“Always be closing” has run its course. The new 2020 sales quip should be “always be building” (your sales pipeline, that is). The ABC mindset may have been logical in 1992 when the phrase was introduced to pop culture by the Glengarry Glen Ross film, but thanks to digital sales transformation, the industry has evolved.
Always Be Building Your Sales Pipeline
Since your work as a salesperson is to match a product or service with fitting companies, the idea of randomly hard pressing buyers to buy from you whether they need it or not seems outdated.
A wise real estate investor once told me “you make your money when you buy, not when you sell” this is true in sales as well. Salespeople create value when they prospect properly and identify prospects that are perfect fits for their product or service. Then, the act of the buyer buying becomes a natural chain of events.
The adoption of new technology is an acknowledgment that managing sales pipelines is paramount. Tools like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Outreach.io help with sales pipeline management, forecasting, and conversion optimization, yet our research shows that less than 20% of reps think prospecting is the most important part of selling.
Instead, reps often spend their energy, time, and focus on closing. This ABC mindset presents a challenge because it can result in a slim sales pipeline. If sales reps put the same effort into qualifying leads and building relationships as they do into closing, they would have a better chance at hitting quota month-over-month instead of being a one-hit-wonder.
“More than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process”
So what is the solution? The modern-day rep thinks through who their most likely buyer is, then analyzes their entire sales pipeline to understand several conversion points:
Touch —> Lead
For each call, text, or email that I send how many leads can I make?
Lead —–> Opportunity
For each lead that I have, how many opportunities can I create?
Opportunity ——> Close
How many of my opportunities become paying customers and how long does that process take.
This becomes a methodical process of continuously measuring the effectiveness of each step in the buyer journey and optimizing it.
At JumpCrew, we focus on thoughtfully converting a lead to an opportunity. To do this, we utilize several techniques, both proprietary and public. One strategy used across the entire organization, the BANT methodology, is one that you’ve probably heard of.
Budget – Does the prospect have the budget needed for your product/services?
Authority – Is this prospect the decision-maker?
Need – Does this prospect have a need for your product/services?
Timeline – What’s the timeframe in which they will make a decision?
Refine Your Sales Process
The benefit for both the rep and the organization is the reduction of stress and drama in the sales process. Understanding your conversion points at every point in the funnel leads to a stress-free and sustainable sales process that can easily be forecasted and tracked.
If you find that you or your organization are constantly discussing how to close your deals but never discussing how to fill your funnel, you’ve probably just identified the challenge. As sales professionals, we should be spending equal amounts of time prospecting and nurturing our opportunities as we’re selling.
Click here to connect with Robert Henderson on Linkedin.