“Oh yeah, I used to be a salesman. It’s a tough racket.”
Ah yes, the classic scene from Glengarry Glen Ross where Alec Baldwin chastises a forlorn group of real estate salesmen by mimicking a failed salesperson recounting his woes in a bar.
While the clichéd approach of ‘Always Be Closing’ to sales has evolved, the way that teams talk about their sales pipeline problems has not.
“My pipeline is dry as a desert.”
“I really need to make some more contacts.”
“My pipeline is jacked but nobody is closing.”
In the technology and information age, these types of descriptions just don’t cut it. With so much data and so many technological systems to take advantage of, there is a more accurate way to describe a sales pipeline. There are three components of a useful description of a sales pipeline:
In order to get specific, you need to realize that your pipeline is not binary—there is a lot more detail to a contact rather than just being ‘in’ or ‘out’ of a sales cycle. A good sales pipeline is divided up into different stages, with head counts and statistical reporting at each stage.
To be data-backed, your pipeline needs to have metrics to define each stage of the pipeline. This helps you spot bottlenecks, get feedback on things that are going well, and of course, plan your next action!
When you take a look at your sales pipeline and review the statistics at each stage, it becomes abundantly clear how you should prioritize your actions. If your pipeline contains an imbalance of contacts at the top of the funnel, perhaps you should start probing for pain points. If you are light on contact volume, maybe it’s time to start setting some lunches and reaching out for referrals.
In order to efficiently plan your actions, you need metrics to accurately measure the health of your sales pipeline. In fact, there are nine key metrics you need to follow, and it just so happens that this handy infographic provides a visual representation of those metrics.
Take a look!
Written by Logan Mayville of PropellerCRM.