January 26, 2023 3 Min Read
Do These 3 Things to Generate Pipeline
Whether you’re new to selling or a seasoned professional, one of the most important things you can do to increase your likelihood of success is to grow your pipeline. It’s not always glamorous, but it is essential to sales. And it all starts with a solid prospecting plan. You might ask yourself, what is a prospecting goal, and how do you create one? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Let’s start at the beginning. A prospecting plan outlines the steps you will take to generate new leads. A good plan starts with your specific sales goals for a given period and a strategy to reach those goals. It will also include details about your audience, your message, and your method. We had a chance to sit with TaskHuman sales coach Kendra Fluegeman to talk about all things pipeline generation. Here’s what she had to say.
Know Your Numbers
Before you call or send an email, you need to know your numbers. By focusing on your sales quota for a given period, you can work backward to figure out exactly how many prospects you need in your pipeline at any time. Then you can determine exactly how many activities you need to complete to generate each opportunity. Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you have a sales quota of $100,000 for the first quarter of the new year and the average deal size is $25,000. A good rule of thumb is that your sales pipeline needs to be 3-5 times your quota, so your pipeline should be $300-500,000. Divide that by your average deal size of $25,000, and you’ll need 12-20 opportunities in your pipeline. Now that you know how many opportunities you need to meet your quota, you can set your activity goals.
Your Audience. Your Message. And Your Method
Now that you know how many activities you need to complete to meet your quota, it’s time to start planning your communication strategy. The perfect communication strategy matches your message to your audience using the method that will meet them where they are. Let’s explore these concepts in more detail.
- The audience. Your ideal customer should sit at the center of everything you do. Most companies will provide you with an ideal customer profile (ICP). This is a general description of the company you’re targeting. You can use this information to craft your message and select the perfect method to reach out. If you find your company’s ICP vague, you can define it further based on your territory or the industry you serve.
- The message. Every salesperson should have a complete understanding of how their product can meet the needs of their ICP. You must be comfortable asking the questions to ensure you fully understand what your customer is looking for. Your goal is to position your product as the solution to the buyer’s pain points. You want to craft a message that’s both informative and helpful.
- The method. It’s essential that you select the right communication channel. We recommend using a combination of the big three, phone, email, and social media. Remember that you will likely need to reach out multiple times before getting a response. Finally, you want to ensure you are seen and heard by your ICP.
Phone, Email, and Social. Oh my!
You may be asking yourself when to use each communication method. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Generally, you should use the method that best fits your ICP. For example, if your ideal buyer doesn’t spend time on social media, there’s no use in reaching out to them. Let’s look at each method and examine when you might use which one.
- Email is a great way to reach more people in less time. It’s easy to execute, and you can standardize your message. The downside of sending email is that it can come off as impersonal. It can also quickly be deleted or slipped into the spam folder.
- Social media will allow you to engage with your audience over time. A site like LinkedIn gives you direct access to your buyer. You can learn about their specific interests and needs. You can also engage with their posts to share your thoughts and establish a professional relationship. You’ll want to time your messaging wisely when using the direct message feature on social media. If you pounce before establishing a relationship, you’ll be viewed as overly aggressive.
- Phone calls are a great way to create a personal connection. That is if your prospect stays on the call long enough to engage. Calls also allow you to learn from your prospect and tailor your message at the moment to address their questions and establish yourself as a trusted partner.
Make it Happen
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to generating pipelines. That means you must commit to completing your prospecting activities regularly. We recommend that you block time on your calendar every day to dedicate to your prospecting activities. There is no right or wrong time, as long as you can stick with it.
Need Help With Your Prospecting Plan?
Call a TaskHuman sales coach to help you create your perfect prospecting plan.