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7 Proven Ways to Dump Your Rinse-and-Repeat Pipeline

7 Proven Ways to Dump Your Rinse-and-Repeat Pipeline - SalesLatitude

7 Proven Ways to Dump Your “Rinse and Repeat” Pipeline - SalesLatitudeAs sales people, we live and die by our pipelines – always filling them with deals that have a high percentage chance of closing. And, we tend to look at our pipelines year by year with the goal of making or exceeding quota. It becomes a proverbial rinse-and-repeat pipeline exercise. A habit. A modus operandi. But what do top sales performers do?

The Rinse-and-Repeat Pipeline

For many sales reps, quotas and pipelines are psychological roller coasters. One minute you’re worrying about making your quota, or you’re ecstatic because you already have. The next minute, you’re worrying about building your pipeline, or you’re ecstatic because your pipeline is loaded with deals that have a high percentage chance to close.

Although you’re always building a quality pipeline, your efforts tend to be different at the beginning of your fiscal year than they are at the end. The beginning tends to be all about planning and determining where to best spend your time. The end of the year may be either totally “chill,” or you’re frantically working to get deals in by end of year.

Rinse and repeat. Every year seems to go the same way. But is it the best way?

How Top Sales Performers Do It Better

Top sales performers have a different approach. They don’t look at their pipelines linearly by focusing only on a single year. They fill their pipelines based on their customer’s needs – not on making quota. Their view of their pipeline is bigger than them. So, what do they do differently?

  1. They reach people higher in the customer’s organization, enabling them to identify and help achieve larger, more enterprise-level business outcomes
  2. They talk to every key stakeholder in their territory/account on a regular basis
  3. They continually validate each stakeholder’s priorities, risk tolerances, business outcomes and compelling events behind achieving them
  4. They talk to everyone they can to share industry trends and customer peer data to provoke discussion about business outcomes the customer may not even be thinking about
  5. They understand their impact on each and every key decision maker’s objectives – and they make it personal
  6. They truly understand the benefits and value of getting things done on the customer’s timeline
  7. Their pipelines are determined solely on the priorities of their customers and what they are trying to achieve – not on a single year’s quota

What Are You Doing?

Sounds simple, right? In fact, I’m guessing that most of you are saying that you’re doing most of these. But here’s the difference: top sales performers are not just doing one or two of these things – they’re doing ALL of them.

Take a look at your pipeline and determine which side of the fence you’re on. Are you doing what top sales performers do and aligning your pipeline to the customer’s needs, goals and timelines? Or are you doing the same thing you did last year – a rinse-and-repeat pipeline tied to your quota?

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter

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