November 21st, 2016
Now is the Time to Build Your Pipeline for 2017
At this time of year it is not unusual for salespeople and sales managers to simply focused on closing business to achieve their yearly objectives, maximize their compensation plans and unfortunately drain their pipelines. January can be a good month with leftover sales opportunities but many sales teams face a weak February/March. Because of this I wanted to share an easy sales driven prospecting system that can ensure your sales pipeline does not shrink-ever!
HINT: This marketing campaign idea could incorporate messaging from your vendors utilizing their marketing materials, email campaigns, telephone scripts and partner involvement, if their marketing website allows you to download quality tools.
Action steps include:
1) Refine their prospect database to reflect the A, B, C Ideal client profile concept. (See previous blogs that define what an ideal client profile is or send me an email for details.
2) Download and review a direct mail letter/postcards/email tools provided by your vendors or develop your own and create two pieces for two campaigns that will be used; these can be personalized with your logo, etc. These should include two different messages based upon your products/services that must excite a net new prospect.
3) Create multiple batches of 20 suspects by salesperson, divided into groups of A, B, C, D, etc.
4) Execute on the following tactical plan:
Week One: Each salesperson sends email/ postcards # 1 to 20 different suspects in Group A
Week Two: Each Salesperson sends email/postcards #2 to the same Group A 20 suspects
Each Salesperson sends email/postcards #1 to another set of 20 suspects in Group B
Week Three: Each salesperson begins to call Group A and set an appointment or invite them to an Executive Forum run by the partner
Each salesperson sends emails/ postcards # 2 to the 20 suspects in Group B
Each salesperson sends email/ postcard #1 to 20 suspects in a new Group C
Week Four: Each Salesperson begins to call all non-contacted member of Group A
Each Salesperson begins to call all suspects in Group B
Each Salesperson sends emails/postcards #2 to the suspects in Group C
This program continues in this manner. As the activity level and pipeline grows, the only change in this marketing and activity plan will be the number of emails letters sent per week, it could drop to 10. The reason we recommend 20 or less names is to keep the contact focus low enough to ensure the salesperson can attempt multiple contacting calls within the third week.
It is recommended that an on-going “Executive Forum” or workshop event is scheduled for the same time/same day each month i.e. the third Thursday at 8am. The purpose of the event is to provide a “call to action” and provide a reason for the telephone call follow up.
HINT: Sales Management must monitor this program carefully to ensure 1) salespeople are contacting the prospects, 2) the messages within the marketing pieces are working or not and 3) what call/contact ratios are effective.
Let me know how this idea is working for you or what other ideas you are using to drive you sales pipelines.
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 19 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.
He was recently ranked for the fourth year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2015. His blog has been rated in the sales blogs in the world!
Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.