It’s time to clean out your sales pipeline, your sales funnel or whatever name you choose to call your sales process but first, you need to ask yourself these two questions:
• How long does it take me to convert a lead into a customer?
• What percentage of leads do I convert into a customer?
Video: What’s in my sales pipeline?
Are you guilty of thinking every prospect will buy from you? Worse yet, are you guilty of thinking every lead is a prospect? It’s time to wake up and realize how much time you’re spending just chasing the air! I hate to say it, but it’s no different than watching a dog chase a car. The only thing the dog is doing is running and barking. In the end, the dog will never catch the car.
Your number one goal should be to protect your time, because it’s your most valuable asset; therefore, you should only spend it on highly qualified prospects that can convert into customers. Go back to the first two questions I asked at the start of this article. Work on decreasing the amount of time it takes you to close a prospect and increasing the percentage of leads you convert to customers. Make sure your time is well spent.
The answers to both questions are related, so if you answer them together, you will protect your costly asset even more. Your time is invaluable. If the lead won’t reveal their need to you early on, what makes you think they’re serious about buying? This is a huge issue salespeople fall victim to. You think that just because somebody downloaded something from your website that now they’re you’re next best lead.
Qualify fast and qualify hard by asking the lead to engage. Then, if they’re serious, they will engage, but if they’re not, they won’t. This isn’t a license to bug them with, “hey do you want to buy from me?” No, it’s about bringing new value with each message, but if they’re not responding and you can see that their lifetime value is not great, move on.
Don’t be the dog chasing the car! The faster you ask the tough questions, the faster you’ll find yourself with fewer qualified prospects. Yes, you read that right- I did say “fewer.” When you have fewer but better prospects, it’s amazing how much focus you can give them. When you start to do this, something really crazy happens – the car stops and you have yourself a customer!
Your assignment is to clean out your pipeline. Go ahead and give those lead and fake prospects, the ones we call suspects, back to marketing. Let them nurture them; that’s what they do much better than you. Your job is selling, not chasing cars!
Copyright 2019, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Result