Planning A New Year Pipeline Workout or Sales Kick Off?

Planning A New Year Pipeline Workout or Sales Kick Off?

According to research from the US Calorie Control Council, the traditional holiday dinner with turkey and all the trimmings can amount to a whopping 4,500 calories! Little wonder many of us make New Year resolutions to work out in the gym. Now you may think: what has that to do with sales and sales performance? Well, many sales pipelines could do with a new year workout too!

Fighting The Flab In Your Pipeline

Start the new year with a new pipeline, as well as a new waistline. In particular removing the fat from the pipeline, in terms of a more rigorous approach to pre-qualification, forecasting and closing. Exploring new ways of pipeline management, including deal behaviors, pipeline reviews, bid-no bid processes and win-loss reviews.

The Pipeline Workout

Recently we brought 24 people together for 7 hours to work on advancing their key deals and a general all round pipeline workout. Before they entered the workshop those participating had rated their confidence with; closing, pre-qualification, forecast accuracy at lowly 3 to 5 out of 10.

Here is a profile of the group’s tendering/bidding activity:
Avg. Order Value:   €37k*
Avg. Customer Value:   €670k
Proposals/Tenders Last Quarter:   43 (both public and private sector selling)
Win Rates:   28% Private, 18% Public
Avg. Years Sales Experience:   10 years

Boosting Closing Success

As they left these confidence ratings in respect of key pipeline opportunities had jumped to 7/8 out of 10. What is more important is that their estimates of closing success had jumped by up to 30%. In less than a day they had reshaped not only the pipeline, but their attitudes and motivations too!

The Workout

During the workshop we helped participants apply tools to reshape their pipeline and more importantly to advance key deals. That included:

  • Writing down inflated opportunities.
  • Deciding to focus their energies on those opportunities which promised the greatest chances of a win.
  • Identifying early warning signals that a deal may be in trouble.
  • Agreeing actions to advance key opportunities.

During the course of the day salespeople implemented strategies which they expected would deliver anywhere from a 15-30% improvement in closing rates.

Why It Works

What makes our approach different and so particularly effective is the new levels of insight into the way modern buying decisions are being made. Our workshops have been developed with the help of those who read seller’s proposals and listen to seller pitches – professional buyers. When it comes to the pipeline workout they are the ultimate fitness instructors.

Our extensive buyer research has revealed how buying decisions are actually made. That is the full implications of how buying decisions are made in the post credit crisis market environment of slashed budgets, shifting priorities and increased competition.

We say revealed because it is generally a secret kept from salespeople. Buyers generally like to play their cards close.

If you would like to find out how our deal closing clinics/workshops can help reshape your pipeline in 2014/2015 please contact us.

Read the next one of this sales training article series:
What Do You Want Your Team Saying After Your Next Sales Training Event/Workshop?