Time to Build the Pipe. Time to Build the Pipe. Time to Build the Pipe.

As sales professionals, do you ever feel like the guy from the Dunkin’ Donuts commercials? Do you get up every morning, bleary eyed and weary from the day before and think to yourself “got to build the pipeline”…? I think we all do and it’s completely normal. Perhaps the most essential element of what we do as sales professionals is to be constantly performing the activities that fill our sales pipeline! (If you are not, then that’s another conversation!)

As a sales professional, having a full and robust pipeline is necessary to having a strong year, making great commissions, and insuring a strong start to the following year. A strong pipeline is a good indicator that we, as salespeople, are doing the right things. There is a difference between a pipeline and a realistic pipeline!

As you are entering the last 4 months of 2007, take the time and review your pipeline to make sure that the business is there and what you are forecasting is accurate. Does your pipeline reflect 250% of what you need to make the plan? Or does it have just enough to make the number? Have you done everything you can to advance the more recalcitrant sales campaigns? Have you done what you can do to advance healthy sales campaigns? Is every question and concern raised by the client answered? Do you have enough contracts “out” to your top prospects to insure closure? Have you received buy-in and “verbals” from decision-makers to exceed your number? Are you clinging on to certain deals that just won’t happen? Can you use that energy to develop new sales campaigns?

As you are reviewing your pipeline for accuracy and integrity, make sure that you are being honest and realistic with yourself first. You have time to fill the pipe and have a strong close – go do it!

More on this later….

Good Filling, Selling, and Closing!

-Todd

4 thoughts on “Time to Build the Pipe. Time to Build the Pipe. Time to Build the Pipe.”

  1. Hi Todd – it’s great to hear you talking about the pipeline and leads and energy as we gear up for a big quarter. I’m a new member to the sales community (as the owner of a growing small business I’m forced to become a sales leader) what advice do you have for people who are “new” to sales? Also, if you’re running a business, how much time should be focused on building up a nice comfy pipeline and how much should be deveoted to nurturing the leads you’ve worked hard on already?

    Good selling!

  2. HI Jacob-

    Good to see you back on the Blog! Your question is very broad and timely and I would probably use up all of my server space giving you a complete answer!

    Some initial advice is to build your value proposition very carefully so you can tell people in 30 secs what you do and what value you bring. Make sure you can capture their minds and attention! Don’t be afraid to start a sales campaign ( just ask great discovery questions) and ask for the order. Be confident and proud of your work and services-that comes through.

    Time building the pipeline? Enough so that you have at least 250% of what you need to CLOSE and BILL to make your plan.

    Feel free to contact me directly to dig into this one more!

    Good Selling!
    -Todd

  3. Jacob-

    A few more thoughts..

    Define your target market and go after it!
    Network like crazy.
    Devote some time each week to sales activity ( prospecting, sending out proposals, asking for the order etc..)

    -Todd

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