“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”
Sherlock Holmes in “A Study in Scarlet,” by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sherlock Holmes quote sums up a danger businesses face in their sales process – jumping to conclusions before considering the data. Without data, companies are more likely to base their client insights on intuition which may lead them down the wrong path.
Unstructured processes make art sales unpredictable, but you can reduce uncertainty by developing your sales pipeline. The sales pipeline is a visual representation of the different stages of your sales process, such as where prospects are at and how you engage with them at each stage. A software solution like ARTERNAL’s CRM, which has the sales pipeline built in, can help you analyze sales metrics to understand how effective your overall sales process is.
Another benefit of sales pipeline data is that it can help art professionals predict revenue and sales cycle length, as well as spot process inefficiencies and skill gaps. With these insights, art galleries gain the ability to grow strategically.
Digging Deeper Into the Sales Pipeline
If making sales were just about offering great art works, there’d be far fewer galleries that fail. Customer relationships need to be nurtured, and tracking clients through the different stages of the sales pipeline is key to communicating the right message at the right time. Your company will have to tailor the stages of your pipeline to match your process, but artwork offers typically fall into six main stages:
- Offers. The offer a sales director initiates either to a carefully selected group of clients filtered from their CRM or a specific individual.
- Active offers. These are offers sent to collectors that have generated a response. A sophisticated CRM can provide specific data on how collectors have interacted with your company.
- Conversations. During this stage you prioritize responses to your offers and work to decipher the intentions of buyers.
- Pending Deals. An offer has moved into the negotiation phase. At this point, you’re waiting to hear a final answer or respond with a counter offer.
- Sold. The artwork has sold, and it’s time to move on to invoicing.
- Lost. The deal falls through, or the collector missed their chance.
The sales pipeline example above is built into the ARTERNAL CRM software. By leveraging our pipeline tool, you can get started quickly and improve your conversations with collectors. It also lets you see all your conversations in one place, helping you keep in touch with your buyers.
Adapt the Sales Pipeline to Your Gallery’s Needs
With more art sales happening online each year, it’s crucial to understand where your deals stand. Our sales pipeline tool allows you to give up reliance on spreadsheets during team meetings and offers more control over how you present your data. For example, you can pull up a consolidated pipeline for the team or focus on one sales director’s activity — improving your grasp on where each conversation stands and your team’s projected revenue.
When building your sales pipeline, you’ll need to document every step in the sales process and account for elements like prospective buyers and revenue goals. This data will help you build your sales funnel and decide on the metrics that demonstrate whether your gallery’s sales efforts are successful. ARTERNAL provides the tools to gather data that will inform your sales pipeline. Learn more about our CRM technology which offers a custom sales pipeline designed for art professionals.