Survey Question #5: Do You Have A Solid Pipeline Going Into 2013?

Do you have time for a real story?

I spent the majority of today in a meeting listening to concerns as Q3 is nearing its end and Q4 is on the horizon.

Needless to say, the outcome of the election was a large topic of conversation and conjecture, but as the agenda unfolded other important topics surfaced such as EBITDA, YOY sales, etc. When the draft of the 2014 sales forecast hit the screen the room grew quiet while everyone studied the numbers. The numbers reflected how Q3 will end with Q4 projections rolling into a total for 2012. The forecasted outcomes stated that they will reach 98% of their 2012 sales goal. The CEO was not a ‘happy camper’.

Dripping with confidence…

The Senior VP of Sales stood and shifted slides. The next few slides articulated her confidence in how her team would meet their number in 2012 and enter 2013 with a strong tail wind (momentum). Her confidence was based on a strong pipeline loaded with qualified prospects. Immediately the room became charged with a new level of enthusiasm.

How did this happen?

Getting started by getting real…
As a sales professional ask yourself one simple question. “If I lost one of my Top 10 customers today, do I have a pipeline in place that can absorb this loss”?

If your answer is no, then let’s get started – now!

Getting the simple steps working in your favor is a must. Let’s take a quick look:

  1. Begin with those prospects that are the best fit for your organization. Place the others in a ‘later file’.
  2. After the prospects are qualified in terms matching your core objectives, spend, timing, decision makers, existing contract, etc. then and only then are they  rolled on to your pipeline.
  3. Measure progress monthly. If the buying cycle is not advancing, find out why.
  4. Reassess and remove prospects as needed; often circumstances change over time.
  5. Add new prospects to your list.
  6. Repeat the process.

So as you enter Q4 2012. do you have a solid pipeline of qualified prospects that can create the needed momentum as you enter 2013?

You can drip with confidence too.

If you would like to explore pipeline creation and new business acquisition for your sales team you can reach me here.

To your success,
Andy

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