It’s end of August 2015 and it may be a good idea to purge that pipeline you are using and see if it is as accurate as it needs to be. A clean pipeline is a predictor and indicator of sales success or failure.
First, examine the pure number of prospects that you have. A prospect is the person who is actively engaged in the development of the sale. No sales person can sell alone; you need the help of the prospect to put together the final presentation.
Second, investigate the next steps that you have with each of these prospects. If it is a telephone call then you are probably not in the game, so to speak. There has to be face-to-face meeting to help you qualify a prospect.
Third, discard those deals that have not moved in a long time. Don’t through them away, but re-evaluate what you can do to make something happen sooner.
Finally, look at the total number of first contacts you have in your calendar. Are you meeting with enough people to give you the sales you need at the end of the cycle? Be careful and do not confuse tentative meetings, “we are interested but let’s see what happens in a few months,” OR “It looks good but we will look into our budgets of the new year” as things that will happen.
We all know sales people that have huge pipelines that never come to fruition. Promise after promise but no deal! They carry that potential sale around for 12 months, and still put it into forecasts month after month.
Four elements need to be present for a sale:
- You need to meeting with the Right Person
- You need to agree to the Right Rands
- You need to have a Realistic Timetable agreed upon
- You both need to decide on the Right Product
In today’s sales world, there are three words to remember: Insight, Innovation and be Bold. As a sales person you must be insightful into the prospect’s goals, innovative in your approach and be bold in what you do daily.