As 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?
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?
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?
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?