As Sales Development Reps, pipeline management is crucial to our everyday prospecting efforts. Having an organized sales pipeline not only makes sales prospecting effective, it makes it efficient.
There are many ways one can manage their sales pipeline. In fact, Kim Staib shared a strategy for a more in-depth pipeline review to remain proactive when prospecting and to uncover hidden opportunities. However, when I need to focus on organization, I have found that structuring my pipeline by the following elements is the most practical:
Be sure to address your highest-priority pipeline first. This should include key target accounts, requested follow ups, and warm inbound leads. If you have a list of targeted key accounts, pursue those first. Second, make sure to pay close attention to your scheduled follow ups. If a prospect asks that you check back in with them during a specific time frame, be sure you follow up on their request. You will not only build your credibility by following up when you said that you would, but chances are you will have a much more productive conversation when it's during a time your prospect picked out. Lastly, make sure to prioritize anything considered “hot” such as an inbound lead from a webinar or eBook. The longer you wait to follow up on these opportunities, the less chance you have of getting the prospect live on the phone and engaged.
By Opportunity Size
Every SDR wants to meet quota. One way of ensuring this is by focusing on the opportunity size that your offering has the most historical success in. This goes hand in hand with the target account list I mentioned previously. Review your pipeline and the potential opportunities you have in front of you. Now, sort them by size. Which are the ones that will bring in the most revenue for your company and help you to make your quota? Closing one or two big deals can be the equivalent of closing a handful of smaller ones. However, if you focus on the opportunity size that isn't the right fit for your offering, you could be neglecting accounts that are ready to close. Bottom line, make sure not to neglect the smaller companies in your sales pipeline, they matter too!
Use the existing information in your sales pipeline to your benefit. If you are prospecting higher education establishments, try reaching out in the summer when they are more likely to be focusing on improvements for the upcoming school year. If your timing is strategic, they have more availability to evaluate new solutions to challenges they have been facing. If you have a handful of prospects that expressed budget concerns, reach out to them around the end of Q3 when they start their budget planning for next year. Get to know the space that you are prospecting into and understand the kind of compelling events that will push them further down your sales funnel. In terms of your prospecting strategy, identify where your accounts are located geographically and separate your pipeline by timezone. Switching up your call strategy so that you are alternately hitting various time zones in the morning and in the afternoon will increase your chances of catching someone live on the phone. Demographics can be a great way to organize sales pipeline without over complicating it.
Not every SDR has the same set of preferences when it comes to segmenting their sales pipeline. However, we all share one common objective: to turn that pipeline into revenue. Whether you choose to organize your sales pipeline by priority, opportunity size, demographic, or another method of your choice, be sure that you are putting yourself in the best position to convert. Don’t let a messy and disorganized pipeline ruin your prospecting efforts!