New 'digital listening tools' are providing organizations with greater insight into the sales pipeline than ever before. By leveraging comprehensive, real-time analytics, sales reps can see how a proposal moves through the pipeline, identify all decision makers, and learn about customer hot buttons to keep sales on track.

While the pipeline is a vital part of the sales process, it is also where the most fundamental mistake is made, and this mistake costs companies millions (if not billions) of dollars every year. Until you solve this basic problem of training your sales team, having them generate and stuff more unqualified leads into your pipeline won't get you the results your company needs.

If your management asks you to check your sales pipeline that means you need to pay attention to the leads you are generating and how qualified they are. Your sales numbers will dip if the sales pipe line is not steady and strong enough to help you reach your sales targets. If you are not generating enough qualified leads and qualifying prospects how can you have sales? You will be advised to build a qualified sales pipe line to be effective in selling.

Your sales metrics are the measurable numbers that reflect your sales-related activities. These figures can help you determine precisely where your approach is faltering and where you're hitting it out of the park.