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10 Proven Strategies For B2B Pipeline Acceleration

Ninad Pathak
Published:
October 24, 2023
Updated:
February 27, 2024
Table of Contents

Since you're here, you're likely familiar with the tedious, time-consuming nature of B2B sales pipelines. New leads come in, some progress is made, but closing the deal seems to take FOREVER.

In fact, Salesforce finds that in B2B deals, conversion time frames can span from more than 100+ days. That’s several weeks, if not months before realizing revenue from pipeline. 

But what if you could speed up your sales pipeline and convert leads into paying customers faster?

That would let you grow revenue quicker, make your sales team more efficient, and provide a better experience for prospects.

In this post, let’s look at ten proven strategies to accelerate your B2B sales pipeline. These tactics have helped companies reduce delays, shorten cycle times, and get deals across the finish line sooner.

Let's dive in!


TL;DR;

Here’s a list of strategies to accelerate your sales pipeline:

  • Mapping your complete customer journey to expose delays
  • Qualifying accounts upfront to avoid time-wasting leads
  • Automating more of your outreach to engage faster
  • Providing value before pitching prospects
  • Building a frictionless website experience
  • Connecting with multiple stakeholders 
  • Structuring the follow-up process
  • Analyzing pipeline metrics to improvise further

Pick a few areas that resonate with your business and run with them. 

First, What is a Sales Pipeline?


A sales pipeline provides a view of all your potential deals mapped out as they move through your sales process—from initial contact to closed sales.

Sales Pipeline

It's usually displayed as a funnel, with leads at the top of the funnel and closed customers at the bottom. In between are the middle stages that deals must move through, like qualification, calls, proposals, etc.

Each open deal sits in one of these stages, depending on its position in the sales process. This helps you analyze how quickly deals are moving through your sales process.

Here’s a formula to calculate your organization’s sales pipeline velocity:

Pipeline velocity = (Opportunities x average deal size x average win rate) ÷ length of average sales cycle (in days)

Pipeline velocity

To put this formula into perspective, let’s take an example. 

  • Opportunities: You have 100 qualified prospects across your pipeline stages.
  • Average deal size: The average monetary value of each deal is $10,000.
  • Average win rate: Given an average conversion rate between 6-13%, we'll take 10% for simplicity. This means that out of every 100 prospects, you can expect to close approximately 10.
  • Length of average sales cycle: It takes on average 50 days to close a deal.

The formula would be:

Pipeline velocity = (100 opportunities x $10,000 average deal size x 10% average win rate) ÷ 50 days

That makes the sales pipeline velocity $2000 per day

This means that for every day, you can expect $2000 worth of deals to move through your sales pipeline, given the current conditions of your sales process.


Why Is Pipeline Acceleration Important?

Pipeline Acceleration

Now, why does pipeline velocity even matter? What's the big deal if deals take a while to close?

Well, here are some of the critical benefits of having a high-velocity pipeline:

1. Fast Revenue Growth

If deals move through your pipeline quicker, you'll close more of them per month. 

Using our example above, if you start closing deals in 30 days instead of 50, your sales pipeline velocity would be $3,000+ per day instead of $2000. 

2. Increased Sales Productivity

Shorter sales cycles mean each rep can handle more deals at once. 

So, even without expanding headcount, you can get more done and ramp up productivity.

3. Lower Total Cost Per Deal

Slow sales cycles drag out the amount of time spent per deal. 

As you begin accelerating your pipeline, it reduces the average cost to close each deal. 

That helps boost overall margins and profitability.

4. More Predictable Forecasting

When pipeline velocity is all over the place, revenue forecasting gets tough.

But fast, predictable cycles make it easier to forecast sales for upcoming quarters accurately.

5. Better Customer Experience

Customers want fast sales cycles, too. Quicker time-to-value and onboarding leads to greater satisfaction.

As you can see, there are some significant benefits to accelerating your pipeline beyond just closing deals faster.

It enables sustainable growth, predictability, productivity gains, and happier customers.

That's why making sales pipeline velocity a priority is vital for any scaling company.

10 Tactics to Accelerate Your Sales Pipeline

Now that you know why sales pipeline velocity matters, let's get into how to improve it. Here are ten proven strategies and tactics to accelerate your B2B sales pipeline:

1. Map Out Your Customer's Journey

If you want to speed up your pipeline, the first step is understanding your typical customer's journey.

Analyze every touchpoint and interaction as they move from prospect to customer. Look at elements like:

  • First contact channel - ads, referrals, outbound etc
  • Content consumption - downloads, blogs read, videos watched
  • Website engagement - pages visited ranked by relevance
  • Sales conversations - demos, meetings, calls
  • Time spent and progression through each pipeline stage

This end-to-end view will highlight areas for improvement in your sales process.

You'll see where prospects fall out of the journey, what causes delays, and stages with longer cycle times.

