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Reducing Air Bubbles in the Sales Pipeline

Reducing Air Bubbles in the Sales Pipeline

It’s a new year—and a fresh start for sales! How can you kill it this year and blow your goals out of the water?

What’s the biggest pain point for ad sales reps? A common problem with the sales processes is developing “air bubbles” in the pipeline. What do I mean by air bubble? When a new relationship or piece of business is coming to a close–particularly one that requires extensive effort at this stage—it’s human nature to focus all efforts on the close and unintentionally ignore everything else. But in doing so, gaps develop at the top of the sales funnel that result in periods of no closed business. This creates boom-bust cycles.

We all know sales people need to commit time to uncovering new prospects on a regular basis and to avoid boom bust cycles.

It takes 21 days to form a habit, so here are some tips to incorporate into your daily routine. Before you know it—they will become second nature. In 2016, let’s say hello to new leads, and goodbye to air bubbles!

  • Schedule weekly calendar reminders to review all prospects and strategize how to move them along in the sales process. See MediaRadar’s blog post,“Top 5 Quick Ways to Get Your Sales Email Opened” for ideas, suggestions and best times of the day to reach your prospects.
  • Set aside time (at least three hours) each week for follow-up phone calls. Experiment with timing of calls, determine when you get the best response. However, according to InsideSales, you should call your prospects between 4pm-5pm or 8am-10am.
  • Work with marketing/client services to send helpful resources—links to datasheets or white papers that prospects can use to grow their business. Or send a link to a recent article or blog related to a prospect’s business.
  • Face-to-face still wins. Whenever possible, meet with prospects in-person to show them new inventory, successful campaigns, answer questions or better understand their product lines.
  • Be determined. Frequency of touch points keep leads alive. In 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts (Source: Telenet and Ovation Sales Group). Reach out 1-2 times per week with a phone call, email or in-person meeting.
  • Be a student of their business – We know our prospects get bombarded from sales people. Stand out. Study their business and provide value and insights that they didn’t know. You will be the sales person they call back.
  • If your pipeline involves a large number of prospects, maximize your CRM system to maximize your efficiency. Pull key metrics to assess the timing, probabilities, strategies, and next steps for prospects. This will help prioritize too.
  • Establish a system that keep leads “alive” and avoids the boom-bust cycles that air bubbles can cause.