3 Problems with Inflated Sales Pipelines
Your Sales Pipeline is more than just a number. Make sure you’re not hurting your business by over inflating your pipeline.
Problem 1: Mismanaged Sales Activity/Resources
Your sales activity may be focused on the same opportunity and instead of reps working together on closing a deal, they could be working independently on a single opportunity without even knowing it. This causes your sales resources to be mismanaged and instead of maximizing sales potential, you’re missing key opportunities.
Problem 2: Harming the Brand/Value
Your company’s perceived value is what keeps the lights on. When your company interacts with its customers in a manner that shows incompetence or dysfunction, that could tarnish that sense of value. When you have multiple reps working a single opportunity and both are working independently, they could be setting very different expectations to the customer such as separate quote values and shipping dates. Not only is this harmful to the company in the case that the expectations set are going to hurt operations and the bottom line, but it’s also going to hurt your brand’s reputation.
Problem 3: Inability to Plan and React
The more full the pipeline, the better (in theory) but if this pipeline includes opportunities that are old, stagnant, under-qualified, or represent the same project, you could be losing big. The problem is that you have no key insight into your actual sales potential and without this, how can you manage your budget, facility operations, sales activity, etc?
Track opportunities against a Project so that multiple opportunities related to the same project can be identified and best case scenario is that 1 of those opportunities ends up Closed Won. You can now establish multiple relationships to a Project such as multiple distributors, contractors, architects, who are all separately bidding the same project with your products. As with opportunities, you can manage the lifecycle of the project similarly by establishing a sales process that identifies where that project lies within the pipeline. Now, you’ve got a pipeline that accurately represents your potential value. Instead of tracking pipeline at the opportunity level, you can leverage Projects to allocate sales resources more effectively, protect your brand, and supply clearer insights into projected value.
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