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!
Good Filling, Selling, and Closing!