Improving your pipeline management is the answer to having a sales year of your dreams!
It is a great mystery why prospect pipeline management is such a neglected area when agency owners/executives are constantly dreaming of improved sales and clearer forecasting.
Ask any agency owner/executive for their 2019 goals and chances are “increased sales” is near the top of the list. Of course, it is! Sales goals are at the very core of a sales organization. It’s also common that a significant amount of time, effort and resources are put into preparing and supporting producers so they can achieve their goals. Again, it’s the nature of a sales organization.
What we find puzzling is that agencies invest in all sorts of sales support and training, though they often ignore the critical planning activities that pipeline management produces. Working with producers on their prospecting activities and systematically planning for future activities yields tangible progress towards sales goals. Yet, for many agencies, prospect pipeline management still represents one of the largest opportunities for improvement.
Ask yourself this: What value is sales training if the producer does a poor job managing the pipeline?
In our opinion, not much. Instead of solely focusing on the sales presentation and closing activities, consider how much more business your producers would write if they followed best practices for pipeline management. It’s far more than you may realize and far simpler too! These best practices include:
- Actually recording each opportunity in the proper pipeline stage;
- Knowing the revenue potential of each opportunity;
- Forecasting the probability of closing the opportunity and when;
- Scheduling contact management for each prospect and
- Systematically working activities by due date.
What would this type of pipeline visibility mean to your agency and it’s sales goals? More dollars than you think!
Literally, the cost of a book will get your agency on the path to better pipeline management.
Here’s an early Christmas present, if you haven’t read “Fanatical Prospecting” by Jeb Blount, order a copy now. Read it before Christmas and it will change your 2019. When you’re done reading it, give a copy to each of your producers. It’s a straight-forward, common sense approach that will get your sales team utilizing best practices for pipeline management. Make it the focus for your upcoming sales training. Have your sales support staff embrace it too!
Pipeline management is a teachable skill that all your producers can learn and execute. It’s not rocket science. So much effort is put into overcoming producer call reluctance, sales and presentation skills, even sales psychology. Yes, all of this is good. Yet without excellent pipeline management, what real difference in results will it all make? Pipeline management is teachable, inexpensive, easily executable, and has a large impact on the ultimate result, the amount of new business generated.
Step ahead of your competition by making pipeline management your agency’s strength.
There is a high likelihood pipeline management is a weakness for most of your competitors as well. Just as you once did, they are sitting there dreaming of their sales goals and just focusing on skills training. You, however, are far ahead of them because you have mastered pipeline management and now take advantage of this tremendous opportunity for your producers and your agency.
If you would like more insights about prospect pipeline management, please contact us for information about our pipeline management program at [email protected]