Apart from the journey, you also want to understand the customer acquisition costs (CAC) and the current pipeline velocity before you can begin optimizing.

From there, you can simplify touchpoints, improve conversion rates, and take friction out of the journey.

This holistic perspective alone will reveal many opportunities to accelerate deals you'd never catch otherwise.

2. Focus More Time on Qualified Leads

It's tempting to consider every new lead a hot potential deal and jump on it immediately.

But let's be honest—not every lead is created equal. Many end up wasting sales time.

Instead, begin to qualify leads more likely to convert before spending valuable sales time on them.

Some ways to focus on qualified leads:

  • Look at accounts already engaging with your brand across sites, ads, events, etc. Those visits indicate intent.
  • Score leads algorithmically based on their behaviors—content downloads, pages visited ranked by relevance, repeat visits, etc. Prioritize ones demonstrating engagement.
  • While expanding to new accounts is still essential, going after previous or existing customers is often faster. Identify additional pain points that your product/service can solve for your customers that they aren’t already aware of and encourage them to upgrade to higher plans.

Performing lead qualification regularly can help your business as well as your sales team to ensure your pipeline contains quality deals that are ready to move forward quickly.

3. Use Automation to Respond Faster

Marketing studies consistently show that average response time is 42 hours. But if you want things to move faster, contacting leads as quickly as possible after they engage will help boost conversion rates.

Marketing Study
Source

That's where marketing automation comes in. It lets you respond to new leads within minutes or hours before momentum dies. 

Some ways to use automation for responding to leads:

  • Send new contacts a personalized, sequenced email drip campaign over 7-15 days. Provide value without pitching too hard.
  • Get notified in real-time when a target lead visits a pricing or contact sales page on your site, indicating interest. Follow up ASAP.
  • Automatically update lead info from your website into your CRM when someone converts, keeping data in sync.
  • Trigger personalized campaigns based on behaviors—if Lead A downloads Report 1, instantly send them Email Sequence A.
  • Connect to multiple stakeholders from the same account so you are not overly reliant on that one promising lead you identified and are instead looking at the entire account.
  • Use true AI chatbots that answer questions using your existing knowledge-base.

The idea isn’t to replace your sales people. We want to use automation to engage leads until your sales team can get back to them. 

Combine automation with that human touch at precisely the right time to get the win.

4. Provide Value First, Don't Sell Right Away

Here's a tactic that may seem counterintuitive...

During the early stages of their journey, leads aren't ready to talk to sales. They're focused on researching potential solutions.

You'll turn them off if you try to pitch them too soon.

Instead, provide value upfront through:

Factors Home Page
Source

  • Helpful educational content: Blog posts, guides, tools, etc., that speak to their pain points show you can provide real solutions.
  • Free trial access: Letting leads experience your product for themselves is incredibly powerful. Even if it's time-limited.
  • Peer perspectives: User reviews, case studies, and client testimonials help build trust and social proof.
  • Community forums: Let leads engage with existing happy users to ask questions and get unbiased insight.

Nurture first, sell second. Prospects will automatically develop more interest when you lead with value instead of a sales pitches. 

And once they know you understand their needs, they'll be way more open to a conversation.

5. Design Your Site For Self-Service

Factors Solutions
Source

For most prospects, your website will be one of the first touchpoints when evaluating solutions.

So, making sure it accelerates deals is critical.

  • Make it stupidly easy for visitors to find anything they need—product features, pricing, competitive comparison, demo sign-up, etc.
  • Include sales enablement content like ROI calculators, proposal templates, third-party reports, and compliance docs. Arm your team.
  • Add short videos explaining your product's value prop are way more engaging than dense blocks of copy.
  • Minimize back-and-forth by letting visitors self-serve answers to common questions and access gated content.

The more questions prospects can answer on their own through your site, the less time you'll spend answering them 1:1 down the line—and the more confident prospects will be about your business.

6. Consider a Freemium Offering

Letting users sign up and experience your product for themselves at no cost is incredibly powerful for pipeline acceleration.

It helps remove that friction point entirely rather than make prospects request demos and jump through hoops.

Offer a limited but valuable free version with your core features available.

Buffer Home Page
Source

Then, make it easy to upgrade to paid plans within the product.

A freemium approach reduces the heavy sales lifting required to get prospects onboard and use your solution.

However, if your product requires 1:1 onboarding due to technical complexities, have an interactive product demo or product tour for prospects to try out. 

You want them to get a feel for your product as effortlessly as possible—the less friction there is, the faster your sales pipeline. 

7. Use Special Offers and Incentives (Judiciously)

Pricing promotions, limited-time discounts, gift boxes, swag...these special offers work to nudge prospects when they’re unable to make a decision. 

A free 30-day trial pitched right before the prospect chooses to close the checkout page can help push an otherwise lost opportunity. 

