Make 2021 a year for sales.
During 2020, 57% of sales professionals stated that they are making more phone calls, 77% stated that they are holding more virtual meetings.
These are just two statistics from the many I found highlighting the change as a result of the COVID pandemic.
This data is visible to sales professionals using effective sales pipelines to monitor and adapt their sales process.
When looking closely at your sales process it’s easy to spot when things change, but it’s something often overlooked.
As we move into 2021, what results should you expect when using a sales pipeline to monitor your sales activity?
Understand who to prioritise to create sales
As a sales professional, I know only too well the effort that goes into building up a trusted relationship with a prospect.
The sales meeting(s), the time taken to write the proposal and the amount of follow up calls that are needed for that prospect to suddenly change their mind at the eleventh hour.
What if I told you that often there is a pattern to those sales opportunities that are difficult to close and with a little effort this pattern can be spotted early on.
The secret is nothing more than having a sales pipeline that helps bring better visibility and prioritisation to your sales activity.
A couple of examples
#1- Knowing how many Suspects you have per month, and understanding the characteristics of your ideal audience will allow you to monitor those that will need more sales touchpoints than others.
#2 – Your target marketing might be business with 10 to 20 employees with a turnover of more than £2million.
You could see that those sales opportunities with 10 to 20 employees with a turnover between £5million and £10 million drop out more frequently at the negotiation stage.
You could spot this and know to provide more information when they get to this stage.
See the peaks and troughs within your business
Peaks and troughs, feast or famine, whatever you know it as, most businesses experience the difficult cycle of being either too busy or too quiet.
This is often caused by a disconnect in your sales strategy.
Over promotion and sales activity followed by being too busy working on those projects to maintain that sales level which eventually causes a decrease in work.
This often catches more business owners by surprise.
With a sales pipeline peaks and troughs become entirely predictable.
Having full visibility of who’s in your sales pipeline, knowing how many on average you close, how long most take to close and how seasonal changes or other environmental factors play a part in your sales cycles.
You can increase your sales activity or slow it down, avoiding those uncomfortable famine moments.
Developing your pipeline into the next level.
Above I’ve talked about the importance of a sales pipeline, but if you’re feeling a pipeline doesn’t go into enough detail and you’re needing additional analytics, upgrade your sales pipeline to a sales funnel.
Where a sales pipeline shows you in a few steps how to take someone from prospect to close a funnel breaks down the steps into a visual representation of the success and drop out at each stage of the buyers buying journey.
If you haven’t seen this before, here’s 3 versions of the most common sales funnels I see. Sales funnel is the next part of your sales pipeline and allows you to monitor the flow of traffic at a greater level.
While we should all be striving for The Classic, it’s not uncommon to see The Blockage occur when you don’t understand who it is you need to prioritise to create sales or, The Feast and Famine which creates the peaks and troughs within your business. Seeing either one often comes down to 4 main issues.
- Not being able to keep track of your prospects
- Not having any new prospects
- Having incorrect pricing
- Not knowing how long it takes to convert a prospect.
By keeping track of your sales funnel, consistently updating it and monitoring those within it can be the changing effect that you need in 2021.
To understand and learn more I advise joining me on my next upcoming Plan Grow Do online course.
Together we will future proof your sales capability by understanding your customer buying journey.
Having an effective sales funnel is part of this training course.
One final tip
There is a lot of noise around sales pipelines and sales funnels and talk across the internet can make it confusing.I end the blog with one final tip.
Trust the process and the analytics you need from a sales pipeline.
If at any point you get stuck or find anything confusing please reach out by email or through my free Facebook Group, The Sales Mindset Group.
With the difficulties of 2020 behind us, let’s make 2021 the year for sales.
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