Sales Beacon has had the pleasure of working with some of the best sales people on the planet in some of the largest enterprise sales pursuits for over a decade. We’ve also seen why they struggle. This series encapsulates what we’ve learned.
A better pipeline means more meetings, more sales and a healthier bottom line for you, your salespeople, and your entire company.
“Not again!” Do you hear groans or find your sales team missing in action when it’s time for another sales pipeline review? If people view pipeline reviews in a negative way, you should revisit the process because it doesn’t have to be this way.
Pipeline reviews shouldn’t be like a visit to the dentist; they should be a guaranteed way to improve the state of your pipeline. A better pipeline means more meetings, more sales and a healthier bottom line for you, your salespeople, and your entire company.
At Sales Pass, we’ve been on a lot of really bad and really great pipeline reviews and our easy-to-follow format should be an important part of your sales process.
First, how often you want to meet? We suggest starting with a monthly review, but you can make it weekly if there’s an important account that’s time-sensitive, or if you feel you may lose out to a competitor. Stick to the review schedule you decide on. Skip reviews at your peril: according to Harvard Business Review, companies that spent at least 3 hours a month on Pipeline management saw an average 11% in revenue growth over those companies that spent less than this.
5 Steps to a Killer Pipeline Review
What’s happened so far?Do a quick breakdown of each deal. Focus more on the deals that are at risk. CRM software will make this simple:
- What are the next steps?
- To finish the deal, what must happen?
- What is the timeline for completing the deal?
Identify the obstacles. Are you struggling to fill pipeline? Time to see where the shortcomings are:
- Is there any missing information?
- Have there been any long communication gaps?
- How is the sales rep doing with handling objections from the lead?
- Does the rep understand the prospect well enough?
- What’s stopping the deal from being signed?
Decide how best to proceed. Map out a solution that will allow your salesperson to complete the deal:
- Make sure you’re dealing with a decision-maker, not a middle-man.
- Anticipate objections and have answers ready to put customers at ease.
- Propose specific win-win solutions that will please all parties.
- Negotiate contract and deliver written proposal.
Make the deal or kill the deal. Get the contract finalized and signed and give yourself a pat on the back. But if a deal just isn’t meant to be, don’t waste another minute. Remove it from your pipeline and get cracking on the winnable opportunities.
Analyze your strong points and, more importantly, areas where you can do better.
Self-assessment. Look at ways to improve:
- Look at your previous reviews and measure your progress.
- Are the reviews getting bogged down in details? Keep a fast, active pace or risk losing concentration.
- Is there consistently missing information? You may need to coach your sales reps on how to better qualify their leads.
- Analyze your strong points and, more importantly, areas where you can do better.
- Stop doing things that don’t produce revenue! Channels or sales efforts that don’t yield results – make an effort to weed these out so you maximize your sales team’s time and their commission payments!
A proper sales pipeline review benefits a sales organization in many ways. It’ll provide a better understanding of the skills of your sales reps. You’ll have a strong grasp of all the deals in your pipeline. You’ll also be much better able to predict which deals will close and which will not.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk about how we can work with you to achieve all your sales goals now, and in the future.