Managing sales teams is hard work. The pressure is on every month to hit the number. Sometimes pipelines have been built for the future year but generally focus is not past the quarter. You need to make the number; but you need to look downfield as well.
Bottom Line: What you expect to close in 6-9 months should be in your pipeline now.
Sales teams need to be laser-focused on making the month and the quarterly number. Don’t distract them. Instead, leverage Marketing to help you build pipeline for next year.
Below are three ways you can help build tomorrow’s pipeline.
Every Sales Manager wants their team focused on pursuing the best opportunities. Most reps struggle to prioritize accounts in their patch. They only have so much selling-time. Focus is critical. Marketing can help.
- Propensity to Buy – Marketing knows how likely a given customer is to buy each of your products/solutions. They have a clear definition of the ideal customer. Use this information to prioritize prospects/customers to target with a given offering.
- Buyer Personas – Marketing has deep understanding of your buyers and what they care about. They have documented this information. Get access to it and train your team on how to use buyer personas. Personas will help them resonate better with prospects. Their interactions will be more relevant and speak to what prospects care about.
Leverage the Marketing team by working with them to build some targeted campaigns. Identify a pressing need your buyers have. Build a target list and launch a campaign. Try different modes to contact your buyers: email, LinkedIn, text. Remember, the goal is to generate leads today for tomorrow’s pipeline.
Today’s buyers are over-stimulated. They get bombarded with information every day. The key to getting their attention is being relevant. Your message must speak to their goals and what’s keeping them from meeting their objectives. You must be easy to buy from and easy to understand. Get the message clear!
The key is getting the right content in the hands of the right person at the right time.
Execute: Closing the quarter strong is critical. But don’t get too short-sighted. You need to start building pipeline now for Q1. Since your team is hyper-focused on closing deals, allow Marketing to fill the top of the funnel.
- Targeting – Focus your team on the best opportunities.
- Campaigns – Stimulate interest through agile campaigns.
- Content – Be super relevant when engaging your buyers.