In a time where pipeline generation is becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain, planning, for many companies, becomes paramount. Business is a constantly fluctuating and unpredictable entity, so ensuring you’re prepared with a comprehensive pipeline generation strategy that accounts for all possible obstacles is essential.
In this article, we highlight some critical mistakes that business leaders make when creating their pipeline generation strategy. Our tips will help you avoid making these errors, ensuring a stable and prosperous future with profitable pipeline generation.
Pipeline generation strategy:
- Lack of targets, lack of momentum
- Set targets and aim high
- Remember, the only constant is change
- Stay on top of unpredictability
- Slow your pace and you’ll lose the race
- Engage early before problems arise
Lack of targets, lack of momentum
When creating a pipeline generation strategy, many business leaders make the mistake of waiting months for their targets and forecasts to be issued before planning for the following year. This causes them to lose vital time in the first quarter of the year while their competitors are moving swiftly on-wards with both kick-off and sales meetings.
This immediately puts those companies at a disadvantage as they are missing the most active time of year. By the time they have got the ball rolling, the month of January is out the window and it then will take another month to catch up with the initial organisation. You are then ultimately leaving yourself with only ten months, and you are missing the first 20% of the year by waiting for those targets to be issued. You are then starting the race with a broken foot, while your competitors pick up speed with their pipeline generation.
Set targets & aim high
Although, of course, we cannot predict exactly what the following year will forecast, we do know that targets will either be the same or more than the company’s current level of productivity.
Therefore, you must plan for exponential growth and develop the means to continue generating your current level of profit and increasing sales. We suggest that you start planning and you aim high. This way, if you plan to deliver 150%, you won’t fall short.
For example, if you are aiming to make 5 million by the end of the fiscal year, aim to make 7.5 million, so you can remain in full confidence that you will deliver the results and possibly break your own records. Gartner suggests that high-impact, strategic goals within day-to-day operations can be a hugely positive investment.
Therefore, the first factor that we suggest you consider is to plan with ambitious goals in mind when considering pipeline generation. You’ll then find yourself moving quickly forward while meeting your targets with relative ease.
Within business, the only constant is change
Unfortunately, business is characterised by a constant flow of unpredictable change, both internally and externally. This can cause stress for many organisations and their employees. By being aware of the changes that may arise, companies stand a greater chance of successfully navigating their unstable climate.
For example, according to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), estimates of annual turnover among internal sales teams run as high as 27%, with an average tenure of fewer than two years. With this figure in mind, it becomes clear how important it is for companies to remain adaptive to the high churn rate within the sales team.
On average, clients tell us that it takes two months to replace their sales staff, and then another month to get them up to speed. In essence, you are then losing three valuable months on just one employee acquisition. If we take the HBR figure as a reference, we would then double this time for the predicted absence of two more employees. Therefore, when you are down on staff and you are behind in recruiting their replacement, you must ensure you have a Plan B in place to keep the team constantly afloat and ensure successful pipeline generation.
Stay on top of unpredictability and always have a plan B
While business may be unpredictable, the best thing you could possibly do to safeguard yourself is to double up on your pipeline generation strategy. Even if you are lucky enough to be generating 100% of the pipeline generation that you require, what happens if something fails with your plan A? What do you do for the rest of the year?
For that reason exactly, we recommend that you should have two plans, to ensure substantial pipeline generation, in case if your initial plan becomes flawed. Pipeline generation is essential and it is becoming increasingly difficult to generate. Therefore, by having different options available to fall back on, you are minimising your risk and maximising your gain.
Most of the time, the skill isn’t in having a successful plan A, the skill is in managing the complications as they arise and successfully implementing your plan B, before the gaps become dangerously engulfing to the point of no return. Being proactive is essential, and investing early in anticipating changes will put you in good stead for the foreseeable future.
The money sitting in the bank will sadly not help you to reach your targets, nor will it enable you to act upon issues as they arise, yet investing your money into planning to prevent issues before they materialise will prove undeniably beneficial for the future of your company.
Slow your pace and you’ll lose the race
Another common mistake made by most companies is that they’re waiting too late to get moving. If you don’t have the run rate now to achieve your goals, then you will struggle to make ends meet. Planning, once again, is key for a consistent flow of pipeline generation.
You must be able to take your objectives and constantly assess the gap of pipeline between your objectives and what you have been delivering from a run rate perspective. For example, if you are running below target for a month, you will most likely be able to salvage the loss.
However, if you leave it for two months, you start to put yourself under pressure, and as the time increases, in which you are missing your targets, you make it harder to bring yourself back on track. Once you get to this point, you are far more likely to make unnecessary mistakes as you enter panic mode. A key way to avoid getting to this point is to sit down early on in the year and decide on a realistic run rate and attainable objectives to aspire to.
Engage early before problems arise
Overall, is it abundantly clear to see the importance of early planning for the common complications that can often arise in business. In order to plan your pipeline generation strategy efficiently, you can meet with us to discuss the ways in which your company can develop a plan B in order to be adaptive and to remain competitive.
By meeting with us to discuss your plan, you will find that you either don’t need us at all, or you may need us in the future, or we could expose a large gap in your organisation that you can quickly resolve before it proves detrimental. We can analyse and discuss the current plan that you have in place or we can suggest further additions to ensure stability. Have a conversation with us, and get your plan to be as robust as possible, to help you to generate your pipeline and avoid the common pitfalls that many companies are finding themselves falling into.
If you need help with your pipeline generation, Operatix can help you. Our team of outsourced sales development representatives can sell in multiple different languages, helping you break into new territories and accelerate your pipeline. Visit our contact page to get in touch, or check out our FAQ section for more information.