What Is Your Pipeline Saying About YOU?
What Is Your Pipeline Saying About YOU?
It’s Monday! Time to review your new deal pipeline. But what is your Pipeline Report saying about YOU?
Most of the time Bankers and Salespeople review their Pipeline Report to track the progress of new deals, new clients and new revenue.
But rather than simply review these tangibles …. what “intangibles” can you see? What is your Pipeline Report really telling YOU?
What do YOU need to improve in order to convert more deals, more new clients and more revenue?
Where are deals stalling and what can YOU do differently to progress them and prevent this from happening with other prospects?
Your Pipeline Report does not just track how your deals are progressing.
It also tracks how YOU are progressing with the development of your skills, behaviors and beliefs.
Your Pipeline Report is a Reflection of YOUR Sales Skills, Behaviors and Beliefs.
Consider the following pipeline scenarios and what they may say about YOU:
a) Few “Deals” In Pipeline
- You are not clear on who your targets are and why you have chosen them.
- You are not effectively and consistently engaging your targets.
- You need to confidently and persistently ask for more referrals.
- You need to further develop your Prospecting Skills.
b) Many First Meetings But Few Offers (Proposals)
- You need to make a better first impression and build both rapport and credibility.
- You are not effectively exploring all their challenges, needs and goals and/or outlining all your valuable solutions.
- You are not diligently following a proven meeting process.
- You need to further develop your Meeting Skills.
c) Many Offers (Proposals) But Few Closed Deals (New Clients)
- You are not presenting customized and compelling wholistic proposals.
- You are not uncovering enough pain points and desires, and/or you are not effectively demonstrating your great value.
- You are not asking for the outcome or effectively following up.
- You need to further develop your Proposals plus your Closing & Follow Up Techniques.
d) Many “Deals” Lost
- You are providing proposals too quickly and they are not compelling enough.
- You need to demonstrate greater value.
- You need to better understand the prospect’s decision making process.
- You need to further develop your Meeting Skills and Objection Handling Responses.
e) Many Deals Won/Closed
- You have good sales skills. Consider your strengths and share with others.
- You can close deals, but how confident are you of retaining?
- Did you ask for a referral? Did you offer more bank-wide solutions?
- You could further develop your Coaching Skills and Relationship Building (Cross Selling) Skills.
What other scenarios can you think of and what do they say about YOU?
So what does your Pipeline Model look like?
Are you simply tracking deals …. or are you tracking RELATIONSHIPS and ACTIVITY?
A Pipeline Model (aka funnel or tracker) is essential for any person in a business development role.
An effective Pipeline Model helps you manage the PROGRESS of your sales efforts, not simply the results.
An effective Pipeline Model helps you determine your NEXT STEPS and what more YOU need to do to help the prospect/client.
An effective Pipeline Model helps you better understand where you need to further develop your skills, behaviors and beliefs.
An effective Pipeline Model does more than track deals. It helps you build relationships and skills.
Now to ensure you can truly track the quality of your sales skills, behaviors and beliefs, I encourage you to consider incorporating the following parameters in your Pipeline Model.
The above Pipeline Model includes SEVEN essential steps for originating, progressing, closing and expanding new relationships:
Determine what specific target market(s) you want to pursue and develop a list. Research and include contact details. This could be saved/stored separately but in order to truly highlight your sales skills, your Pipeline Model should capture all potential opportunities not just deals.
The most challenging task for any banker or sales person is prospecting. Therefore it is important to measure your prospecting efforts in order to assess your effectiveness. Track how many times you have engaged a target in an attempt to get a meeting. Did you call? Did you send an email? Did you share some valuable information? Tracking your prospecting efforts will help you determine what works, what doesn’t and what you can improve.
Track all meetings with targets and how you sourced that meeting (was it due to your outreach strategy, a referral, etc). As you know, it may take a number of meetings to build trust, discover all their challenges and needs, present your offer, follow up deal requirements and close. You may want to maintaining a separate record of meeting notes, but consider including meeting numbers and meeting types in your Pipeline Model.
Now this is usually where many pipeline reports start. I understand the need to preferably track only qualified deals (meaning you have provided an offer or proposal) but you are missing lots of valuable information to help you improve your sales skills. For example, how many times did you meet the prospect before providing an offer and do you have a realistic idea whether they will accept your offer? Did you present your offer in person (or via ZOOM)?
I also strongly recommend you capture ALL the prospect’s needs in this section (which are hopefully in the offer) and not just the immediate loan, deposit or transaction need.
5. FOLLOW UP
Bankers and Salespeople will often say they are following up deals in their pipeline, but HOW are you following up and how often. Rather than simply allowing a deal to linger in your pipeline, track your value-adding efforts to energize the prospect to make a decision. This is great information to help you better close more offers.
Now this is usually where many pipeline reports stop. Yay! You won a deal and you can record an actual result. Besides date and deal details, are you assessing (and recording) reasons why you won the deal? You can also “close” deal opportunities you didn’t win. A lost deal should also be closed in your pipeline report with a recorded assessment of why the opportunity was lost and a plan to reconnect with this target (if appropriate).
Is this another pipeline funnel? Of course it is. Remember you don’t close deals …. you open relationships. We are not transaction bankers …. we are relationship bankers. Highlight all the other opportunities you uncovered about this new client during the offer stage. Commit to meeting, following up and closing these opportunities too. And you might just discover that this closed deal becomes a long term valuable client who can make lots of wonderful introductions to your targets. See how that works?
For more insights on how you can apply the above tips please watch my video at the end of this article.
By incorporating these parameters and steps in your pipeline, you can now develop a deeper understanding of your sales performance and skills. Consider what else you can now measure and review:
I hope it is clear by now that your pipeline is not just an arduous deal tracking chore for determining if/when you will hit your targets and earn your bonus/commission.
Your pipeline does more than just measure new deal status. It is a true measure of your sales skills, behaviors and beliefs.
Revise your Pipeline Model and review process to ensure that you are tracking all the key measures to help you clearly determine what skills you need to further develop.
You will soon discover that this once arduous device will become your best companion to a better quality of life.
Check out my 12 minute video below for more insights on how your Pipeline is a true measure of your sales skills.
Article written by Joe Micallef – Sales Strategist & Coach – Grow UP Sales. For more advice on how to easily build a better pipeline please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the webpage www.growupsales.com
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