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The Decision Institute – Coach Manny Nowak

Sales and Leadership Development

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.





Do you understand your sales funnel?
Do you understand the suspect to prospect to customer relationship?
How are you managing your sales funnel?

Some quick tips today.
Also, see the webinar we did on this process to learn more.
Click here to learn more on the webinar.

When you think of the sales funnel I want you to simply think of an upside down triangle.

At the top of the triangle, the widest part – are all the suspects you have.
Suspects being all those who could potentially buy what you sell.

At the bottom of the triangle, the narrowest part, the tip- are your customers.

In the middle, are the prospects and the process that makes it all happen.
The “how” to take all those potential suspects and create what we call the “WOW” – a customer for life.

As we say – sales is a numbers game. In the world of prospecting, the more you put in, the more you get out.
If you want 10 customers to come out of the bottom – how many suspects do you need at the top? That is the question for today.

Tip one for today – always start with the end in mind – what do you want. How many customers do you need this year to generate the business you are looking to generate?

How many of you know that answer?
Stop right now and think about it and come up with a number.

I need 20 new clients.
I need 50 deals.
I have to sell 500 boxes of x.

For our example, lets assume you need 10 new clients and that each is worth, $50,000.
That means that if you close 10, you generate $500,000 dollars in revenue.

Next think, based on what you know about prospects, how many qualified prospected do you need to talk with, work with, present to, in order to close one customer.

Tip two for today – no one can close everyone.
Come up with the number based on history. Yes, to start with it might be a guess.

2 for 1 – means you close 50%.
4 for 1 – 25%.
10 for 1 – 10%.
100 for 1 – 1%.
1000 for 1 – .1%

Come up with the number, there is no right or wrong.
Do not come up with a number you want, but a number that is as close to real as possible.
You can adjust as you learn more, but you need a number.

Lets assume for our example the number is 4.
So for every 4 qualified prospects you work, you close 1 new customer.

So back to our example, you need 10 new clients, that means you need 40 qualified prospects – 4 x 10.

So to meet your goal, you have to find a way to generate 40 prospects.

Next you have to look at suspects. This is the big field.

Tip three for today – everyone is not a suspect.
Based on what you know, how many suspects do you need to generate 1 qualified prospect. How many people do you need to meet, touch and engage with.

Again, for your example, let say the number is 10
So, for every qualified prospect, you need to look at 10 suspects.

Again, back to your example, you need 40 prospects, so you need 400 suspects, 10 x 40.

So to meet your goal, you have to have 400 suspects, that will generate 40 prospects, that will generate 10 new customers and generate $500,000 in revenue.

Your numbers might be totally different, but they are your numbers.
There is no right or wrong here, it is how the sales funnel works.
If you understand it, then you really can start to build a very successful sales process.
This is what we call the foundation.
You have to know these numbers.
The process then becomes, how do you find 400 suspects.

There is more on the webinar.
Click here to learn more.

There is much more during our boot camp.
Click to learn more
Million Dollar Business Development Boot Camp.

Now that you know this information, how are you going use it.
That is what comes next.
Stay tuned.