Pipeline management is a critical part of sales management.
If a sales team's pipeline lacks consistency, sales are likely to do the same. Attention paid to pipeline management will go a long way towards fostering sustainable growth in sales, and in your company. Instead of gut feelings, have true measurables and stages of the sale. Instead of doing an analysis after the sale closes (or doesn't come to fruition), have steps in place along the way to constantly review the pipeline. Upper management and the sales teams need to do this.
Two key things to keep in mind when managing pipelines:
Have you identified criteria for each stage of the pipeline?
Does everyone in the company know what these criteria are? Does everyone work off that list or are they doing it on their own.
Are you monitoring and reviewing each stage?
This will help understood where you are in the sales process and where you need to be. You'll be able to see if your timeline is in check and if not, try to catch up.
See what Lushin Consultant Aaron Prickel has to say about this.