Home Add to Favorite Contact Submit  
             27 November, 2020
 

    
Category:  Articles » Business » Sales Management

 

Manage the Pipeline

Popularity:
         Views: 1417
2008-01-27 04:36:36     
Article by Rick Johnson

Pipe Line Management is fundamentally, a time management problem. It begins with answering the following questions.

- Are there alternatives to a sales person spending the majority of their time doing demand fulfillment tasks?

- How much time should be spent on maintenance accounts?

- How much time should be spent on prospecting?

- Do you have a plan for account qualification?

- What is your company's value proposition?

- What is your competitive advantage?

- Do you have a penetration strategy?

Start with Balance

Here's what should happen....there should be a balance in every field sales person's territory between prospecting, account maintenance and penetration. Now let's define the differences.

Prospecting is essentially trying to find an opportunity where you have no sales activity and it may or may not have potential so there's a constant churning. You don't know the real potential until the account has gone through a qualification procedure. This is simply a process of questioning that helps determine what the customer is buying and how much of what they buy fits your line card. Qualifying a customer can be done by both inside and outside sales. What you're trying to do with prospecting is look at the movement and buying influences in your industry. Cold calling is the most unproductive activity a sales person can undertake. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you develop an inside sales support program for qualification of prospects.

Account Maintenance is the services you provide to major accounts where you have received maximum share of spend. Literally, this means there is little or no potential for increasing your sales at this account because they already buy everything they could possibly buy from you. Congratulations, you have done an excellent job at that account. Your primary objective at that account is to protect your position and keep the customer happy. Usually, most sales people have but one or two accounts of this nature.

Account maintenance and Prospecting are the book ends of territory pipeline management. However, real growth opportunity, opportunity that has the largest rate of success, is the penetration of existing accounts that have a significant potential for an increased share of the customers spend.

Penetration

An opportunity exists for a significant increase in sales in the next 90 days. - This is important.-- A significant increase in sales in the next 90 days. - This kind of opportunity will only exist at accounts that you are currently doing business with and you have developed relationship equity at these accounts. In other words, they know you; they trust you and they believe in your company and your products. You just haven't been able to get the maximum share of their purchasing dollars ---- yet. Notice I used the term, yet. There are several steps involved in creating a strategy to increase your penetration at these accounts with high growth potential. They include:

" Make sure you have the "Book" on the customer. You have a complete profile on the customer and their business

" You have multiple contacts within their organization

" You know your competitions strengths and weaknesses

" Determine real growth potential

" You have defined value propositions that match customers needs

Once you accumulated this knowledge, utilize it. Develop your penetration strategy around the customer's pains. What challenges do they face on a day to day basis? How do they make money? Where can you provide value, increase their ability to make profit. (This does not include price reductions). Employ all the resources in your company that are necessary to accomplish your growth objectives.

A key best practice principle utilized to manage your territory and maximize success states that you should allocate time by opportunity for increase rather than existing volume. Think about that. It makes a huge difference. Most salespeople allocate their time based on the account size and what it takes to service them. That worked in the 80's. It's was a lone wolf concept. Back then we all thought we personally owned every customer. It was only about relationships. Times have changed.

Pay Attention to How You Invest Your Time

Return on Investment from a sales person's point of view (Return on Time Invested) is critical to territory success. Don't let the high revenue dollars from your large accounts cloud your vision on potential growth. If you have already captured the majority of spend from your top accounts and there is little room for growth ---- they are "Maintenance Accounts". That doesn't mean you stop calling on them. You can't, they are considered the heart of your territory performance. But ask yourself if you need to spend as much time as you are spending on them. Better yet, ask them. You might be surprised to find out that it isn't necessary to call on them as frequently as you do. There are only so many hours in the day and to manage your territory effectively you have to create time for growth. That growth is predominantly going to come from under penetrated existing accounts and new account development. It will not come from accounts where you are already getting the majority of their spend. Remember ..... managing your pipeline is critical to your success.

