But wait! Are you behind already?
2 Important Sales Strategy questions to ask yourself today:
1. What is the Status of the Lead Pipeline (Prospect inquiry through to sales ready lead)
Is the funnel being sufficiently filled today with inquiries all the way through to sales ready leads to provide your sales team with the appropriate number of Sales Qualified Opportunities in 2012?
Why is this important today? Based on the quantity of Sales Accepted Leads, timing, and your conversion rate, you can now calculate the quantity and timing of Sales Qualified Opportunities you will receive for at least part of 2012. Too few, too late and you’ll not be able to work them into the Sales Pipeline and convert them into new customers.
Something to seriously consider: If you’re behind on your sales ready leads (SAL, or Sales Accepted Leads), what do you need to do to increase the flow at the top of the funnel? (Check out: 3 reasons sales must invest in lead generation.) Time is your biggest enemy. You need to engage in lead generation efforts that will result in increased lead generation for your company before you’re too far behind the 8-ball in 2012.
2. What is the Status of the Current Sales Pipeline (Sale Qualified Opportunity to Won/Lose)
Using your average sales cycle length, conversion rate, and average deal size – Is the current pipeline aligned to meet your monthly and quarterly targets? If not, you have some analysis to perform. For instance, at what point does your drop-off in new Sales Qualified Opportunities from the top of the funnel occur? Where is the “leak” in the funnel? Knowledge is power, my friend. If you know the timing today of when your new Sales Qualified Opportunity will drop-off , add your sales cycle and conversion rates, you’ll be able to determine what steps need to be taken to allow you to achieve your targets.
Something to seriously consider: Now that you have determined when the “flow” of your Sales Qualified Opportunities will decrease due to the lack of new inquires entering and working through the sales pipeline, you have to take steps to prevent it from harming your business. What options do you have today to overcome this issue?
- Increase the conversion rate of the existing opportunities. Don’t get lazy now. Coach train and develop your team.
- Increase the overall deal size to compensate for the revenue shortfall. You’re smart – be creative in how you choose to do this.
- What upsell/cross-sell opportunities exist in your current customer base? It’s always easier to sell additional products/services to your current customers than it is to find new ones.
- Do you have the ability to leverage/amp-up your channel partners to drive more new deals and revenue? If so, do it. What are you waiting for? Remember, if you’re behind for 2012 you are now officially working against the clock.
The bottom line is this. Using your data for how many leads become opportunities, and likewise how many opportunities become sales – do you currently have enough in the pipeline to meet the targets that you spent so much time sweating over in November?
If yes – kudos!
If no – you need to take steps to rectify this by focusing today on the entire funnel from top to bottom. Don’t wait- every day counts and TIME is your enemy. Start by downloading our Lead Generation Whitepaper.