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This article originally published on Predictable Revenue. Aaron Ross, of the award-winning, bestselling book Predictable Revenue, has been teaching companies how to double or triple (or more) new sales since he helped Salesforce grow from $5m to $100m. You can find tips and tricks from Aaron on Hoopla, and look out for From Impossible 2.0.
It’s the makings of your worst nightmare: deals that were once on the table disappear, new leads aren’t coming in as fast as they once did… your sales pipeline is starting to dry up. Anyone who’s been in this situation knows that there are two routes to take. The first is to panic (which we don’t suggest); the second, stay calm and work towards a solution. In any business, some months are quiet and others are tough to keep up with—much like the ebb and flow of a tide.
It’s easy to panic about your dropping numbers, but don’t frantically scramble to fill your sales funnel. Turning to desperate tactics will likely hurt your business in the long-term. Following these simple rules will help you focus on being proactive rather than reactive:
Ok, now you know what to avoid, let’s talk how to make sure your sales pipeline is always full:
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70%, whereas the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5–20%. This means that recycling your list once a quarter can be very fruitful. Just make sure you remove contacts from companies you’ve qualified / disqualified, and nix anyone that unsubscribed or sent a ‘negative’ reply.
Take time to look over your company lists once a quarter and expand your list of contacts at those same companies. This can help you reach new hires or connect with those in new roles. New contacts can lead to renewals, upsells and cross-sales.
You might be set in your ways with one comfortable lead source, but try different list sources to keep things fresh. Different sources have different contacts, so you can’t rely on just one medium. Find people on social media that are looking for answers to their questions right now. Sites like Quora, Clarity, Twitter and LinkedIn can also be great for lead gen, but continually require time and energy to yield results.
Try casting a wider net with broad titles (vs. getting super specific with one contact). Use the cold calling 2.0 referral network and reach out to ‘referral targets’ (CXO’s and VP’s), not just the decision makers you want to meet with.
Kickstart your outbound efforts by outsourcing the initiative with a third party. Pipeline Automation Apps like Predictable Revenue (shameless plug) can help you identify your ideal customer profile, set up targeted lists and optimize email templates. If you understand that leads can dry up and businesses have bad months, then you can be proactive in your sales strategy and avoid potential nightmarish situations. Instead of panicking, use the above tactics as a part of a larger strategy to ensure that your sales funnel runneth over for many quarters to come.
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