prospecting-pipelineToo many salespeople have prospects in their pipeline that are nothing more than suspects taking up space.

A simple rule I have is a prospect cannot stay at the same level of ranking in a sales pipeline for more than 2 calls.

Example is if you have a prospecting system where you rank prospects on a 1-5 scale, and you have a prospect you rank at 3, if after you’ve made two more calls you haven’t made progress, then you must move them down a notch.

The only thing a clogged sales pipeline does is provide disorder and give the weak a salesperson cover to hide from their boss.

Problem is too many sales managers also use the same thing to hide themselves.   In the end the only thing that happens is the weak get to survive a little longer.

Prospecting pipelines are designed to be pipelines, not parking lots.

Look at the prospects you have. Do they deserve to be in the pipeline or should they be moved to a prospecting parking lot?

Be honest with yourself and ask yourself the tough question.

A key indicator I use to determine if a prospect is moving forward is if they are providing me with new actionable insights such as new needs they have or desired outcomes they’re looking for.

Another one is if the prospect has indicated when they intend to make a decision and what their budget is.

If all the prospect is doing is throwing the same excuse at you each time you talk with them, then they don’t deserve to hold the same position in the pipeline.

Far too much effort is wasted by salespeople dealing with prospects who have little chance of ever becoming a customer.

Focus your time on those with potential. Allow your marketing department to focus on everyone else.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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