8 Tips for Starting to Use a Sales Pipeline

Sales Pipeline Basics

A well-run Pipeline can help a salesperson turn a “no” into a “yes”.

It's my philosophy that the first step after receiving a “no” is to head to your Pipeline to tee yourself up for the future. When a Pipeline is firing on all cylinders it allows you to do what you do best, serve your customers and sell more bikes.

Whether your dealership uses Scorpus or a different sales Pipeline, here are 8 ways to help you better utilize a Sales Pipeline.
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Ashley's 8 Tips for Starting to Use a Sales Pipeline

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Creating an Opportunity

For the uninitiated, an "Opportunity" in a Sales Pipeline is like a digital notecard that you write all the information about a potential sale. Whether you meet a new Customer when they walk onto the showroom floor or you meet them over a beer at an event, the first step in using a Sales Pipeline is to create an Opportunity. Customer info, types of products they might be interested in, notes on your conversation, obstacles to making the sale, etc. are all added to an Opportunity. Once an Opportunity has been created, you can use it to schedule activities (follow-up calls, emails, and meetings) and it can help you keep track of where the Customer is in the sales process.

Scorpus uses the CUSTOM sales process (Connect, Understand Needs, Satisfy Needs, Trial Close, Obtain Commitment, Maintain Relationship). As you transition from understanding the customer's needs, to finding the right bike, and satisfying their needs the salesperson moves the Opportunity through the Pipeline into the corresponding stage.

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Naming an Opportunity

Staying organized is a great way to maximize the potential of a Sales Pipeline. We recommend naming your Opportunities using this formula: “Customer Name: What are they generally interested in” For instance: “William S. Harley: Wants a new Fatboy”. Using this method allows you to quickly orient yourself with a quick glance of your Pipeline.

If your dealership uses Scorpus, our software automatically creates Opportunities and assigns those Opportunities to your dealership’s salespeople. Add a new customer to Scorpus? Our software creates an Opportunity and adds it to the Pipeline of whoever added that customer. Did you just import new contacts from “DME Leads”? Scorpus automatically creates Opportunities for each Customer and assigns them to members of your Sales Team.

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Logging Information

Once you’ve created an Opportunity associated with the Customer, gather as much information as possible. As you know, the key to selling is getting to know your customer so that you can understand their needs. Do they already ride? What kind of riding do they want to do? Do they have a bike that they want to trade in? What bikes are they interested in taking on a Test Ride? When they take an interest in specific inventory, log those products to the Opportunity. Make sure to document whether prices were quoted and any helpful comments like, "Loved the bike but are interested in another color or a newer model." 

An Opportunity created in Scorpus allows you to log notes on all your conversations, attach photos, log products that they may be interested in, and even record conversations between salespeople and floor managers all from within the Opportunity. JumpStarts, Test Rides, and Appraisal forms are all attached to Opportunities for easy reference and the Scorpus app allows you to do it all on the showroom floor from the convenience of your phone.

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Still Fresh in Your Mind

If you took a customer on a Test Ride and they left the dealership with an excited, "Let me think about it." Unfortunately, they still left the dealership without purchasing. Now, the work begins. Simply shooting a text a week later saying the bike is still available isn't going to make the sale. The second the doors shut behind them as they leave the showroom floor, that's when you begin preparing your follow-up.

Did you take a photo of them on the bike? What did you say to them as you handed them the keys? If you logged all that information while it was fresh in your mind, then all you'd have to do is head to that customer's Opportunity, download that photo you took of them on the bike and email it to them with a clever reference to your conversation. 

Where do they work? Schedule an Activity in their Opportunity one evening to drop by their shop on the way home.

What are they doing for Memorial Day? Schedule an Activity for tomorrow to email them that event flier for the Memorial Day BBQ that you promised to send them.

Keep in touch, keep them engaged, and keep that bike fresh in their minds. An Opportunity can help you make all of these interactions personal and engaging.

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Tend to Your Pipeline Like It's Your Lawn

Slow days on the showroom floor offer the perfect time to work on your Pipeline. Start off by getting real with yourself and clear out any of those old Opportunities that are gathering dust. Of the remaining Opportunities, check the notes section of that Customer's profile to see if you missed anything that could be helpful in helping you close the sale. Do they have a birthday coming up? Does their spouse have a birthday coming up? Find a new reason to connect. Once you've found that reason to connect, head to the Opportunity and add an Activity to call them tomorrow afternoon.

Next, lets make some new Opportunities. Who haven't you checked in with in a while? You have customers that you've sold bikes to that will appreciate hearing from you. Reach out to see if they have been getting out on rides. Before you call, bring up their Customer profile and check their purchase history. You could tell them the new Spring line of riding gear is available because you know they haven't bought a pair of boots from you in 10 years.

Dealerships that use Scorpus can set Automations that will automatically create Opportunities and Activities for their Salespeople. An Automation is like a set of directions that tells Scorpus to execute a task. For instance, a dealership could create an Automation that says... "Create a new Activity to call any Customer on the anniversary of their bike purchase." Scorpus Automation then automatically creates a reminder for a member of your Sales Team to call the customer on their bike purchase anniversary. 

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Setting yourself up for a Great Off-Season

Before you clear-out those Opportunities that haven't ended with a sale, lets set yourself up for success in the future. If you've followed the advice of tip number 4 of this article, then you'll have a bunch of useful information that you'll want to use in the future. Cherrypick the best information that you've logged in that Opportunity and add it to the Customer's profile. An Opportunity may whither, but a Customer's profile is forever.

If your dealership uses Scorpus, then that Opportunity will be archived so that the information you've logged will be saved for later reference. Though it doesn't hurt to have the best information from an Opportunity copied over to the Customer's profile so that it can be accessed quickly at a glance. When you're in the thick of the off-season and looking for reasons to connect with a customer, having all that info you've gathered in one place is going to make your life easier.

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Create Excuses to Reach Out

When I comes to reaching out to a Customer, I believe that there's no excuse too small. You may not sell a motorcycle today, but those casual follow-ups are the foundation of a sale down the road.

Customers will always appreciate a personal invitation from you. Text, email, or call them to personally invite them to an event. Are you hosting a ride? Is there a new local beer that you'll have on tap at your next event? Have they given their Christmas wishlist to Santa? No? Well lucky them, he'll be making an appearance in the store this weekend!

Has a salesperson ever called you to say thank you for your purchase? Why is that so rare? My philosophy is, don't just reserve that courtesy call for a major purchase like a new bike. How do they like their new rain gear? This is an opportunity to provide exceptional customer service, receive feedback, log a few notes in that Customer's profile and continue to build a great relationship. 

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Collaborate with Other Departments

I believe that a coordinated Sales Team effort is an underrated sales strategy. One way to approach this is to compare your Pipeline and notes with other departments. Communicate with each other and open up about issues that you're running into. You never know how collaboration might open new doors.

Someone in the Service Department might know of someone who might be interested in getting a bike appraisal for a possible trade-in.

Has someone registered for a Motor Cycle Safety course or Riding Academy? Talk to the person who registered them for the class to find out if they mentioned what type of bike gets them excited to ride. But why stop there? Lets get them pumped for the lifestyle and get them excited about a secret backroad that's perfect for a Sunday afternoon cruise. 

Do they have the riding gear they need? Do you know someone who refuses to ride in the Winter? Maybe they haven't heard about the latest and greatest in Winter gear? If that doesn't convert them into a Winter rider, do they know that you offer Winter storage?

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Did you find this article helpful?

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