Two weeks into Q4, are you executing your sales plan correctly? How can you tell if you are going to hit your forecast two months from now? How can you tell what corrections to make now? It is not too early to look for and understand your sales activity trends, and definitely never too early to make firm and clear corrections to ensure you are and remain on track to hit and surpass your sales goals.
The answer: Daily Reviews
Are you conducting daily reviews of your and your team’s pipeline? If not, you should. This is not a Monday morning ritual; this should be an obsessive daily routine.
1. Do I have enough opportunities in my pipeline?
2. Am I working the right opportunities in the pipeline?
3. Am I focusing on too many?
4. What did I do today to ensure every opportunity is ready to close?
Whether it is a beautiful graphical dashboard or a matrix report, you should be ever vigilant to your pipeline status and use every available moment either to drive activity or to groom the pipeline.
Here are four suggestions on how to do that:
Establish the metrics and KPI’s that will warn you in advancewhen your activity does not support the required minimum volume size (number and dollar worth) of your pipeline, needed in order to make goal. Too many small opportunities could be a challenge; too few large ones as well. Use trend analysis to predict where you will be at the end of the month and quarter, and more importantly, how much and the type activity you need in the form of leads available now. Dismiss this and your are putting at risk your sales plan.
Create an activity per opportunity monitorto make sure you touch every opportunity in play purposefully, frequently and as aggressively as you have to. This will also help you avoid putting all your effort and activity into a single or a selected few opportunities. We know what happens when you put “all the eggs in one basket”. Dismiss this and Murphy’s Law will surely prove that “if it can go wrong, it will”.
Manage your opportunity readiness as operations manages their onboarding process.Do I have all the documents signed? Are we ok with Terms and Conditions? Are the MNDAs and MSAs current and on file? Do we have the products in stock? Ask the questions that will derail the sales process now; not at the end of the month and quarter when you need to be focused on negotiations, not administration.
Make sure you have the right number of the best opportunities in your pipelineand don't just focus on a few opportunities and what they mean today. Make sure you constantly build and review your pipeline throughout the day, not just once a day. If you are not dialing for dollars and connecting with prospects and clients, get the administration done and out of the way. Before you know it, the end of the quarter will be here, and you need to focus on negotiating and closing the best deals - so identify and get them ready now - execute your plan!