How_to_Build_Next_Years_Pipeline.jpg

 

The life of a Sales Manager is tough.  The pressure is on every quarter to hit the number.  Consequently, your focus is usually the next 90 days.  This is good and bad.  You need to make the number; but you need to look downfield as well.  What you expect to close in 6-9 months should be in your pipeline now.

 

You want your reps laser-focused on making the quarterly number.  Don’t distract them.  Instead, leverage Marketing to help you build pipeline for next year.

 

There are lots of ways Marketing can help you fill the funnel.  Below are three ways you can collaborate to build tomorrow’s pipeline.  If you want to know more about how marketing adds value, go here.  SBI’s Annual Research Report catalogs how the best marketers increase contribution to revenue.

 

Targeting

Every Sales Manager wants their team focused on pursuing the best opportunities.  Most reps struggle to prioritize accounts in their patch.  They only have so much selling-time.  Focus is critical.  Marketing can help. 

 

  • Propensity to Buy – Marketing knows how likely a given customer is to buy each of your products/solutions. They have a clear definition of the ideal customer.  Use this information to prioritize prospects/customers to target with a given offering.
  • Buyer Personas – Marketing has deep understanding of your buyers and what they care about. They have documented this information.  Get access to it and train your team on how to use buyer personas.  Personas will help them resonate better with prospects.  Their interactions will be more relevant and speak to what prospects care about.

 

Campaigns

Your team needs more quality leads to fill the pipeline.  Leverage the Marketing team by working with them to build some targeted campaigns.  Identify a pressing need your buyers have.  Build a target list and launch a campaign.  Try different modes to contact your buyers: email, LinkedIn, text.  Think short sprints instead of long marathons.  Test and iterate your campaigns for maximum effectiveness.  Remember, the goal is to generate leads today for tomorrow’s pipeline.

 

Content

Today’s buyers are over-stimulated.  They get bombarded with information every day.  The key to getting their attention is being relevant.  Your message must speak to their goals and what’s keeping them from meeting their objectives.  If not, your emails will be deleted and calls left unanswered.

 

Here’s where Marketing can help.  They are creating varying types of compelling content that attracts your buyers.  Get your hands on it and equip your team.  You can easily leverage things like whitepapers, case studies, blogs, and webinars.  The key is getting the right content in the hands of the right person at the right time. 

 

Get Going: Closing the quarter strong is critical.  But don’t get too short-sighted.  You need to start building pipeline now for Q1.  Since your team is hyper-focused on closing deals, partner with Marketing to fill the top of the funnel.  Marketing can help in three ways: targeting, campaigns and content. 

 

  • Targeting  Focus your team on the best opportunities.
  • Campaigns – Stimulate interest through agile campaigns.
  • Content – Be super relevant when engaging your buyers.

 

Visit with your Marketing Leader.  Understand how they can help you build pipeline and contribute to revenue.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

George de los Reyes

Solves clients’ most difficult sales and marketing problems to ensure they accelerate and exceed their revenue growth goals.
Learn more about George de los Reyes >

George joined the SBI team in 2011. He leads engagement teams for clients such as Hewlett Packard, Adobe, Thomson Reuters, Ryder Systems, UPS Capital, Cancer Treatment Centers of America and others.

 

Prior to SBI, George was the CEO of a management consultancy and real estate development firm. His breadth of expertise covers sales and marketing, operations, strategic planning, finance, project management and public relations. George leverages his broad professional experience to solve complex issues and build effective solutions for his clients.

Read full bio >