You can fill your prospecting pipeline with a lot of ‘leads’, or with quality prospects.
Clogging your pipeline with bad leads that can’t or will never become customers costs you in lost time and lost money.
I believe there are some ways to ensure you’re putting the right customers into your pipeline, and moving them through swiftly and efficiently.
These tips show a snippet of this month’s masterclass: Sales Prospecting: Filling the Pipeline. Preview the full contents here and enroll now!
1. Short pipeline
Don’t have your pipeline be so long! In other words, too many steps can make the process tedious for the prospect. This really destroys a lot of salespeople, because when you have a long pipeline, you just don’t have the ability to be on top of things. Instead, keep it simple.
The simpler it is, the faster you can move stuff through, which allows you to fill it and keep it filled much more frequently.
Making it easier for your prospects makes it easier for you, too.
2. Simplify the offer
Don’t make what you sell so complicated. Make it easy for the customer to do business with you. This is one of the most uncomplicated ways to have a short pipeline.
When customers understand the solution you’re going to provide to the challenge(s) they have presented to you, you can move them through quite quickly.
3. Dedicated time
Your pipeline absolutely won’t fill itself. You have to put the time in.
If you’re not setting time on your calendar to say, “This is my time to be prospecting,” your pipeline’s never going to get full. Create dedicated time and honor that commitment.
4. Focused lead sources
Don’t accept leads from anywhere and everywhere. Instead, stay focused on targeted sources. For example, maybe all of my lead sources come from these two or three or four or five areas. But that’s it. You’ll be able to nurture and grow them at a much faster clip, which will give you more qualified leads. Those will turn into qualified prospects, and later, great customers.
Read more about how to know if a lead qualifies as a prospect.
5. No shiny objects
You might see a cool opportunity, and it’s a one in a million shot that you’re going to get it. That’s just a shiny object. Avoid that at all costs. The best performing salespeople are the ones who stay extremely focused. They know where their business comes from and they stay right there in that lane.
6. Clearer messages
Your customers need to understand what you do and how you can help them. You create clear messages through everything that you do–your online reputation, your company website. The customer should at no point feel confused by your communication. Don’t throw so many options and opportunities in front of them. Instead, make it straightforward.
7. No suspects
Don’t allow suspects to hang around in your pipeline.
Now, what’s a suspect? A suspect is somebody who looks like a prospect, but is not. This may be a company that fits your ICP, maybe even meets all the criteria, but they’re not going to make a decision for two years or three years. Get them out of your pipeline. Put them in your marketing funnel.
Don’t put them in your sales pipeline, because you can’t afford that. You don’t have room for suspects. You only want to have qualified people that you’re going to be able to do business with.
Are you asking for referrals frequently enough? Referrals are absolutely outstanding, and the easiest way for you to fill your pipeline.
In fact, you can ask for a referral at any point if you’ve delivered value to your customer. Don’t think you can’t. If you’ve delivered value, you can ask them for a referral.
Who is in your network? Who are those people that you can be tapping into and accessing?
Now, you have to help them, too. This is a two-way street. Don’t just use your network, nurture your network.
I get a tremendous amount of business that comes from my network. These are people who I work with closely, I know, and they refer people to me, and it’s wonderful.
10. “No” customers
These are customers that have rejected you in the past. They may have said no to you last year, but you know what? Things have changed. Go back.
For some reason, they were a qualified prospect to you a year ago. They just chose to go somewhere else. Never think for a moment that you can’t go back to a customer who said no to you before.
And don’t sit there and say, “Well, we didn’t deliver. This was not a “no” customer. I just can’t go back to them because we didn’t do a good job.” How do you know that? You have no idea.
Always use the customers you’ve developed a relationship with, whether they’ve become buying customers or are still standing on the sidelines.
Was this helpful to you?
This is only the tip of the iceberg. This month’s Masterclass, Sales Prospecting: Filling the Pipeline is incredibly thorough and covers step by step, every detail of your prospecting process.
I want to ensure that you’ve got a healthy pipeline. This course isn’t just a checkup, it’s an evidence-based treatment plan with doable steps and strategies. As a bonus, I’ve included some checklists for you as a salesperson, for your sales offers and for before you call.
By the end of this course, we’ll have covered each and every area of your sales. I’d bet that’s worth the $59 enrollment. Enroll now, and secure your seat at my ‘invitation only’ webinar on Nov. 4th at 2:00 PM central where I share my personal tips to keeping my own pipeline full.
Remember, you don’t have to stop there. The Sales Hunter University is designed to do one thing: to help you sell. That’s why I’ve created three levels of membership according to your needs. If you’re looking for more accountability, and a lot more knowledge, check out more here.
Copyright 2021, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of A Mind for Sales and High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.