We’ve all seen countless times the commercials for Capital One where it ends with the question, “What’s in your wallet?”
That line got me thinking, “What’s in your pipeline?” Is your sales pipeline nothing more than a sewer pipe, because you’ve got lousy leads, bad prospects and stalled customers plugging it up?
Early in my sales career, I had a boss who would rip me apart if I didn’t have a full pipeline. It didn’t take me long to figure out the best way to keep him off my back was to stuff my sales pipeline with opportunities.
The “opportunities” I had in my pipeline had little-to-no chance of ever turning into a sale, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was my boss didn’t bug me. Worse was what it did to me! First, it lulled me into thinking life was good, and second, it made it harder for me to know what I did need to be working on.
Check out this 54-second video where I did deeper into this issue:
Our goal can’t be having a massive pipeline. Our goal needs to be having deals that close. Right now would be a perfect time for you to review your pipeline and pull out of it the sewage that’s plugging it up.
Ask yourself the hard questions you’ve been avoiding about each opportunity. The questions you need to be asking yourself include:
What specifically can I do now to move the deal forward?
Am I in control of this opportunity? If not, why is it in my pipeline?
Is there someone else I need to engage with to help move the deal forward?
What is the timeline for the opportunity and what makes me believe the timeline is accurate?
Is this opportunity a good use of my time?
It’s time to get serious about what you leave in your pipeline. That’s why I’m saying you need to be asking yourself tough questions. When I’m working with sales teams, a key item I focus on is the length of time it takes for a lead to become a customer. The objective is to be working to make the time from lead to customer as short as possible.
If it only took you half as much time to close a deal, doesn’t it seem reasonable you’d be able to close more deals? Obvious answer is “yes,” and it all starts by keeping the sewage out of your pipeline.
What’s in your pipeline?
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Copyright 2018, 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 Results