It’s not uncommon to lose focus on your pipeline – or sales funnel – and consistently filling it with new opportunities. Salespeople (and business owners) often spend too much time on a few opportunities that are on the verge of closing at the bottom of the funnel, and don’t seek out new leads to fill the top of the funnel. This creates a roller coaster ride in terms of performance and results for you, the business owner, and commissions in the pockets of a rep. Without enough opportunities, a sales rep runs the risk of missing their quota and their commissions.
How To Measure Your Sales Pipeline
The best practice for determining if you have enough opportunities to achieve your revenue goal is to measure the size of your pipeline.
Maintain 3x Your Sales Target
Successful sales reps maintain a minimum of 3 times their sales target in their pipeline at all times. For example, a $100,000 per month sales quota should mean you maintain a pipeline value of $300,000 per month.
Combined with a disciplined sales process and consistent prospecting, a pipeline 3 times your target will ensure a continuous flow of new leads and new opportunities closing.
2 Ways To Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full
So how do successful salespeople maintain a pipeline equal to 3x their revenue goal? Following are responses based on a recent question I posed to top sales reps and business owners regarding how they maintain a healthy pipeline.
1. Follow a Disciplined Sales Process
Focus on the follow-up process.
Most reps make the initial contact and close the easy deals. What distinguishes the top salespeople from the rest is that they have a consistent follow-up strategy. They follow up even when the appointment isn’t immediate.
An open mind in the sales process is key.
Really listen to the client and their struggles, then customize a solution for them based on their needs.
Don’t lose site of the smaller sales.
The problem with salespeople today is that they lose sight of their clients who give them smaller sales throughout the year. Those clients get lost in the shuffle of larger sales (since we love those big elephants). It’s the small sales that get us through rough periods. While this is elementary, it is difficult to keep track when you have over 300 clients you deal with year-round.
Make a hard commitment in each discussion for the next deliverable and meet it. Personally, I set most immediate action items to be done within 24 hours and deliver on it every time. Both the need and impression left are still active in the prospect’s mind. Delivering on the next step quickly makes a difference and sets an impression.
2. Prospect Consistently
Maintain discipline at the beginning of the sales cycle.
Ask for referrals.
Set a goal for yourself to secure a specific number of referrals each month. Dig deeper and penetrate your client base, peruse your LinkedIn connections, even ask your prospects.
Look for alternative contacts who can serve as inside coaches.
Connect with them quarterly. Yes, you can do that through LinkedIn, but for a strong connection, speak with them live once a quarter. They know what’s happening in their organizations and are more likely to share new insights voice-to-voice than via a chat or email.
Watch and read the news.
You can use new ideas as a way to get attention. Get creative information to approach prospects and customers with a new idea.
Set weekly objectives.
Set objectives for the number of new referrals, MQL follow-up, prospects, meetings, and proposals. New lead generation matters. Existing customers are critical but don’t lose focus on a weekly objective of meeting new qualified leads. They represent the future.
Add Pipeline Focus to Your Revenue Generating System
How closely do these tips align with your strategies? Use them and make maintaining 3x your revenue target part of your revenue generating system. When you do, you’ll find your pipeline improves.
Want guidance with how to keep your pipeline full? Contact us and let’s talk about a plan that fits your goals.
Updated January 2023