How to Build a Kickass Sales Pipeline

May 31, 2013, by Jen Nordine, Happiness Officer

Over here at Tout, we've talked to numerous sales influencers in the space. So when it comes to what moves a successful salesperson makes, the tools they are leveraging and what is working in their sales process - they know it all. Here is their two cents on how to build a kickass sales pipeline and execute.

Let's build your sales pipeline

Being a salesperson today is kind of like running your own company. You decide the fate of your success. You sink or swim. Either you lose a lot of deals (your company fails) or you close a lot of deals (your company thrives). Selling today means you must have a solid plan that focuses on building your opportunity pipeline and development of a bomb.com prospecting plan. Now, building your pipeline is not a one-step process by any means. It takes some time. Let's start with some tips and tricks from Scott Britton on where to begin. 

Scott's Tips

  • LinkedIn, for starters. Take time to research. Linkedin is powerful. And it will help you find the right people and companies to contact.
  • Identify decision makers. This is huge. 
  • Mine your personal and professional networks to target these folks.
  • This one might seem obvious, but it's often skipped. Check corporate websites
  • Do an informational cold call or two. Scott says the goal of the call is to scope out the decision maker for your initiative. Don't try to pitch to the gatekeeper!
  • Try a basic LinkedIn search or, when in doubt, use good ol' Google. Example search: "CEO of ToutApp".
  • Ask for an email introduction to avoid going in cold
  • When going in cold, do it right! Keep your email or call short, relevant and conversational.

Your prospects are busy bees

So you need to send them a cold email that will knock their socks off. An example of this: "The best cold email I have ever recieved." Give them a compelling reason to speak with you. Let me know that this conversation around your service will add value to their life. Try social selling. An example of this: I dug into my prospect's LinkedIn profile to find that he had expertise and was endorsed for "trolling." 

Reached out to him...

After a few weeks of email communication and following up...got him on the phone for a walkthrough of Tout. Social selling folks. Even if it's as subtle as a personal comment on the first line of your initial outreach email. Make it about them.

As a salesperson your job is ultimately to sell things and grow revenue. Social networks open up an entirely new game for you to play and it's a very profitable one. -- Koka Sexton

Just as Scott pointed out, LinkedIn is powerful. And how you leverage this power is what is going to be key. When it comes to endless knowledge of leveraging LinkedIn to drive lead generation, create new opportunities and engage customers Koka Sexton is your man.

Koka's LinkedIn Tips

A LinkedIn profile should be as mandatory as an email address and a phone number for sales people.

  • Expand your network and leverage common connections
  • Curate relevant content and share insight to engage your prospects 
  • Prioritize your prospects and build better lead lists.
  • Use LinkedIn Advanced Search.
  • Engage decision makers directly and shorten your sales cycle

 

What does it take? 

You have all the mechanics of selling in place. Now it's having the skills to sell effectively that come into play.

In order to get some leads in that gosh darn pipeline, you are going to have to make some cold calls or cold emails. In order to qualify one lead you'll need to reach out ten prospects. Ultimately, 10% of your initial list will qualify as valuable prospects.

Here are some great tips from Sean McPheat and the ToutApp team about what it takes to build your sales pipeline:

  • Commit your time to aggressive prospecting.
  • Keep an eye out on your pipeline. It's constantly changing as you find, qualify and lose prospects.
  • Spend time finding prospects that will value what you have to offer.
  • Make sure you are focusing your time on the hot leads. You should be able to guestimate the compatibility of a prospect. This will help you focus on the ones you should be focusing on.
  • Give them a compelling reason to speak with you, not an airy - fairy marketing pitch.
  • Be a winner. Ask more questions, make it all about them and express how your product or service will be incredibly valuable. Win them over with your skillz.
  • Customize, personalize, individualize and optimize your calls and emails.

Build your pipeline, be a social seller, leverage LinkedIn, be aggressive and execute.

Want some more tips and tricks? Check out our iBook: How to Write Kickass Sales Emails.

Close more deals faster with ToutApp

Related Categories:
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Post Tags:
email  email analytics  email tracking  pipeline  sales  sales process  salesforce  tout  toutapp 


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