How do you guarantee yourself a deal? How can you guarantee that your sales team will hit target? How can you be controlling your results in sales? The most daunting question in sales is: how am I going to hit target?
There are many tricks to becoming good at sales. Becoming good at sales is not something that happens overnight, it takes time. It takes practice. Most important of all, it takes having a good foundation. Becoming good at sales, is a bit like building a house. A house could have all the most luxurious items in the world inside; a sauna, a cinema, a tennis court etc.
But when the wind blows if that particular house does not have strong enough foundations, then what happens? It falls over. Sales is the same, so many sales people focus so much on getting a result, getting the deal, doing little sales tricks that when something goes wrong in their sale, i.e. when the wind blows, everything goes bad.
The most basic foundation in sales is the concept of a pipeline. A pipeline is the process that a potential client goes through before he becomes a client. Think about it like this, if I am selling websites to companies, there is a process that I must follow before I get a client. I have to harvest my client, collect information such a telephone number a contact name, and this would be the lead generation process.
Once that part of my pipeline is complete, I then have to focus on beginning my sales process. So in the example of a web-design company, once I have the lead I would contact the company and explain briefly how we could improve their current site, build an interest and then send some information. This potential client would then be in my pipeline for me to follow up on and close.
The point of this article is not to go through every single stage of a potential pipeline, but more to focus on how to control the result, getting the deals. A pipeline is a bit like a cheese grater. You put a thick piece of cheese in at the beginning, and you get many nice and small pieces of cheese at the other end. A sales pipeline is the same. The more potential leads you have at the beginning, the higher the chances of you getting a deal.
For example, if I have 10 fresh leads, then I have a 1 in 10 chance of doing a deal, if I have 50 fresh leads, then I now have a 5 in 50. It’s important to identify your closing ratio. If at the beginning of my process I have, (x) then at the end of my process I will have (y). For example, if my closing ratio is 1:10, then for me to do 10 deals I have to have 100 potential clients in my pipeline (potential clients that I have spoken to).
A pipeline is a great way to track your sales, track your progress to see if you’re getting better or worse. Most importantly, to guarantee yourself success and results in sales.