Want to Grow Your Business? Manage the Pipe!

If your business is like many entrepreneurial organizations, its success has a lot to do with your pipeline of opportunities. Have enough in the pipeline at all times, and no matter what the timing of particular deals is, revenue will follow. Read more

Of course, if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. And not everyone is. In my conversations with clients, I have noticed a few issues that get in the way of entrepreneurial teams trying to maximize the pipe.

Making the wrong communications choices: Some entrepreneurs don't love the telephone and gravitate to email as their communications default. It's easier than a phone call. But don't forget the power of the phone. A call shows an infinitely higher level of interest and commitment compared with an email. If your follow up to a great prospect meeting is an email, even when a phone call would be more powerful, ask yourself if your convenience is more important than making the sale.

Tolerating disorganization: You're in sales, with lots of potential clients and it can be hard to track the status of all of them at one time. Many salespeople fail to use all the great tools available to them to calendar follow up calls and next steps. They act spontaneously when they happen to think of particular prospects. It's too hard to find revenue to leave it to that kind of randomness, especially when it's now so easy to use technology to remind yourself of action steps.

Letting operational details interfere with sales: In entrepreneurial companies, it's not uncommon for key managers to do many jobs -- selling, customer service and administration all become intertwined.  Some managers are more inclined to focus on customer service because they're paranoid about important things falling through the cracks. But then sales takes a back seat and that can be the downfall of any entrepreneurial company. If your job is sales, and you love selling, then get out of the way of your customer service people. Trust your team to do their jobs and back you up.

Letting you team have your back: You have to rely on your people. And they should hold you accountable to do the things that move the business forward. They should call you out if you're messing around with stuff that gets in the way of that mission.

What's getting in your way? What are you doing about it? Need help? Contact me

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