The Ultimate Guide to Bullet Proofing Your Sales Pipeline
Three factors drive sales success: the quantity of leads, the quality of leads and the individual salesperson’s sales skill. Of course, every business and industry has specific nuances of both products and sales cycles, but sales is ultimately a numbers game, when it comes down to it. And the way to empower your sales team is through knowing your numbers and using them to your advantage.
The more leads you can bring into your sales pipeline, the more qualified prospects you will uncover. The more Prospects you uncover, the more Opportunities/Deals you will create. And the more Proposals/Deals you create, the more sales you will make. It’s about widening the net to give you the largest number of leads coming into your sales pipeline and therefore the best chance of converting enough sales to hit and exceed your targets regardless of extenuating circumstances.
How do you bullet-proof your sales pipeline? How do you consistently exceed your sales targets, week after week, month after month, and year after year? And, as I previously mentioned, maintain this during unprecedented adverse circumstances, so you can weather any storm?
To bullet-proof your sales pipeline requires three things:
1. You need to know your numbers.
2. You need to use ‘stretch goals’ that compound.
3. You need to apply ruthless consistency so that you and your team hit your daily ‘stretch target’ each day throughout the year.
Step 1: Know your numbers
Hope is not a strategy, instead you need to plan based on your numbers. Knowing your numbers means no more leaving it to chance and no more just falling short, and instead changing your mindset to a ‘planning for success’ approach. Do you know:
1. How many leads you need to find one prospect?
2. How many of those prospects do you need to engage to find one with a current opportunity?
3. How many of those opportunities do you need, in order to win one sale?
If you don’t know this, there’s no better time to start finding out this information so you can use it as the basis for your plan to bullet-proof your sales pipeline. Once you calculate these numbers, you will know exactly how many leads need to come into the top of your funnel to deliver the sales results you need at the bottom end. This gives you the perfect foundation for setting your ‘stretch targets’ in step 2.
Step 2: Set stretch targets that compound
The secret to bullet-proofing your sales pipeline is setting goals that exceed your target. Small increases everyday lead to large increases over months and years. A ‘stretch target’ is exactly that, setting a target just beyond your actual target, so you’re stretching the goal a little bit. It’s like running an extra half kilometre, every week for 3 months. Before you know it, you’ve added 6k to your total distance without having to make drastic changes to your routine.
It’s a really powerful way to beat your target every month and here’s how it works.
Let’s say that your sales target is 3 sales per month and that your numbers look like this:
• Calling or emailing 100 leads gives you 20 prospects to meet with;
• 20 prospects yield 15 opportunities/deals;
• 15 Opportunities leads to 3 sales.
So, you know that you need to contact 100 new leads every month to hit your sales target. This information is the starting point. Simply setting a target of speaking to 100 new leads per month gives you absolutely no margin for error and could mean you often fall short of your sales target. Typically, life gets in the way of the best-laid plans: you might experience staff changes or operational challenges, or a big proposal might stop you contacting all of your 100 leads and suddenly, you’ve missed your sales target for the month.
So, to make sure you never miss your target again, it’s time to apply the ‘stretch target’ approach.
In this example:
• You need to call or email 100 new leads each month. Instead of making that your target for the month, set a stretch target of 120 new leads to be spoken to per month.
• Assuming you work a 4-week month, 120 new leads a month is 30 per week. Again, let’s set a stretch target on this of contacting 35 new leads each week
• Over a 5-day week, 35 new leads means contacting 7 leads per day. Let’s set a stretch target on this of 8 leads per day.
As you can see, none of these incremental changes are big! You’re just applying small stretches each time you break down your numbers.
And you have set yourself a target to contact 8 new leads each day.
Let’s see how this stacks up over a month:
8 new leads per day for 5 days per week over 4 weeks will mean you contact a whopping 160 leads per month. Far exceeding your original monthly target of 100. In fact, it’s 60% above your initial target. And all by adding small incremental stretches to your goal.
Most importantly, what will this do to your sales results? Using the numbers above, you can expect the following:
• 160 leads contacted each month will give you 32 prospects
• 32 prospects will provide you with 24 opportunities/deals
• 24 opportunities will provide you with 5 sales (4.8 to be exact)
• And when you look at what that means over a year, you will now make 57 sales instead of your target of 36.
And if you wanted to take this process further, you could take your 8 new leads each day target, which means contacting 4 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. You could then add a stretch to this and contact 5 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon. Over a year, that would boost your annual sales up to 72. That’s double your initial target. Just by setting a series of small stretch targets.
Step 3: Apply ruthless consistency.
Setting your goals is just the beginning. The real success comes from consistency, meaning you have to do this every single day. If you take this approach and execute it consistently, your sales pipeline will be so strong that you will always remain well ahead of your sales target regardless of what life throws at you. You will have built a bullet-proof sales pipeline that will deliver true sales success.
We can help
If you are looking for an outsourced sales partner to help you bullet-proof your sales pipeline, get in touch today by calling 1300 396 888 or sending us an email email@example.com.