If you want to be successful in selling additive manufacturing equipment, you must continually grow and mature your sales pipeline. This is accomplished by consistently feeding it high-quality opportunities and advancing them through the profitable end of the funnel. This is one of the most important aspects of your job as a sales professional and must be given significant effort. There are no substitutions for having a healthy pipeline and there are no shortcuts to building one. When something exits your funnel, closed/won or closed/lost, get into the habit of replacing it with two additional opportunities. Discipling yourself to do this will prove to be challenging but will pay high dividends if you adopt it as a best practice.
Don’t be a sales spider who patiently waits by their web, hoping for a prospect to make the first contact. If you want to join the ranks of the sales elite, you must transcend your need for inbound leads or random calls and emails. Don’t get me wrong, leads are important and should be appreciated, but you should never become dependent on them. Your success is dependent on your “work” ethic, not your “wait” ethic. Top performers assume full responsibility for generating their own leads and never blame marketing for a poor sales quarter. To achieve long-lasting success, you must treat your territory as if it were your own business—adopting a mindset of complete ownership. Up or down, thin or flush; your success is up to you! Here are 12 activities for building a healthy pipeline:
1. Time Block weekly prospecting efforts
2. Accurately track your prospecting results
3. Actively leverage your social network
4. Attend live or virtual industry events
5. Revisit stalled and lost opportunities
6. Build a library of industry insights
7. Ask satisfied customers for referrals
8. Improve your phone and email messaging
9. Create two opportunities when one is removed
10. Treat your territory like you are a business owner
11. Transcend your need for leads and never stop hunting
12. Leverage the Phase Selling™ "New Logo Dashboard” tool
Note: The “New Logo Dashboard” is a powerful prospecting tool that you will receive once you have completed the two-day Phase Selling™ for AM webinar training.
Equally as important as growing your pipeline is maturing the opportunities that it contains. Consistently feeding your sales funnel is a crucial component of your success, but it’s not enough on its own. Deals must continually be advancing through the sales process, towards the finish line, for quotas to be achieved. Phase Selling™ for Additive Manufacturing is not just a sales methodology, it is also a sales process. This means there are established rules for opportunity advancement, removing all guesswork and providing clearly defined targets for scoring them as they progress. Find the right balance of growing and maturing your sales pipeline simultaneously and your sales career will soar!
“Prospecting is hard. Missing your quota is hard. Choose your hard!”
— Chris Harris
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