Why is pipeline tracking so vital?
- No pipeline tracking will result in details getting lost and sales falling through the cracks.
- The best coaching you can get from your sales mentor comes from them reviewing your pipeline with you.
- Tracking your pipeline and understanding your personal trends will be essential in helping you set and achieve commission goals.
- Tracking your pipeline and understanding your personal trends will be extremely helpful in providing the data needed by your sales leadership team as they project future sales.
Today, we will discuss how to use the PAVE method in setting and achieving your personal goals.
First – be optimistic, but don’t abandon common sense:
I have coached sales people who at times allowed their unbridled optimism to override their common sense. One particular person comes to mind as I think about this point. They were truly one of my favorite people that I have ever worked with. But when it came to projecting their sales for the quarter, they would often give me a number that was more than they had sold in the entire 12 months prior. I learned to coach them through this issue by having them pull out their pipeline for me and we discussed each sales opportunity. Many times, I would find that the sales opportunities in their pipeline had not even passed the prospecting stage. When I asked, “What makes you think you will make that sale this quarter when you have not even met with them yet?” Their reply was always, “I feel really good about them.”
My coaching to my optimistic sales person – don’t put anything in your “sales pipeline” until you have had your first meeting beyond the prospecting stage (fact finding meeting, sales presentation/conversation, etc.) It is acceptable to consider it in your pipeline as long as it remains somewhere in the sales cycle and is between that initial presentation and getting an answer.
Second – determine the asset value of your pipeline:
Ask yourself, “If every potential sale in my pipeline were to close between April 1st and June 30th, how much sales volume and/or commissions would be generated based on the average sales volume in opportunities of that size?”
Third – track and chart your results:
If you have been tracking your pipeline already, review your previous quarters. What was the asset value when you began the quarter? What results did you achieve during that quarter? Most people will see some consistent trends. In my case, I consistently closed about one-third of the potential in my pipeline each quarter.
Fourth – Set goals and projections:
Set your sales goals and projections based on the percentage of your pipeline you normally close each quarter. In my case, it was about 33%. So if I wanted to generate $100,000 in commissions during the quarter, I learned that I needed to have $300,000 in potential commissions in my pipeline. So my goal became building my pipeline to the point that it had $300,000 in potential commissions.
When your sales leadership team needs projections from you – simply project the sales volume in a similar fashion based on the fact that you have already done the work in order to hit your personal goals.
This method will help you set goals and make projections for new sales based on your pipeline. If you have sales and commissions generated from existing clients and cross selling – you can adapt the same system for that as well.
QUESTION: How accurate are your projections?
Photo: Alaskan Pipeline 1 by ka1970
Used with permission without royalty via freeimages.com