But don't just blast everyone with the same deals. Such tactics lower your product’s value. 

Instead, reserve them for accounts where your sales team has identified mutual intent and the deal is trending positively. 

Get strategic about it.

When timed right in the customer journey, incentives can be the extra push that accelerates a deal from evaluation to close. Just use them selectively and thoughtfully.

8. Sell to the Full Buying Committee

Complex B2B deals often involve multiple decision-makers—end users, finance team, CXOs, etc.

But too often, sales teams focus on just one main champion prospect and ignore everyone else.

This risk deals with stalling at the last mile when someone at the company isn't aligned.

To accelerate pipeline movement:

  • Identify all players involved in the purchase process early on.
  • Tailor messaging and content to each persona's specific interests and concerns.
  • Ensure sales engage the entire group proactively, not just your primary contact.

Getting everyone on the same page early (even if indirectly) smooths the approval process and avoids last-minute hang-ups.

9. Follow a Structured Follow-Up Process

Lack of prompt, consistent follow-up after initial outreach kills more deals than anything as we learned before.

So don't drop the ball after those first few emails or that big demo call. Nurture the relationship until you either close the deal or the client goes completely cold. 

Reminds me of this scene from the Wolf of Wallstreet!

Some key pointers:

  • Set concrete timelines for following up after key activities - a demo, proposal presentation, stadium event invite, etc.
  • Log all subsequent steps and promises in your CRM immediately so nothing gets lost.
  • Develop templates for common follow-up scenarios—pricing proposals, contracts, reference requests, etc.
  • Mix up email, phone, LinkedIn, direct mail, and more follow-up channels. We’re not spamming them across channels, simply nudging once or twice before considering a prospect/lead cold

Just having that structured process for managing follow-ups removes a major pipeline bottleneck. No more waiting around for prospects to come to you!

10. Analyze Pipeline Metrics Rigorously

Finally, you can't accelerate your pipeline if you're flying blind. You need to start crunching the numbers.

Look at key metrics like:

  • Average sales cycle length per stage
  • Conversion rates from one step to the next
  • Overall pipeline velocity and trends
  • Win/loss rates by product, rep, campaign, etc.
  • Time to close deals by lead source, geo, etc.

Here are some other key metrics to track while running ABM and demand gen campaigns.

Going through this data will help you understand what messaging, products, and channels work best to progress sales.

You can also survey lost accounts to learn why—was it price, competition, or missing features?

How Factors Helps Accelerate Pipeline Velocity?

Now, you may be wondering—how can I map journeys, score leads, and analyze pipeline metrics?

Doing that manually with spreadsheets is painful and inaccurate! 

Lead Generation Dashboard

That’s when you need a customer journey analytics software like Factors

Factors automatically captures prospect and customer data across all your touchpoints.

Factors customer data

Then, they connect the dots to map entire journey visualizations. 

Factors can also help you score leads based on engagement metrics and surface actionable insights.

Factors Metrics
Source

It's like having an all-seeing eye across your tech stack. No more dragging exports from sales, marketing, and support systems separately.

For accelerating your sales pipeline velocity, Factors can help you:

So, if you need more visibility into your pipeline health, check out comprehensive solutions like Factors!

Let’s Accelerate Your Sales Pipeline Today!

There you have it—10 strategies that help you speed up your sales pipeline velocity and close deals faster.

It may seem like a lot to take in. But even implementing a few of these tactics to begin with can go a long way.

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FAQs 


1. What are funnel accelerating activities?

Funnel accelerating activities are tactics and initiatives that help speed up lead progression through the stages of your sales funnel. This includes:

  • Lead nurturing campaigns with valuable content to move leads down the funnel
  • Special offers, discounts, or gifts to incentivize faster deal progression
  • Sales workflow automation to respond to leads quickly at each stage
  • Aggressive follow-up sequences to keep pipeline deals moving
  • Lead scoring to identify and prioritize high potential accounts

The goal of funnel acceleration is to reduce delays, bottlenecks, and friction points at each step so leads flow smoothly into closed customers.


2. How do you accelerate pipeline velocity?

Some key ways to improve overall pipeline velocity include:

  • Mapping out the customer journey to identify and resolve sticking points
  • Focusing sales efforts only on qualified, high-intent accounts rather than spraying everywhere
  • Using marketing automation to engage hot leads faster with targeted follow-ups
  • Providing free trials, content, and other value to leads to progress deals quicker
  • Implementing disciplined follow-up protocols for sales team activities
  • Analyzing pipeline metrics to continuously refine processes over time

Combining multiple acceleration tactics results in compounding effects on velocity. Small gains add up!


3. What is the formula for sales pipeline velocity?

The basic formula for calculating total sales pipeline velocity is:

Pipeline velocity = (Opportunities x average deal size x average win rate) ÷ length of average sales cycle (in days)

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