By Josiane Feigon
It’s a new year, and it is important to build a strong, healthy sales funnel. The difference between a weak sales funnel and a healthy sales funnel is the type of activity you fill it with.
A weak funnel could just be one or two big deals that are lingering, but nothing is closing. A healthy sales funnel includes both small and large deals that are moving through at a good rate and eventually closing.
Tips on How to Build a Healthy Sales Funnel:
- Add at least 5 new qualified opportunities to your pipeline each week. Your pipeline should have at least 40% of new business opportunities each month.
- Remember today’s customer is more unpredictable than ever before. They are here today, gone tomorrow, and may come back 9 months later. Don’t disregard leads just because they have been sitting dormant for 6+ months.
- Refresh your lead sorting/prioritization criteria. You have old opportunities that have been sitting in your funnel for 18+ months. Are these the ones you want to toss first? They may not be.
- Don’t deep clean, deep qualify. When there are so many leads clogging up the funnel, reps tend to focus more on qualifying something out rather than qualifying them deeper.
- Toughen up your questions. Remember to ask the tough questions early and often. Salespeople who do this find they have a stronger and more focused funnel. Try the following categories: Current Environment, Business Need, Decision-making Process and Criteria, Competition, Timeframe, Budget, Next Steps.
- Beware of the No-Po’s. These professional funnel cloggers will never commit and will continue to make false promises. Ask lots of decision-making questions here to vet out who they are.
- Say yes to small deals – they are the building blocks of solid salesmanship.
Stay positive, keep your head down, and don’t get caught in the fear and uncertainty that surrounds us.
About the Author
Josiane Feigon is the President of TeleSmart Communications. She is a pioneer, maverick, and visionary in the inside sales community. Consistently recognized among The Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals, Josiane is one of the world’s leading experts on inside sales team and management talent.