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Pipeline Planning: What You Should Be Doing Now

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Welcome to 2016.

You survived 2015, and now it’s time to start the new year with your new quota in mind. All your focus needs to be re-centered now in making your overall number for 2016. Every way you now structure your day, especially in Q1, is critical in achieving your overall goals. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have so much time.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re on track:

1. Make a List

It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it needs to be organized. Create a spreadsheet. What deals are your “front runners” and which ones are only “likely” to come through? Assess your pipeline and write down the deals that will get you to your number. If you are a new rep, that may not be many, so you’ll need to figure out where to get those additional deals…Keep reading.

2. Determine Your Pace of Play

What is your pace of play? Meaning, how many deals do you need to get you to your number? Depending on your industry or if you’re an inside sales rep, that could mean 100-150 deals for the year depending on the pricing structure of your product. This means you have an accelerated pace of play. For some of you, that could mean 5-8 deals total for the year, which means you have a slow pace of play, and your time should be spent strategizing and making the most of your time with your prospects. If you have a long sales cycle and a slow pace of play, Q1 is a critical time for you because you have to find your business now, in order for the deals to come through later in the year. This will tell you how you need to spend your time in Q1, like significant cold calling or attending conferences in search for opportunities that could close later.

3. Don’t Forget Referrals

Network with existing clients. You spent the better part of last year creating meaningful relationships with customers. Use your existing relationships to work for you, send them a care package with a hand written note, and check on how they are doing by  following up with a phone call. Utilize your referrals, they work better than you do.

4. Conferences

Depending on your industry, this can be a hit or miss. For some, conferences can always be a a hit if you’re at the right ones. Research influential conferences throughout the year, try to make the spring conferences so they can directly influence your year for sales. The hungry rep will go to these and they’ll find at least one or two new opportunities from them. You will also reconnect with people that signed with you last time, so this will be another way to walk away with some great referrals.

5. Connect With Your Team

If you have access to a lead generation team or cold calling team, take your development rep out to lunch. Set up phone calls to strategize with them for the year, let them know what type of business your looking for, the regions important to you, so your plans are in sync.

It’s the beginning of the year, start advancing to the next steps in your customer conversations. You want to start moving each deal closer & closer to contract signature. If you want to read more about perfecting your sales techniques, read more here

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