Editor’s Note: This is our second installment in our “Building a Revenue Machine” blog series. In our previous installment, we discussed how to fix inconsistency in your sales process.
Pipeline is the leading indicator whether or not your team is going to hit their number. Many Sales Leaders struggle with having a solid view of the health of their pipeline. We’re sure that you’re familiar with these common pipeline questions:
- Does the team have enough qualified pipeline to hit their number?
- Does the team have enough new opportunities to add to the top of their pipeline?
- Is there a well defined plan around how pipeline is generated?
- Are reps able to manage pipeline as it moves through the sales stages?
Every Sales Leader is struggling to find that answers to those common questions. Having enough pipeline is the life-blood of your business. You need to have it if you want to close deals and meet your business goals. That seems obvious, but pipeline creation and coverage remains a top challenge for Sales Leaders everywhere.
However, many Sales Leaders are beginning to realize that there are two core areas to invest in to conquer this challenge.
Investment #1 – Defining Responsibilities Around Pipeline Generation
If you want to overcome your pipeline challenge, the first thing that needs to be solidified is defining who owns pipeline generation.
Take the time to strategically think about who should own pipeline generation and why they should own it:
- Are the individual reps responsible for building their own pipeline?
- Do you segment your Sales team between Account Executives and Sales Development Representatives with the latter owning pipeline?
- Should Marketing be held accountable for pipeline?
These are all critical points to consider. The answers will make up your playbook for your business. You need to take a stance on pipeline generation and hold either your reps, a Sales Development team or Marketing accountable to its production.
Investment #2 – Defining Consistency for Pipeline Generation
When Sales Leaders are looking to define responsibilities around pipeline generation, the next step is to define how to create consistency around it. There has to be consistency around messaging, in follow-up and in actions—consistency in pipeline generation is no different.
If there’s no consistency around pipeline creation, how are reps expected to hit their number quarter after quarter? With this realization, Sales Leaders are beginning to implement different strategies in order to create consistency.
Account Based Sales and Marketing: According to ITSMA, 78% of executives are willing to respond to unsolicited outreach from companies, if it contains ideas that are strategically relevant. Deploying both an Account Based strategy for Sales and Marketing allows for multiple strategic sources of targeting and outreach that will fill the top of funnel pipeline.
Through these strategic approaches, your Sales and Marketing teams can tailor your solution and content to individual accounts, thus hyper-personalizing experiences and turning accounts into opportunities.
Multi-Touch Outbound Sales Campaign: For reps that need to generate pipeline, effective pipeline generation heavily depends on how well equipped reps are to manage their pipeline. Reps need a scalable outreach communication workflow that allows them to touch every opportunity, no matter the stage of the said opportunity. In short, reps need to communicate with their opportunities across email, phone and social in order to generate pipeline and move them through to the next stage in the process.
Sales Development Team: One movement among Sales organization is segmentation between closing deals and prospecting roles. Of the organizations implementing this strategy, their Sales Development team is responsible for generating pipeline and booking meetings for their quota-carrying counterparts. Meaning, all outbound communications is done through the Sales Development Representative (SDR) up until a lead is qualified and turned into a working opportunity.
Automation Through Marketing: Marketing plays a huge role in generating Top of Funnel leads and nurturing them in becoming a qualified lead. If tasked with generating pipeline, it’s not enough for Marketing to loosely define leads and throw them over the fence to Sales.
How to Beat the Challenge
Sales Leaders today are heavily investing in tools that increases pipeline coverage in a scalable and predictable way. ToutApp’s platform offers integrated Sales Campaigns which allows reps to run a well defined and consistent multi-touch campaign so that prospecting for new deals (if your closers are prospecting) or wondering if the fresh out of college SDR you’ve hired is pushing hard enough—is never an afterthought. Further, Product Marketing can contribute and oversee the best messaging and see real-time insights on what’s resonating.
For a deeper dive into a Sales Leader’s challenges, stay tuned to our blog for the third installment next week. Or, to take immediate action, download our latest eBook the Sales Leader’s Guide to Building a Revenue Generating Machine.