profitable with the other two.
The Development Pipeline is important for longterm value but can be risky.
The Marketing Pipeline is how you scale a business but is worthless by itself.
Filling Your Pipeline
In sales this is scheduling so many focused and prepared sales appointments with so many clients you have trouble fitting them all in to one day yet can have a confident human touch every time. In development it’s having so many production outcome tasks to deliver in one day, you have trouble accomplishing every production goal unless you work nearly non-stop and must be integrated to coordinate it all. In Marketing this means constant outreach, constant expansion, constant advertising campaigns, events and reaching new people who may be interested the right way with feedback, analytics or research.
One must be careful to not invest too much in one pipeline without investing in the other or imbalances in the business can ensue. If you invest too much in sales, but your product is weak and you have no marketing, you are basically shooting yourself in the foot and making your customers feel like you’re part of cowboy gang. If you only invest in developing your product, you might run out of money before it’s even done! Finally, if you only invest in marketing you’ll be famous… and poor with nothing to show for it; you got to act smart.
Marketing can be seen like an enhancer or supplement, it doesn’t work if you don’t do the exercises! That exercise is sales. that’s the engine that makes it work, but without product development, you could turn out irrelevant without any of your own proprietary ownership to pay you and everyone close to you back for everything that was put in up to this point; don’t gain mass success only to lose it all.
Hopefully the above quick overview of your three major pipelines, their roles, how they are implemented and can work together has provided you better perspective, considerations and incentive to strategize and coordinate more production, results and growth at a higher level than ever before.