Increase Your Pipeline, Staying Motivated
The number 1 reason why businesses fail is due to lack of revenue, and if you remove businesses in the infant stages from those statistics you will see that the same is true for matured businesses. The reason behind this is because businesses become complacent, and they allow their sales team to go into “coast” mode after they have a few steady months of significant achievement. This is when companies are the most vulnerable, and eventually all good things must come to an end if you assume how much growth you’ve seen is enough to keep your business running for the next few years.
Never, never, never rest on your laurels. You’ve landed projects that will boost your annual sales by 20%, great! Take a moment and celebrate, ring the bell, high five, pound fists or whatever it is that you do…then move on because you need to keep your pipeline full and continue to push for more growth. That project you landed can be cancelled 1/2 way through, or taken by competition and if you’ve waited until that moment then you’re too late.
How To Overcome
- Sales is a numbers game, the more projects you are quoting the more opportunities you have to close and thus the higher the likelihood that you will see revenue growth. If you’ve spent 6 months building up your pipeline only to become complacent once you’ve achieved some growth, starting over from the beginning will be much harder than the 1st time. All of those prospects you were pitching to will no longer accept your calls/emails because you didn’t continue to follow up with them…while your competition did.
- Have unreasonable goals. Set goals higher than you could ever imagine and once you start getting closer to those goals, move them even further down the field. Don’t get caught up on the “How”, this is why most people set low goals because they start to work through how they can achieve it and will immediately lower the target.
- Don’t allow your sales team to make excuses that they are busy managing all of these new projects, you hired them to grow your business. Backfill with internal resources to manage the new workload and support your sales team, this will keep them focused on new sales and remove the ability for excuses.
- Rinse and Repeat. You’ve developed a pipeline, you’ve added new customers and broken into new industries. Figure out what is working and continue down that path to create your “Road Map”. If you’ve added a customer from a new industry, then start pounding on the doors of their competition and everyone within that space. You’re now an “expert” in that industry and you can reference that by the new work you’re doing, and use those examples to bring in more customers. You’ve seen some growth, don’t let up now because this is only the beginning and you will soon be flooded if you keep your foot on the pedal and continue at the same pace.
Set Yourself Up For Success
- Only hire people that have unreasonable professional goals, they are hungry and won’t become complacent until they reach them.
- Be prepared to support your new growth with new people/positions to keep your sales team focused on business development and not account management. Too often businesses only focus on the capital side of growth; new equipment, larger space, better technology, an increase in efficiency.
- Hold weekly meetings discussing business development activities to make sure you’re still focusing on growth, hold your sales team accountable to their metrics and don’t lower the goal for any reason.
Keep pushing and never give up on your growth goals, anything can be achieved with persistence.