Well, the economy is coming back, except for the oil price thing, and most of the experts are calling for a healthier overall economy. So, in my opinion it is time to get back to growing our sales.
Actually, you should always be looking for ways to grow your sales 24/7 and 365 days a year. The answer is to maintain your b2b sales pipeline for steady and consistent sales growth.
So what is this b2b sales pipeline thing all about? It is about having a consistent flow of new sales opportunities so you will have the growth you need to achieve your goals and objectives.
Let’s look at some of the factors to review regarding a successful pipeline of b2b sales.
First, just like the concept of a pipeline you need a consistent “flow” of opportunities to work on to grow your sales. If there is a lag in the flow, there will be short falls relative to your sales success. And frankly it is your job to keep the pipeline flowing with opportunities.
Second, you need to establish an ideal customer profile to begin your pipeline. Before placing a sales opportunity into the pipeline, you need to know exactly what a good to excellent customer looks like in terms of total sales, frequently of sales, average sales size, number of product lines covered, credit worthiness and other factors that are important with your best current customers.
Third, only sales opportunities that match your ideal customer profile such be placed in the sales pipeline. Any exceptions are just that – exceptions – and should be treated as such with good explanations relative to what purpose you are placing this account in the pipeline.
Fourth, each sales objective should be listed by itself to insure proper scheduling or forecasting of delivery dates. The key is to consider each sales objective, even if to the same company, to insure proper allocation of resources and most importantly to select the proper decision makers for each sales opportunity.
Finally you will need to assign deadlines for each sales objective. This allows you to see if you have a balanced pipeline relative to outcomes, results and forecasts. The more accurate you can make your deadlines, the more accurate will be your b2b sales forecasts. Accurate sales forecasts are important for you and more important to the sales management and the sales team’s credibility with senior management.
There you have some of the important elements for your b2b sales pipeline. It is your main job to keep your sales pipeline filled with sales objectives and opportunities to manage your b2b sales success.