While it is possible to make great sales without a full sales pipeline, building a sales pipeline will make your job in sales easier.
While it is possible to make great sales without a full sales pipeline, building a sales pipeline will make your job in sales easier. Targeting every potential customer, even those who are a stretch for your product or service, can divert your attention from the leads who could have become customers if your energies were not elsewhere, spent on prospects who did not ultimately convert. Start building your target rich sales pipeline with these four tips.
Even if your organization has a strong CRM system, self-directed prospecting is still a necessary part of your day. The difficulty with ensuring that your prospecting is adequate is in making sure that you have the time to do it; all too often, this activity is put aside for inbound calls and emails, scheduled presentations, and other equally necessary tasks. By scheduling time for outbound prospecting and treating this time as you would another scheduled activity, you can be assured of the time you need to develop quality leads.
The stand-by rule that it takes 100 calls to generate 10 leads to make one sale causes many sales people to amass leads and pursue sales through sheer numbers. This approach might work, but the sales person using it often ends each sales period exhausted and on the verge of burn out. Building a target rich sales pipeline by concentrating on the quality of leads saves time and energy, allowing you to enjoy the perks earned through meeting your sales quotas. Build out the quality in your sales pipeline:
There is a proliferation of lead generating tools available today, and choosing which tools to use is not always an easy task. However, to build a truly target rich sales pipeline, you should be using at least one tool out of each category available to you. You might find that one system generates more quality leads over another, but as long as a tool is generating quality leads, you cannot afford to ignore it in this economy. Resources you should be using include:
Time to close is the average time that it takes to convert a lead into a customer from the time the lead enters your database to when the sales contract is signed. This metric is important to know because maintaining a target rich sales pipeline is not helpful if you cannot divide your time efficiently between prospects, warm leads, closers, and customers. With a too-lean pipeline you will spend almost all of your time prospecting and rarely making a sale, whereas with a pipeline too heavy in the middle leads on the prospecting or closing side might drop out of the sales process. If you know your time to close, you can estimate how many new leads you need to be generating per day to allow you to continue to make great sales, close whenever a prospect is ready, and still follow up with prospects in the other stages of your target rich sales pipeline.
Targeting your sales energies towards the most qualified leads is a best practice that can lead to larger and more frequent sales, in part through allowing you the time to focus on the prospects most likely to sign a deal. Maintaining a target rich sales pipeline will help you identify and keep in contact with these choice prospects without the stress of playing the sales game by numbers alone.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.