We all recognize that analyzing the sales pipeline is a good thing to do. By tracking the progression of potential business as it moves through the stages of lead, qualified lead, intent to buy, booking and sale, businesses get pretty good at predicting what next quarter's sales will be. Through trial and error, companies learn the average attrition rate at each step and get to the point where they can say with authority, "100 qualified leads will yield three sales." Not bad - a nice, useful, rule of thumb. Get enough leads, and sales will go up. Or find a group of product enthusiasts who will buy no matter what, and sales will go up.

But what if you could extend the pipeline to view an even earlier stage? What if you could measure that first glimmer of a customer's interest, even before you got their name and number? The good news is you can - it's called the Interest Pipeline.

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