By John Serrantino, Sales Director at PipelineDeals
It’s Friday, December 30th 2016. The last sales day of year. Perhaps more importantly, the last sales day of the quarter. You’re 2 deals shy of hitting your goal and a nice, big bonus. What a way to ring in the New Year!
So, you find yourself scrambling to find those final few potential deals. If only you could remember who those folks are and why they are good targets. After all, time is on your side here.
This scenario plays out everyday on sales floors across the country. In other words, it doesn’t just occur on the last day of the quarter.
The Sales Pipeline
Sales leaders place a hyper-focus on “Deal” or “Opportunity” Management. We like to think reporting on what’s in the “pipeline” is the magic bullet to determining how the revenue for the month will unfold. And it is—your team’s pipeline determines your monthly performance. But unfortunately, that focus is severely short-sided.
Let’s think about a sales rep’s pipeline as shoppers in a grocery store. If this is the case, then yes, by measuring and managing “pipeline” we are doing a great job of assessing the crowd and figuring out who is likely to buy what. However, we’re missing some key pieces of information in this approach. Pieces of information that won’t only lead to more shoppers but also shorten the time spent in your store before making a purchase.
Put simply, if we can better understand what actions a prospect takes before they land in our pipeline, we can refine our message and deliver greater value. This approach is proven to shorten sales cycles and attract more like-minded prospects who connect with your value.
Lead Management System
This leads us to the importance of a solid, process-oriented, lead management system. The cornerstone of any effective sales organization. Lead management systems are the vehicles for capturing key pieces of information about your prospective client, as early on as possible in the process. While the information that’s available and when it becomes available will vary based on your industry, it is indisputable that it exists across every industry.
For example, in a digital environment, leveraging marketing automation tools, such as Act-On, allow for incredible intelligent into the pages visited and white-papers viewed by a prospect from a very early stage in their buying process. Translating that intelligence into your lead management system gives your sales rep’s a clear playbook on what matters to that prospect once they enter their “pipeline”.
In an analog sales environment, such as specialty contracting, the intelligence may be far less technical in nature. Often, it’s as simple as who they were referred by and how that relationship is impacting their decision to consider working with you. Far too often that information gets lost in the shuffle instead of adequately leveraged.
An effective lead management system can solve both of these problems.
So, in conclusion, let’s circle back to our dilemma from the beginning. This was a real-life scenario at PipelineDeals, from just a few months ago.
Thankfully, the sales rep in this story was able to leverage our tool and quickly identify several prospects who indicated early in the buying process that an early 2017 implementation was a main priority. That key information obtained early on was critical in guiding decisions much further down the pipeline.
So, do you think your sales team could be in need of a lead management system such as a CRM? If so, sign up for our free 14-day trial and give it a try.