Your pipeline is flooded with activity. The sales team is celebrating victory. The forecast suggests you’ll make your number. Easily.
To see your pipeline as it really is, ditch the rose-colored glasses. Go for the hard data. Then you’ll know whether you have what it takes to cross the finish line.
I’ve listed below 8 ways to Strengthen Your Sales Pipeline, and help you better position your team to make the number.
Best Practices for a More Successful Pipeline
“Pipeline” and “forecast” aren’t interchangeable. Pipeline activity is what you have in the works today. Your forecast is what you believe will happen in the future. Success is not preordained.
Your goal is to maximize your chances of closing deals currently in play. And you can affect those outcomes, in very real ways. You just need to take a sober look at your pipeline. And study it in context and in detail.
1. Consider Average Sales Cycle Length
How long is your organisations sales cycle? For example is it three months? How much of your pipeline activity is new? Is it realistic to assume these deals will close in the next 30 days?
2. Study Conversion Rates by Phase
What are your historical conversion rates at each stage of the buying process? This will help you predict outcomes as deals move through the pipeline.
3. Nurture the Big Deals
Identify the big deals that could swing your quarter. Ensure that, for each major interaction to come, you’re involved in planning it.
4. Target Potential Pipeline Failures
Look back 90 days. Note the gap between what you thought would close and what did close. Identify the stress points that may have caused you to fall short. Then make targeted corrections to prevent future missteps.
5. Separate New and Existing Clients
New and existing clients have different types of objections you’ll need to overcome. New clients aren’t sure about your company, product, or service. Existing clients may be frustrated with previous interactions.
Plan for what you’ll likely encounter in each case. Consider how you might sweeten the pot to bring new clients on board.
6. Plan for the Month-End Scramble
Have you established your “give/get,” or win-win, negotiation parameters? This will guide your team’s use of last-minute discounting to make the quarter. And it will help them handle clients that push hard for more agreeable terms.
7. Leverage Your Executive Team
Sales shouldn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. Leverage the strengths of fellow executives. Deploy a one-to-one approach. Map the prospect’s CFO with your CFO, and the prospect’s CEO with yours.
8. Look for New-Product Deals
New-product deals will likely take longer. Is there a requirement for additional technical assistance? This is new sales territory, so you must identify all risk factors up front.
For additional information on best practice Pipeline management, speak with ProAptivity today on 028 90735630 or via email at email@example.com
Source: Sales Benchmark Index