If any of these objectives are a high priority for you, read this post (if not, feel free to skip it):
- Create predictability in your customer acquisition process
- Shorten the ramp-up time for new salespeople to be successful
- Transform marketing momentum into sales momentum
- Shorten the sales cycle
- Improve your ability to forecast
While strong strategy, insight and execution are certainly crucial to achieving these objectives, what is all too often overlooked are two especially important operational structures that are 100% necessary for consistent success:
- A clearly defined funnel structure
- A clearly defined sales pipeline structure
You may be thinking, “Doug, you’re crazy. I haven’t overlooked a pipeline, it’s central to our CRM!” And while the vast majority of companies that I see do have stated deal/opportunity stages that define their pipeline; more than 90% of them aren’t worth the paper (or bytes) they’re written on. Not only do they fail to create any real value or insight, they are central to the problems that sales and demand generation organizations are working so hard to overcome.
This post will walk you through the key elements of designing an effective sales pipeline structure, as well as enabling you to diagnose some of the fundamental flaws that likely exist in your existing process.