Specialized in: Pipeline
Print article      Bookmark this page
Related Articles 
The Importance Of Acquiring Effective Sales & People Management Skills (Popularity: ): Effective Sales & People Management Skills are essential for a business or sales manager to reach the goals of their organization successfully. Ryan Singlehurst Dubai offers tailor made training programs to mould successful sales managers and executives, by acquiring expert insights and exploring leadership & people management concepts. The training programs of Ryan Singlehurst are designed by examining actionable strategies for building the kind of leadership, people management and sales ...
Mesothelioma Lawyers Ask.... (Popularity: ): What is the Government doing about mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is one of the biggest killers in the UK, and statistics are set to peak over the next 10 to 15 years as the disease has a long incubation period. Swept under the carpet for years, the problem of the 'Silent Killer' (as the disease has become known) has recently received much higher public exposure with the successful conclusion of a court case ...
8 Lodging Brand Resources to Increase Revenues (Popularity: ): We are increasingly called upon by mortgage holders to aid hotels that are facing financial troubles. Sometimes were called in preparation of a foreclosure action to begin arrangements for a receivership and at times when the mortgage holder is exercising its rights under the terms of its loan to interject professional management. Fortunately, we are noticing a new and developing trend from alert hotel owners who are aware that things ...
The Art of LeaderShaping - People First, Then Build a Strategy For Execution (Popularity: ): With growing organizations in today's troubling downturn economy, opportunity continues to present itself for progressive thinkers to act. I believe that organizations across the United States of America have the resolve to remain on task for being some of the more progressive thinkers in the world. We have come through tough times in the last ten years and more are in front of us. I am proud that the Bison ...
C-Level Relationship Selling - Take Control and Your Relationships Will Flourish (Popularity: ): In a selling situation, "How can I help you," seems to be the spoken or implied question from one person to the other. Typically your prospect or customer will say, "I have a question or a problem," or "Can you help me?" or "I need some information on ...."As an experienced sales person, you'll listen for a few seconds, and think you've got it. Then you start selling, i.e. trying ...


Related Business 
Golf Pipeline Corporation (Popularity: ): Golf Pipeline exists to provide golfers with tools to manage their golf game, and their golf lives. The foundation of Golf Pipeline is the ability to book online tee times by showing all available inventory for participating golf courses based on the search criteria chosen by the golfer. Golf Pipeline makes it easy to search based on the date, time, number of players, and cost of the round of golf. ...
Pipeline Media (Popularity: ): Pipeline Media is a worldwide leader in enhanced electronic messaging services. Focusing on Fax & Email Broadcasting, Pipeline provides the industry’s absolute best service to a wide range of corporate clients. Pipeline offers the most comprehensive features in the industry, making your campaigns stand out from your competitors.
Brinker Technology Ltd. (Popularity: ): Engineering and manufacturing of unique products for pipeline leak location and sealing of leaks from inside the pipeline. Also offers consultancy on pipeline integrity management and related services. Based in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Pipeline Survey Projects | Laying Pipelines | Pipeline Maintenance (Popularity: ): We've helped our partners lay and maintain countless miles of pipeline, from the western plains to the eastern seaboard to the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Pipeline Supply and Service Co (Popularity: ): Houston, Texas based pipeline supply, rental and service company providing pipeline pigs, pipe beveling and cutting equipment, line-up clamps, and pipe handling equipment to the pipeline contractor.
Pipeline Fabrication Service (Popularity: ): A professionally managed organization which is unreservedly engaged in manufacturing and supplying from Madhya Pradesh,offring a huge range of engenieering products and services like pipeline fabrication, pipeline & tank coating, hot insulation services and many more
Pipeline Pigging Products Inc. (Popularity: ): Manufacturer of poly pigs, internal pipeline cleaners .
Pipeline Publications Australia (Popularity: ): Publication of the Australian Pipeline Industry Association, Inc.
WaveTrak Electronics Ltd. (Popularity: ): Manufactures pipeline pigging equipment for observation and tracking of pipeline conditions.
Pipeline News (Popularity: ): Information on U.S., Canadian and International contracts and updates on jobs in progress in the pipeline industry.