Pipeline Management: How to Increase Your Prospects Right Now

July 20, 2020

When I start working with a client, one of the first questions I ask is, “Do you know the current value of your prospective pipeline?” The next question I ask is, “What about the value of deals that will close this quarter?” If you can’t answer either of those questions, it’s time to re-think your pipeline management.

What is a sales pipeline?

A visual representation of the sales process, broken up by stages, and designed to assist sales teams with prioritizing deals to close. The sales pipeline is an effective tool that has been around for a long time. In theory, it makes selling appear simple. The reality is, there are many factors that go into managing a pipeline, and oftentimes it can get overlooked.

According to a study done by Harvard Business Review, companies with effective pipeline management have an average growth rate of 15% higher than companies with ineffective pipeline management. Effective pipeline management increases the bottom line.

But your pipeline does more than that.

In addition to revenue forecasting, your pipeline allows for more targeted resource allocation. By having a full understanding of where each customer is at in the funnel, you can determine which deals are critical, which ones require more time, and how to effectively allocate resources.

Tracking and managing your pipeline seems like a no-brainer. The real issue? Most sales professionals are not spending enough time at the top of your funnel.

What are your sales people spending time on?

  • Writing RFP’s
  • Product or new employee training
  • Writing sales presentations
  • Conducting prospecting research
  • Following up with customer service on the execution of a past deal
  • The list goes on...

Sales people are spending less than 36% of their time on selling. Upper management is asking the sales force to wear too many hats, when the number one thing they should be focusing on is closing deals.

Here’s what I suggest, take advantage of the benefits a flexible workforce can provide:

  • Find an on-demand RPF writer to handle the bulk of these documents.
  • Don’t expect your sales team to be product experts, involve the experts on sales calls when they are needed.
  • Standardize material such as sales brochures, and presentation templates. When they need to be updated, hire an outside resource.
  • Sales research--that can be outsourced too. Employees can easily spend 4-5 hours a day in this area, wasting valuable prospecting time.

If you’re looking to increase the size and output of your pipeline, The Sales Group provides strategic guidance on pipeline management and actionable sales data to equip your team to bring in more business.

No sales team? No problem, we will do it for you. Reach out to me at Donna.glha@salesgroup-global.com

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Donna Gliha, Chief Sales Officer / President

A proud nominee of the 29th Annual  RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards

Alyssa Huizenga
Director, Business Development

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