Too many salespeople run their sales model the same way they get cash from an ATM machine; they don’t really know how much money they have until they go punch in their PIN and see if there is anything in the account. In other words, many don’t even look at their account until they need some cash, and too often they are shocked by how low their balance is. You can’t run your sales machine the same way.
Just like a bank account, you need to make deposits to grow your sales pipeline balance. If you don’t add truly qualified opportunities to your account, there won’t be anything available when you need to draw against the balance. The only way to keep your pipeline healthy is to prospect regularly whether or not you are on budget, ahead of budget or behind budget. Salespeople have a tendency to only do the dirty work (prospecting) when the account balance gets low, and then they are out there prospecting with a sense of desperation. And nothing makes a prospect more uncomfortable than a desperate salesperson begging for an order. Holding margin or saying no to an unreasonable customer request becomes very difficult when you are hungry and afraid of hearing no.
By prospecting consistently, you can sell with a sense of abundance, never needing any one sale to close to feel successful. You can stand strong on your price or offering, and your guts to walk away from a bad deal is completely acceptable. With a full pipeline a salesperson can predict their financial future and can operate comfortably and with a true confidence that the account will remain full no matter what a prospect says. Avoid surprises by keeping track of your pipeline, knowing your critical sales success numbers and trusting that prospecting is much more important than closing.
If you’d like to know how to create your pipeline management system you can contact us at Growth Dynamics for a free consultation.