sales pipeline

As a business owner, you wear many hats.  One of them is VP of Sales and Marketing. This role is responsible for lead generation and turning prospects into clients.  Sales are the fuel which keeps your business engine running.  For this reason, filling your sales pipeline needs to be a non-stop endeavor.

How well do you perform in the VP Sales and Marketing role?  Just ask yourself these questions:

  1. How are you doing with your sales plan for 2017?
  2. How good is your “sales system?”
  3. Do you have a “sales system?”
  4. Does your “sales system” help you and your team create the level of success you want?
  5. How well does it measure?

Are you 100% satisfied with the way you answered these questions?

The problem is that many entrepreneurs don’t have a sales process in place that creates success.  In particular, one that fills the funnel and the pipeline consistently, even when they are busy with current customers or clients.

Here are six things that will make your sales process work better in 2017.

1.  Breakdown the Number

Numbers are a problem if no one understands them or they are so big that no one can get their hands around them.

Say you want to sell $1,000,000 in the next year.  Ok.

But what is that?

$1,000,000 equals:

  • $250,000 a quarter
  • $20,000 a week
  • $4,000 a day.

That you might get your hands around much better. Not only to visualize it, but also to see how you are doing week in and week out.

2. Measure and Track

Not just the big number. Additionally all the little things that you do as well.

If you are supposed to connect with 50 existing contacts a week – track it.

If you are supposed to attend 4 networking events per month – track it.

Whatever you plan says, measure and track it.  Always know where you are.

It will help you know what is working and what is not working.

Then you can take the appropriate action.

If it is not working – fix it. If it is working – do more of it.

3. Lead Generation

How are you going to generate leads nd fill your sales pipeline going forward?

Do you have a goal for the number of leads you need?

What are the sources for leads?

How many leads is each process going to create?

How many leads should be closed from each process?

You need to understand these answers.

If you lead system is not working – it should be no surprise if the funnel is empty.

If you do this, you quickly see what is working and what is not and you can take the needed action.

Again, fix or dump what is not working.

Put more time, energy and money into what is working.

4. Follow up

What is your follow up process?

When you meet someone – then what?

If they are not a lead now – what do you do next?

If you cannot get hold of them, what is the next step and when?

How do you stay in front of them?  What is the frequency?

How long to you go after them and at what level of effort?

If you don’t have a next action, then why are they in your database?

Many entrepreneurs never do much follow up.  Or don’t do it well.

If you do, you will be amazed.

5. Qualify, qualify, qualify

How do you qualify a lead?

What makes this person a qualified lead?

Why are they a potential referral partner?

What makes them someone you should stay connected with?

If you don’t have a good qualification system you will spend your life with unqualified leads.  Again, leading to an empty funnel and dry sales pipeline.

Take time and define this.

You will be amazed.

6.  Action

Sales will work if you take action and do what you said you would.

Notably, a poor sales plan executed with passion and persistence will out do the best sales plan that is still sitting on the table.

How are you managing your time?

What actions will you take?  When and how much?

To emphasize, next time you think you need to plan some more – just “DO” something instead!

“Right Action” creates results – plain and simple.

There you have it.

Is this complete?  No.

These are just some of the pieces or the sales process which should be constantly running in your business.

Keep it running non stop. Watch what happens to your sales pipeline, and to your closed sales.

They all go up, up and up.