Sales Pipeline – Fact, Fiction or Fad?

Reward Management 26th March 2015

Over the last few years, expressions have gone in and out of fashion at an increasing rate and business has provided us with a rich seam of meaningless, disposable terms.  My particular favourite is the sales “pipeline”, possibly the most ambiguous of terms and one sprayed about like confetti. In differing degrees pipeline is used to describe potential business leads, from casual conversations to ones that have been the subject of several formal meetings.

The dictionary defines pipeline as “a long tubular conduit or series of pipes” or more appropriately in this context as “a route, channel or process along which something passes” and “a channel of information, that is direct, privileged or confidential”. Business uses it as a blanket term for their sales prospects, however vague they may be.

What we should be concerning ourselves with, is taking initial contacts through a defined process to become a genuine business prospect. Any sales process should be underpinned by a robust reward system to encourage appropriate behaviours in all those involved in sales within your business. On average it will take 6 encounters with a potential client before agreement is reached to enter into a commercial arrangement. Often the best prospects are those we already know and perhaps those already within our customer base and it is significantly more difficult to win a new client than to retain an existing client.

Commission plans should reward the recipient for achieving the results your business desires and be pitched appropriately to fit account management and new sales functions. Commission has many outputs and should be used as a tool to attract and retain the best sales people and support your Company vision and values.

Could your business benefit from a practical, direct approach to sales commission? Whether you want to grow your existing accounts or win new clients, we can help you.

To find out more about getting the sales function you deserve, get in touch here or call Mark on 01604 763494.

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