No sales team is perfect. Teams are composed of human beings, after all, and human beings make mistakes. That’s how people learn: By slipping up, acknowledging the wrongdoing, and not committing the same error again.
The last part is crucial, especially in sales, where even seemingly small mistakes should be fixed before they negatively impact the creation of sales pipeline—something a lot of organizations already struggle with.
“There’s so much effort and time that’s invested in the tweaking of sales pipeline management, but there’s not enough attention given to the main problem, which is how can we create sales pipeline in the first place.
How can we create it in a way that is standardized, prescriptive, and therefore, predictable?”Amar Sheth, COO of Sales for Life
Below are some of the most common repercussions of a weak sales pipeline:
1. Working with too few opportunities in a pipeline
Closing a deal in the B2B landscape can take up to several months. With so many decision-makers and touchpoints, it is logical to expect slow progress in most accounts.
However, this only calls for more lead generation efforts. Working with too few opportunities in a pipeline will definitely have negative effects on an organization’s annual revenue.
“That’s the number one issue in sales pipeline,” says Sheth. “You can’t manage people if you don’t have people to manage.”
2. A stream of poor leads
This will result in fewer sales, thus taking a big chunk of the annual revenue of an organization. If your leads are always subpar, try reviewing your ICP to ensure that you’re targeting the right customers.
Check if you really understand your ideal customer profile criteria. How well have you defined and understood them, and is marketing and sales crystal clear on what that looks like?
3. The gatekeeper problem
It’s essential to work out who the decision makers are for every prospective account in the pipeline. Wasting time and resources on opportunities that can’t convert because you are negotiating with a person that can’t make a decision is a formula for negative ROI.
You need to have a proper qualification process when you’re guiding people and helping them understand what needs to happen and whom you should reach out to in order to trigger a sales opportunity.
If your sellers don’t know how to land meetings with a company’s more senior players or the classic decision-maker, you’ll eventually be building an inflated pipeline that doesn’t really have any credible quality of closing.
Approaching leads based on Signals is the most effective way to ensure that you’ll have an asymmetric competitive advantage over your competitors.
“What we suggest is that you apply Signals against your accounts,” says our Managing Partner, Jamie Shanks.
“Signals provide objectivity and clarity as to which accounts will result in opportunities, and which ones could prove to be a risk.”
These are just three of the several issues your team could encounter if their pipeline creation method is flawed. If one of your sellers experience one of these problems, take a step back to objectively assess your monitoring and pipeline management strategies to ensure your pipeline generates a stable revenue stream.
To learn more about pipeline creation,
check out The Fundamentals of Pipeline Creation.
We’d also love to help you optimize your team’s pipeline creation process. If this is something you think could help you, use this link to book a meeting with us.