Five Ways To Fill Your Inbound Sales Pipeline by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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In the span of two years, we’ve taken Markitors from operating in my living room to a
seven-figure business
operating in a
Our growth could not have taken place without a solid inbound sales pipeline.
In a nutshell, there are five ways to fill your inbound sales pipeline:

1. CRM Tool

2. SEO

3. Referrals

4. Neighbors

5. Directories

Let’s dive into each of these areas.

CRM Tool

We did not have a customer relationship management (CRM) tool in our first year of business. Our inbound sales pipeline existed in my head, my inbox and on various post-it notes scattered on my desk. Then, I started a free trial of a CRM tool. Everything changed.

Once I filled in the CRM with all of our opportunities, I realized we were missing some. I set due dates for followups, prioritized opportunities by assigning dollar values and identified all our opportunities on the board — including former clients of ours who I hadn’t spoken to since the end of our agreement. Within a week, we closed two deals. All because we created a better pipeline with a CRM tool.

Action Item: Create a pipeline using a sneaky, powerful CRM. If you can’t visually see the inbound sales pipeline, then it doesn’t exist.


If you Google “digital marketing company,” you’ll typically find my company on the first page of search results. It’s safe to say that SEO is a pretty critical part of our inbound sales pipeline. 

How can you get to the first page of results for your business? For us, it took four years and a lot of work. For your business, I advise focusing on three areas: content, backlinks and technical SEO.

Use what Google gives you to create content that targets specific keywords that are valuable both from a potential customer conversion value and from a PPC replacement cost. Reverse engineer competitor backlink profiles to learn how other companies have built their backlinks — and to identify opportunities for your business. Utilize Google Search Console to help manage technical SEO elements to ensure that the foundation you’re building from is structurally sound.

Action Item: Pick a target keyword. Create content targeting that keyword. Get a backlink to your content. Test the content against a technical SEO checklist to ensure you’re optimized for search engines. Then, monitor the inbound traffic and leads to measure the content’s return on investment.

Sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But, if done successfully, it’s one of the most sustainable ways to grow your business.


Referrals are nice. They’re warm leads with a high likelihood to turn into a deal. Plus, leads from referrals have a lower flight risk and tend to stay around longer as customers. So, how do you get more of them?

Mainly, by making referrals a two-way street. I tend to find that the more referrals we make, the more referrals we receive. What goes around comes around.

Action Item: Think of five people you are close to in your network. How can you help them find a better job, refer to them new business, introduce them to a new restaurant you think they’d enjoy or otherwise enhance their day? Do this every day for one month and see what happens.


Your office building and neighborhood is prime real estate for helping fill your inbound sales pipeline. Granted, warming up neighbors is closely aligned with the tip above. However, the difference is that your neighbors have needs that you may be likely to fulfill.

For us, we knocked on our neighbor’s door one day — after nine months of being in our space — to introduce ourselves. Within a month, they became one of our largest clients. We also introduced ourselves to our landlord, who now consistently brings new tenants by to see our space and introduces us to new prospects. And, when it’s 115 degrees outside in the Scottsdale summer, we’ve been known to bring a party pack of flavored ice to our neighbors to commiserate and catch up.

Action Item: Introduce yourself to a neighbor today. See how their business is going and seek to create an open-door policy among your businesses for potential referral opportunities — or to potentially do business yourself.


Directories have gotten a bad rap online, and the reputation is well-deserved. Getting listed in online directories is generally a waste of time. However, there are some niche directories online that can help produce a steady flow of inbound leads.

We offer Mailchimp services. So, we asked Mailchimp if we could be in its expert directory. Several years later, we’ve completed 100-plus Mailchimp projects for companies on four different continents, mainly because of the exposure we’ve received in a valuable directory listing.

Action Item: Think about the services you offer. Find directories that align with those services. Figure out what the requirements are to be listed in the directory. Then, work to meet those requirements to get listed.

I could go on about all the tactics to fill an inbound sales pipeline. We’ve skipped over valuable tactics like PPC campaigns, email campaigns, social media and more. However, these are five tactics that have worked reasonably well for my business. What will be the five tactics that will work for you?

January 4, 2019 at 09:03AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs