Building a Sales Pipeline – Part 1: How Do You Turn Indifference Into Curiosity?

In this series of blog posts, you’ll discover how to build your sales pipeline by turning indifference into curiosity among your prospects. Doing this doesn’t require a magic wand; it requires a solid game plan.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how to develop a territory plan for your offering, and how to strategically determine your targeted conversational list. Once we have those tactics nailed down, how do we prepare for calls with decision makers? We’ll discuss creating sales ready messaging, and review a few more tips to keep in mind for productive pipeline building. You won’t want to miss this valuable advice!

Many of my clients have asked me what their sales people can do to increase their pipeline with qualified leads. The simple answer is to spend more time on effective business development activities. Such activities necessitate at least 20% of a sales reps time and include, but are not limited to:

  • Networking with existing friends, colleagues, and acquaintances
  • Attending industry/trade meetings and walking the floor 
  • Securing speaking engagements at local and regional associations or interest groups 
  • Hosting breakfast meetings for like titles 
  • Cold and warm telephone prospecting 
  • Direct mail/e-mail/fax prospecting followed up with direct telephone calls

Among these, though, the most effective way to build one’s pipeline is to engage in a five to seven touch-point campaign combining direct mail introduction, followed by phone calls, in a very specific sequence. It seems that while most sales reps know that sequence, they will also stop doing it if they can find any excuse to use their time somewhere else.

Before we uncover the five to seven touch-point campaign, let’s talk about where to start. In next week’s post, we’ll lead you through how to define the universe for your offering, aka mapping a territory plan.

In the meantime, think about this: How do you currently decide where to begin your prospecting efforts? What about your process can be improved?

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