A sales pipeline is a sales professional’s lifeblood – manage it well and you will have a productive and prosperous year, however if you allow it to fall into disarray, then your revenue will too.
Rejection, and contacts “ghosting” – a.k.a. disappearing – are part and parcel of a sales professional’s life however, for some reason many sales people (and not just rookies) don’t see the value of kicking the deadwood to the curb. They would instead prefer to keep the coldest of prospects in their pipeline. Is it out of bravado? Is it out of fear that they don’t have much else in their pipeline? Who knows, but I think as an exercise it is definitely worth carrying out.
Here are my top 3 reasons why busting those ghosts from your pipeline can actually have a positive effect on your sales success.
Having numerous cold prospects in your pipeline can have a detrimental effect on your actual leads as they serve as a distraction. Much like the saying of “tidy desk, tidy mind” the same applies to your pipeline. Clearing out all of those ghosts will allow you to focus on those clients who you can actually make a sale with.
Reducing False Hope
You have a pipeline brimming with opportunities, so you look great, right? Wrong. Sales, as we all know, is about targets and more importantly hitting them. Having a full pipeline is a good start but if you’re not able to close any of them, then what are you doing? The phrase “flogging a dead horse” comes to mind. You will only be able to hide behind your pipeline for so long before questions start being asked about your ability to actually close.
It’s not only your own efficiency that is disrupted by a poor pipeline, but also that of management and the wider business. From managers asking you for an update on certain prospects… to your marketing department sending marketing collateral and finance being unable to forecast accurately; a poorly managed pipeline affects all areas of the business.
For me, this is what it comes down to; as a salesperson, don’t you want to focus all of your energy on fewer, but better-qualified leads? As a sales manager, would you not want to be certain that your team are focusing on deals that look likely to make revenue and actually get you to hit target? Would you not rather see who are the best sales people closing deals rather than hiding behind their pipeline?
In my opinion, less can be more and it is the quality of your pipeline that is of more value than the quantity.
Are you looking to improve your efficiencies by hiring the best sales talent out there? Finlay James can help. Contact John - John.Gaughan@finlayjames.co.uk or call 0161 438 1930.