If you are like most sales professionals you should be familiar with the concept of a “pipeline management”. Yet chances are pretty good that you are not actively managing an up-to-date pipeline. It may take only a moment and a little discipline to organise your contacts into 2-4 lists. From there, you can apply three simple tips to reboot your pipeline, smooth out the sales flow and maximise potential opportunities. Tip 1: Remember GIGO If you're not concerned about the companies in your prospecting section of the pipeline, then, by default, you are probably not too concerned about the clients you may eventually have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. This is GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. If you select the wrong prospects, they may end up being poor or problem clients. You may win the business, but it could be a hollow victory. Think carefully about your ideal client base, then carefully-identify prospective clients that fit the mould.
Tip 2: Don’t Switch Off The more clients you secure, the less time there is for sales and-marketing. When-results hit a peak then business development activities drop-considerably. Although this won't have an immediate impact on your business, it will have in the future. The only question is when. You could work harder, recruit extra staff, reduce your chargeable hours to focus more on sales activities, but it may be too late. This particular trap occurs because you're only measuring results. The key is to take all business development activities as ongoing and to keep reviewing your pipeline.
Tip 3: Hold onto the warm lead Even when you’ve done everything right and finally have a face-to-face meeting with a key decision maker, sometimes you don’t go further for reasons beyond your control. Maybe the client is satisfied with their current supplier or is in cost control mode. Keep these “warm” leads in your “promoting” list (however you prefer to call it!). Plan extra marketing activities which will keep your name in front of the client and make sure they remain aware of what you can do for them. With hard work and a bit of luck, some of the potential clients in this group will respond to your marketing efforts and call you first when the time is right.