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  • Capstone Calling

Sales Pipeline Management Simplified - Part 1

The trick is in the touching!

Hands touching -

I should start with a quick clarification – this is not a guide espousing the use of inappropriate sexual innuendo in order to improve your lead generation efforts. Granted, that would probably be a damn interesting read but sadly, I haven’t done sufficient research into the matter to take a stance either way.

What I am espousing is the belief that as long as two core factors are clearly defined and understood, different companies can have different styles of sales pipeline management with equal success. One, delineate your pipeline process and two, establish clear roles for the people handling that process.

What’s your company’s magic #salesfunnel formula?

BANT. It’s like the Rolling Stones of lead qualification – it’s been around since the 60’s and seems destined to live forever. While still useful, it’s developed some serious shortcomings in the last 20 years.

“Most companies today no longer budget for purchases in advance. A DemandGen study showed only 20-30% of purchases are budgeted beforehand. The same study showed that 70-80% of people seek to obtain spending approval after they’ve evaluated the potential purchase. If BANT were applied to these customers, a huge amount of potential #sales would be missed.”

This is just one example of the problems inherent in sticking strictly to BANT. While some people believe it should be tossed altogether, such an extreme approach is unnecessary. The sales team at HubSpot came up with what they call “GPCTBA/C&I”, updating the old sales mantra in order to make it more effective in qualifying today’s prospect.

Whatever your exact qualification requirements may be, the key to the day to day managing of your sales pipeline lies in determining two things: 1) How often you will touch base with certain prospects and 2) how you should touch them.

The 4 types of pipeline prospects

1. The “Toss Them Out the Window” prospect. This one is self-explanatory. For instance, a prospect that lives in Ireland and your company sells tanning beds – it’s just never going to be a good fit.

- How often you should touch them: Never.

- How you should touch them: You shouldn’t.

2. The “See You Next Christmas” prospect. This one shows little to no interest initially, but your gut tells you that this #prospect could still be a good fit if a major change occurred down the road…..perhaps the current decisionmaker dies and a more intelligent executive with fresh ideas takes his place. Or some other change that’s major but not quite so morbid.

- How often you should touch them: At least every 6-12 months

- How you should touch them: Educational content that preferably challenges their past objections.

3. The “It’s Not You, It’s Me” prospect. These prospects are actively exploring options, but something is preventing them from moving forward with a solid sales meeting, e.g. budget issues, poorly defined goals, fear, etc.

- How often you should touch them: At least every 2-4 weeks.

- How you should touch them: Informative (thought leader) content that exudes a feeling of comfort and trust in your company. Also, funny and unique messaging often helps in breaking down the final barrier that keeps them just short of taking a meeting with you.

4. The “Standing at the Altar” prospect. They’re ready to settle down but just looking for the right relationship.

- How often you should touch them: Attempt to connect multiple times a week but only leave one voicemail/email each week (nobody wants to settle down with the needy, annoying partner).

- How you should touch them: Customized to their needs/feedback. Also, any content that relates the success of your company, e.g. case studies, client testimonials, etc.

Wait? You don’t like thinking about #Prospecting in the above mentioned detail?

That’s not a real problem…. well, for us it is not. Hire Capstone Calling and we’ll think way more about your prospects than you even want to consider

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