Prospecting 101 - How to Encourage Your Salespeople to Maintain Full Pipelines
Let’s talk about cold prospecting. For most companies, generating new business is essential.
Interestingly, 46% of salespeople do not maintain full pipelines.
Why is that?
Here are a few reasons I’ve come up with:
- They don’t know what a full pipeline really means. Does your sales team know how many opportunities and at what dollar threshold they should have in their pipeline at all times to reach their revenue goals for the year? Have you broken that down in to smaller goals (ie-monthly or quarterly)? Many managers focus on business closed month to month; however, that is a lagging indicator. Those who focus on lagging indicators are managing the past, where nothing can be done to change an outcome. Help your people plan for the future and keep their pipelines full by giving them monthly pipeline metric goals.
- They’re sending cold emails. I could pull the data on this tactic, but instead I’ll ask you: how many cold emails did you delete this morning prior to diving into your day? How many of those emails did you read before you deleted? If you’re anything like the general public, you deleted all of them without reading any of them. Enough said.
- They’re not picking up the phone and/or they’re giving up too soon. Typically, salespeople give up after reaching out twice with no answer. Statistically, it takes an average of 12 attempts to get connected.
- Is cold calling effective? It depends on who you have on the phone. If it’s a decision maker, and you have a good strategy for engaging them in conversation, yes. If it’s a gatekeeper you’re trying to maneuver around, no. If it’s a decision maker and you have a bad strategy and are poor at engaging conversation, it’s even less so. If your people are making the dials and those aren’t converting – what the heck are they saying?
- Prospecting for a full pipeline is a many sliced pie. Cold calls, networking events, social selling, referrals, strategic partnerships, and speaking opportunities are some of those slices. Does your team know how many of each they should be doing to meet revenue goals, and do they have a sound strategy/process for each of them?
Clarity creates energy. If your team does not appear energized to find and close new business, it’s possible they need clarity on how to do that. Establish monthly pipeline goals. Help them create a plan for their activity on which pieces of the pie they should engage in and how often to do each activity. Support them in creating an effective strategy for each activity. Ask them how you can help them remain motivated to hit those goals. Set weekly meetings simply to review their pipeline generating activity and review whether their strategies are effective.
For more related content, check out our blog topic section here devoted strictly to prospecting and selling or contact a Lushin Consultant for more helpful tips and tricks tailored to your company's wants and needs.