Not suspects!

Not unqualified leads!

Not everyone!

 

Take a good hard look at your funnel and based on what you define as a “real” prospects – how many do you have in the funnel?

 

Furthermore, based on your buy cycle, where are they in the buy cycle?

 

These seem to be questions that at times are hard to get answers from our sales team. 

 

But they need to be answered and answered correctly to have an effective sales process that works, one that increases sales.  You have to know what is in the funnel.

 

When I was in the computer staffing business, my prospects were defined as local companies that used outside computer professionals on a regular base.  Period.

 

My qualified prospects were defined as those that met that criteria and that I was in contact with on a regular base.

 

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Those prospects fell into the following categories.

  • Still being cultivated.
  • Regular call.
  • Has a need, looking to fill.
  • Closed a deal – got a consultant in.
  • Expanding.

 

Now take a look at your funnel. 

Where are your prospects?

How many do you have that you define as “real” prospects?

What does “real” prospect mean in your organization?

 

Second, ask yourself honestly, where are these prospects in the buying process that you have defined for your organization?

 

In the example above I have defined the following:

1/        Still being cultivated – I am not in yet but working on finding and/or connecting with the right person.  I know they need what I have to offer, but I am still working on my connections.

 

2/        Regular call – I have connected with the right person and am now calling them on a regular base for needs.  They have acknowledged who I am and will talk with me at times.   If a need comes up, I will get an opportunity to fill it.

 

3/        Has a need, looking to fill – I am trying to fill a need for a resource they require.  I am getting an opportunity to present candidates to them for consideration.

 

4/        Closed a deal – I got a consultant in – they have accepted and hired a resource from me.  We are doing business together.

 

5/        Expanding – I have one or more people in the account and am looking to increase that number and fill additional needs as they arise.

 

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You need to define this same information for your organization and the products/services you sell.

 

Your sales team needs to report this information to you on a regular base.  This is the information that you need to track and manage.

 

How many “real” prospects in your funnel and where in the funnel are they? 

 

Always know this information in your sales process.

It is the only way to stay on top of getting more business and growing your organization.  The only way to build that top line.

 

No excuses.