Boss Lady

Sales pipeline health: external and internal factors that affect your sales


For profitability, a critical aspect of doing business is increasing sales. However, there are many more factors that may affect your sales pipeline than you can imagine. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to discuss these factors in detail to help you figure out why your sales are not remarkably improving or why it’s going downhill.

Factors that can affect your sales pipeline

Below are some of the factors that can affect the sales pipeline in a business.

External factors that affect the sales pipeline

When it comes to a business’s external environment, it involves different factors such as political, economic, legal, social, environmental, and technological. Here are the details of each factor that affects the external environment:

  • Political Factors: Sales can be affected by political decisions or opposing views of various political parties, as reflected on new and amended laws that affect local and international businesses.
  • Economic Factors: Sales can be affected by the law of demand and supply, affecting both consumers and business owners.
  • Social Factors: It has something to do with people, like cultural factors and what consumers perceive as good, healthy, or beneficial products.
  • Technological Factors: These are internet, online, or digital factors relate to the influence of science and technology in helping a business boost sales (most especially e-commerce), such as the use of software business solutions. For instance, you can have better sales conversions using AI technology, like Refract within seconds.
  • Legal Factors: The law provides limits on businesses, and these factors can significantly affect sales, such as restrictions placed on the sale of cannabis-based products. Some examples of laws affecting businesses are sales of goods and employment laws.
  • Environmental Factors: It pertains to factors affecting how a product or service can affect the environment in different ways. Some examples include using harmful chemicals or corrosive agents that may damage the environment and compliance with the “green” or “sustainable” endeavors.

Indeed, the external environment can affect your business sales pipeline in so many ways. It might be wise for you to consult environmental permitting specialists to look at your situation.

Internal factors that affect the sales pipeline

When facing challenges, the last thing you want to do as a business owner is selling your business. So if you’re not making good sales, it’s high time to study the internal factors that affect your sales performance. Internal factors essentially originate within your business or company, which also reflects your response to changes in the market.

The growth of the sales volume of a company has a direct relationship on how internal factors are controlled. These internal factors include the company products, marketing strategies, marketing personnel, technology and automation, e-commerce multiple formats, suppliers, finances or resources, and the ability to tap consumers’ digital footprints. Here are the details of each internal factor that may influence your sales pipeline in your business:

  • Your Product: Your product is the largest internal factor that affects your sales. It should satisfy the needs of your customers so they’ll keep buying your products. Make sure to maintain the quality of your product at a reasonable price.
  • Marketing Strategy: Brand positioning, traditional marketing, digital marketing, target audience, proper distribution, and correct pricing all impact your sales.
  • Marketing Personnel: Your marketing team should have the right qualifications to do the job right, so they can come up with the winning sales and marketing strategies. Expect a higher volume by considering the recent market trends.
  • Resources or Finances: Every business needs the right amount of money or capital when introducing a new product, investing in a state-of-the-art production facility, or brand-building or marketing campaign. Your finances can significantly affect your sales pipeline. For example, it dictates the number of potential customers your marketing campaign can reach, given a high amount of capital for digital marketing strategies, such as social media marketing, pay-per-click, and email marketing.
  • Tapping Consumers’ Digital Footprints: It involves generating leads by identifying and tapping the digital footprints of your customers, such as sending a follow-up email (through email marketing) to those prospects who browsed your product categories or who registered as a member. Sending personalized sales messages often results in higher sales. Making customer experience personalized drive buying motivation and customer retention.
  • Technology and Automation: A few examples of technology and automation include automated order booking, electronic payment facilities, and shipment tracking facilities. Upgrading your business system can help you achieve your target sales. There are also many trusted shipping companies, such as Ship Expert, that can significantly help you take your business to the next level.
  • E-commerce Multiple Formats: When you’re engaged in e-commerce (internet selling or online business), you need to make sure that your website is secure, so more consumers are encouraged to buy. Offer consumers flexible payment options and make your website fast, reliable, and easy to navigate.
  • Supplier Relations: The business relationship you have with suppliers is crucial to your production. It’s important to build and maintain a network of suppliers because the availability of raw materials can affect your manufacturing process and the volume of finished products

How do you handle external and internal factors

Internal factors that affect your sales pipeline are more manageable than external factors because you have direct control within your company. On the other hand, external factors are influenced by tangible and intangible aspects, so they are more complex and difficult to handle. But how do you handle these external and internal factors that affect your sales?

Here are some helpful tips in managing the different factors that affect your sales pipeline:

  • Strict Hiring and Recruitment: Hire the best people in your company who have the right qualifications, such as educational background and experience to do the job.
  • Experiential Learning: Make sure to continuously educate or train your employees to enhance their skills and competence by hiring credible trainers, so your team always learns something new. Visiting the company’s top manufacturing facilities or branches will help your team learn how they promote their products.
  • Metric Monitoring: If you’re engaged in e-commerce, it helps to monitor your metrics using software solutions or hire a dedicated IT team to monitor your website metrics and sales growth.
  • Adopt New Technologies: By keeping yourself abreast of the latest technological innovations and business concepts and proven techniques, your business becomes more competitive and will have the edge over those businesses using traditional or obsolete business methods.


External and internal factors may affect your sales pipeline in your business. The economic cycle, niche markets, laws and regulations, and market positions of your competitors are the external factors that may impact your business. Also, the internal factors, such as your resources, product, marketing strategies, or anything that emanates from your organization, can affect your sales. By being aware of these factors, you’ll be able to think of ways to monitor them and take actionable steps to ensure that your sales rise instead of declining.

About Sarah Ireland'

Sarah Ireland is CEO of One Girl; an Australian not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the millions of girls without access to education in two of the worst places in the world to be born a girl: Uganda and Sierra Leone. One Girl raises funds and awareness through national campaigns like Do It In A Dress to provide thousands of girls and young women with access to education. Since 2009, One Girl has reached over 32,000 women and girls with access to education.

Recommended for you