The other day I was talking with one of my client’s top performers. He is typically a pretty upbeat guy and I was surprised that he was so upset. He explained to me that he was miserable because his manager was forcing him to close a deal in time for an upcoming board meeting.
He had masterminded the sales process and done all the right things — built rapport and credibility, really understood this client well, and knew where they were in their buying process. He also knew that the client could not close within that timeframe. He said he just felt sleazy even asking.
We are all told how important it is to build our pipelines with qualified deals and work them efficiently through the sales funnel. But what can you do when your manager comes to you and says, “We need this deal for the quarter?”
This is definitely one way to truly upset your potential buyer, especially since you have been working collaboratively through the sales process and now you just want the deal because your management says to close it. Huh? We have all seen this a million times. So instead of forcing deals to close when you need them for your forecast, try these 4 tips to build up a robust sales pipeline:
- Spend more time creating qualified deals at the top of the funnel which should eventually lead to more deals closing
- Expand other existing deals that are at the bottom of your sales process
- Get that required additional revenue from current clients where they have a need and you have established a strong relationship and credibility
- Make sure you understand what the customer’s ultimate business goals are so you can compress the buying cycle and accelerate the customer’s ability to achieve their desired results
If you are successful in doing these things, you will have a more robust pipeline which will enable you to push back on your sales management. Instead, ask your sales manager to be more proactive in deals by providing sales coaching, enabling you to continue to build a more robust pipeline. This approach ensures that you are doing your job and everyone is happy – you, your company, your sales rep and your client. Stop forcing deals to close. It’s just sleazy.