Here we go again. The strong sales pipeline you presented six months ago has now turned into a weak excuse for a forecast. Presenting an uncertain sales pipeline and a flimsy forecast to management is not what you planned two quarters ago. Everybody hates a tax audit. A pipeline audit with top management is not much better!
If it's important to you - you'll find a way
If not - you'll find an excuse
No More Excuses
The excuses are many: Financial crisis. Economic downturn. Contiunous struggles with some of your key accounts. Competition is stronger and more aggressive than ever. Our product needs refinement to meet the new demands....the list of excuses is long.
What's Your Plan to Building a Stronger Sales Pipeline?
Most of these excuses are probably true. But top management is not interested in hearing what the excuses are - they want to know what you are going to do about building a better pipeline. What is your plan? How will you make sure that you will not be in the same situation six months from now? How will you make your sales team perform like they have never performed before? What can you do to get rid of the uncertain pipeline and make a better forecast and make sure you create a quality pipeline?
Put Structure and Objectivity in Your Pipeline
The answer is to get rid of the gut feel and all the subjectivity in the pipeline and put much more structure and objectivity into sales pipeline management.
In order to put objectivity into your pipeline you need a structured and measurable approach to how you are assessing sales opportunities and customer status. Regardless of whether you are dealing with new sales opportunities or whether you need to retain existing customer revenue.
A Perfect World Scenario
Here is what the perfect situation would look like in a perfect world.
You would have enough time to hold 1-1 conversation or coaching sessions with your sales reps on a regular basis. During this conversation you would most likely ask the following questions:
- Relationships: are we talking to the right people? Do we know the stakeholders?
- Process: are we following an agreed upon process with the customer? Will they have budget for this?
- Situation: do we know exactly what the customers business challenges are, and can we help them?
- Solution: Is our solution a good fit? Can we address their business challenges? Can we help individuals become more successful with our solution?
- Value: What's in it for the customer? Is there a strong business case? What is the ROI? Can we help key stakeholders achieve their personal objectives?
In a perfect world that conversation would go on regularly between you and your sales reps. However that is not reality in many organizations. We are too busy, too much behind and too focused on enforcing reactive behaviour. And the monthly sales conference call is everybody's best guess at close probabilities based on a gut-feeling. There is never enough time to actually do a proper assessment on the real sales opportunities in the pipeline.
A Sales Coach in a Pocket
Quality 1-1 conversations should be part of your good habits. ARPEDIO puts structure into your salles opportunity and account reviews. Instead of you spending time questioning your sales reps, ARPEDIO will do the asking and suggest sales strategy elements that can move things forward.
Some of our customers have called ARPEDIO their "sales manager in a pocket." The holistic overview that ARPEDIO gives you when it comes to sales opportunities or existing accounts makes pipeline calls a structured experience and your sales reps will start to see you more like a sales coach instead of a micro management manager.
Do you want to see for yourself how ARPEDIO can help you put some quality in your sales pipeline - then click the "learn more" button below and let us schedule a demonstration where you can see the tool in action.