Friday, 30 June
Today's Topic
Pipeline Management


You can mess up on a sales meeting with a significant prospect or say something stupid in an internal meeting with a big boss present…but whatever you do, NEVER MISREPRESENT your pipeline estimate!

"Own your number!" It’s a classic and oft-repeated sales manager refrain. And for a good reason, it’s your business.

Managing and owning your number means understanding everything, including how the money will flow. So no matter how much you hate your CRM, you must make peace with it enough so that it feeds you accurate sales data and insights.

Owning your number means you’re skilled at qualifying buyers and their opportunities. The ultimate pipeline qualifying question is, "When will you buy from me?" Close behind are these follow-up questions: "If not now, when?" and "If not, why not?"

Your pipeline expects you to get those questions answered.

You can mess up on a sales meeting with a big prospect, say something stupid in an internal meeting with a big boss present, or even forget it’s your manager’s birthday…but whatever you do, NEVER MISREPRESENT your pipeline! Always nail your revenue estimate! Always.

To own your number and provide a lock-tight estimate of your pipeline, you must think critically and strategically…like a Wall Street analyst. First, think about what makes Wall St. analysts A better than analyst B: it’s not the amount of data they analyze; it’s the quality of data they use.

The TOP 10% are where they are in the upper echelons as producers because they ask the hard questions; the hard questions are the ones that deliver high-quality insights. And they ask the same questions to all the buyers on the account to create an accurate composition of the truth.

Raising this part of your game means examining the questions you ask buyers about the status of the open opportunity. This requires better preparation and the courage to ask the questions that give you the correct data. Play the game like an analyst: obtain lots of info, but get the correct info. You know when the info is "correct."


Delivering an accurate revenue estimate means you’re smartly qualifying all the key buyers on an account. Or, develop a champion who tells you everything. How ’bout both…sure thing!

Yes, Fridays are generally hectic, but afternoons often slow down enough for fun CRM digging. (You heard correctly.) So today, while the BOTTOM 90% are knocking off early and heading to the yoga studio or bar, spend a little time getting your CRM in shape.

Review all your open opportunities and analyze the accuracy of the critical information: revenue amount, close date, and percentage probability. Then, note the buyers you must call on Monday and have a qualifying conversation.

How much of your account projections are based on fact versus assumption? The answer unveils the gaps you must explore with your prospects asap.

To be a pipeline manager expert, you have to master three things:
1. You must know your way around your CRM and get it to crank out the reports and info you need. For example, if the average time to close a piece of business from anyone on your sales team is 45 days, you should have a countdown on every open opp that starts at 45.
2. You have to create questions to ask buyers that get the truth about the status of an open opportunity. And then you must have the courage to ask the questions…to all KDMs on the account. This also involves proactively surfacing objections on every interaction with your customers. You won’t know where you stand if you don’t fish for the problems and misperceptions.
3. You must establish a champion inside the customer’s walls who will tell you the truth about where your proposal stands.

Focus on those three things; you’ll always accurately estimate your number to your manager and company.

Tomorrow - June 25

Did your competitor have a good Q2?

Today - June 24

"I thought that buyer LOVED me."

Read More

June 22 - 23


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June 21

On this day, Jaws appeared in theaters

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"Keep your pipeline clean and your colon cleaner." Anonymous. (Hmmm?)

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