Pipeline management is an ongoing challenge for sales managers. While it may seem that a pipeline with more opportunities is better, this isn’t the case if a large percentage of opportunities are stuck. These stalled opportunities lead to a bloated pipeline and create significant challenges for sales managers such as the following:
Previously, we discussed why “linearity” doesn’t work when managing enterprise sales opportunities. Selling to the enterprise involves fewer high dollar value opportunities as compared to SMB sales. So traditional daily or weekly SMB sales activity metrics such as “How many calls did you make today?” are less useful when managing an enterprise team. The quality of each sales interaction your Account Executives have is much more important than the quantity at the enterprise level. But measuring and managing quality is challenging; it’s not something you can meaningfully track on a sales dashboard. Quality is something you have to observe and coach. Here are three critical qualitative factors to help you provide high-impact sales coaching to your AE's and improve their win rates with enterprise accounts.
Many senior sales leaders are enamored with “linearity”- the concept that the sales process can be broken into monthly, weekly, and even daily activities.
As a sales leader, there’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the quarter and realizing your team will miss their sales goal. But focusing on the bottom-line number – closed deals – is like driving a car by looking in the rear-view mirror. It only tells you what has already happened.
Managing your team’s sales pipeline is both an art and a science – and that’s why it’s one of the most challenging aspects of sales management. At the heart of this challenge are differing perspectives as to what constitutes a healthy pipeline.
Since the day the first contact management systems added features to enable Reps to keep track of their opportunities, there has been a constant struggle between manager and sales rep to keep the pipeline clean and “update the damn CRM.” Management wants a roll-up of their reps’ pipelines to enable better visibility and produce accurate forecasts, while reps are not motivated to spend precious selling time on administrative tasks and data entry that doesn’t help them close business.