One question that I am often asked by sales executives, sales managers and even sales reps is: “How can I improve my sales pipeline?” This question comes up most frequently at the end of the quarter or year, when sales professionals have often realized that they are not where they want to be relative to their goals. Many will have even started to answer the question themselves by coming up with “magic ratios” such as having 3x the amount they need to close in their pipeline. One VP of Sales even told me, “I just tell my guys to put more in; if there is more going in, there has to be more coming out.” If it was only that simple! There are three ways to improve your sales pipeline:
How many times have you or one of your sales team members had “the perfect opportunity” suddenly stall out or turn to a competitor as it comes down to decision time? I spoke with a VP of Sales recently who confided in me that only 30% of their forecast deals closed. Let that sink in for a moment; that isn’t 30% of all opportunities, but 30% of deals that are FORECAST TO CLOSE! How can anyone run a business with numbers like that? My blood pressure starts going up just thinking about it.
Have you ever wondered how your sales team can more effectively use social media as a part of the selling process? You are not alone! Many sales leaders have realized that social media is a major force impacting the business landscape. Few seem to have a strong grasp of how to harness this force to make an impact on their results. A recent Atlanta Chapter meeting of the Sales Management Association addressed the topic of “Sales Success in a Social Media World.” The event featured an expert panel of Barbara Giamanco, President of Social Centered Selling LLC and Frank Iannotti, Area Vice President of Enterprise Accounts at Salesforce.com. Throughout the discussion, the panelists shared some of their secrets for success with Chapter members.
As a sales manager, you have probably heard that your sales reps should be using social media for prospecting. In fact, at a recent Board Luncheon for the Atlanta Chapter of the Sales Management Association, using social media for selling was the #1 topic of interest. Below are 6 tips that you can use to more effectively coach your teams to use Social Media when prospecting: