By David Wuensch.
Last week, I was having a conversation with Scott Paul, the CEO of Premier LogiTech. I asked Scott what comes to mind when he hears the theme. “What sales problem do I fix first?” Without hesitation, he said that the biggest sales problem he has seen at any company he worked for was “the sales funnel.” He said that he never joined a company that had a sales pipeline funnel that looked anything like a funnel.
How does your sales funnel look? If it needs some help, try these Five Steps to Fix Your Sales Funnel.
- Determine what your sales team can close this week, this month, or in the next 30 days. Get Paid NOW!
- Get back to prospecting NOW.
- Remember Jeb Blount’s 30-day rule.
- Check on your Ideal Client Profile/Targeted Lists.
- Check on your messaging. Is your Company Sales Story on track?
- Stop coddling old deals that are most likely dead. Free up time to create new deals.
- Start qualifying better upfront. Truly understand the prospect’s pains and motivators.
- Make better presentations and proposals. Match your differentiators and benefits to the prospect’s pains and motivators.
Get Paid NOW
Do not pass Go! Do not collect $200 without identifying which deals can close this week, this month or in the next 30 days. Ask your salespeople to determine which deals they are willing to bet their career on closing this week, this month or next 30 days. Make these opportunities Priority #1. Together, bring them across the finish line.
Get Back to Prospecting NOW
Remember Jeb Blount’s 30-day rule:
“The 30-Day Rule states that the prospecting you do in this 30-day period will pay off for the next 90 days. It is a simple, yet powerful universal rule that governs sales and you ignore it at your peril. When you internalize this rule, it will drive you to never put prospecting aside for another day. The implication of the 30-Day Rule is simple. Miss a day of prospecting and it will tend to bite you sometime in the next 90 days. Miss a week and you will feel it in your commission check. Miss the entire month and you will tank your pipeline, fall into a slump, and wake up 90 days later desperate, feeling like a loser, with no clue how you ended up there.”
If you want to fix your funnel, start filling up the top of the funnel today. Each salesperson needs to know their daily, weekly, and monthly “New Opportunity Goal” needed to make their monthly booking goal. It is one of the most important metrics to measure sales success on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
This is also probably a good time to check on your salesperson’s understanding of their Ideal Client Profile and targeted lists. Are they pointed at the right targets? You might also want to check on their sales team messaging. How well do they understand the typical customer pains, issues, challenges, and motivators? What do they believe are your differentiators? Why do your customers buy from you?
Prospecting may come second in priority from a timing perspective, but it is the number one way to fix your funnel.
Stop Coddling Old “Deals”
When a salesperson struggles to make their sales numbers, they frequently hold on to old opportunities too long. They are desperate and hope the deal will happen. HOPE IS NOT A SALES STRATEGY!
Review “old” opportunities with your salespeople and help them move on. One simple tactic is to leave some version of a “goodbye” voicemail and follow-up with a “goodbye” email to let the prospect know that you won’t be bugging them anymore. Also, let the prospect know that they can reach out to you when there is a need. This does two things. It might get your prospect to do something. Second, it helps the salesperson close out the deal and move on. This frees them up to spend more time creating new opportunities instead of fretting over how to re-engage a dead deal.
Start Qualifying Better Upfront
When deals aren’t closing, my experience has shown me that the problem is usually to the left or “upstream”. Most times, it comes back to not properly qualifying the prospect. Proper qualification does two things. It helps you better prepare for your presentation because you better understand the prospect’s issues, challenges, pains, and motivators so that you can present a solution that addresses each of them. Second, when you determine that your prospect is not a fit, you put time back on your calendar to create more new opportunities.
Make Better Presentations
I don’t really care how pretty your presentation is. Make Better Presentations means that you address each of your prospect’s issues, challenges, pains, and motivators with benefits from your solution, and help them understand your differentiators in such a way that they want to do business with you.
Following these five steps will have you back on track to building a healthy sales funnel.