Revenue Leaders: Pipeline Not Where You Expected?
Use Our Symptom Checker to Diagnose and Treat the Problem
For many companies, their pipeline forecast is not where they expected it to be at this time in the year and goal achievement is in jeopardy. As a revenue leader what do you do? Try this diagnostic approach to identify the problem and explore solutions.
I have gaps in my sales team that I need to quickly fill with the right people so I don’t get too far behind on my number. But in today’s labor market, finding qualified talent is quite a challenge. and you need a partner who.
Solution: Expand the size of your inside sales team to cover more ground than a traditional field sales role and take some pressure off the number of roles you need to fill. This can be accomplished through internal efforts or looking for a third-party partner. An outsourced provider that has the background and expertise to source and manage the best talent and deploy an operation quickly may make sense. Partners that maintain a 98%+ fill rate for all of their sales positions can staff a team that will be customer-facing in 6-8 weeks.
In the current job market I’ve lost a number of my sellers and I don’t have enough talent remaining to get to my number.
Solution: Ensure your top accounts that have open opportunities are prioritized, particularly accounts you expect will close in the current month or quarter. This, however, is a short-term solution. Be cautious not to wear out your welcome at your key accounts and engage dormant or underperforming accounts which are typically the 80% that contribute 20% of your revenue. Long term, you need a new strategy to solve your talent problem. Consider leveraging the skills of a third-party provider that has the resources to recruit, onboard, and train talent to address your gaps quickly and effectively.
If I don’t fill my gaps in coverage, I won’t see revenue from those areas unless it presents itself to directly to me (active demand).
Solution: Identify what gaps have the most potential and prioritize. You will need to develop a strategy to regain traction with these underserved and unserved accounts. You may know how to execute this, but do you have the time? If you are already stretched thin, it may make sense to find a partner to sell and service these accounts.
Hiring new quality talent can be a long and challenging process. And once hired, they still need to be onboarded, trained, and go through a ramp-up period.
Solution: Looking through your personal network may fill a few voids, but what happens when your internal database of potential reps runs dry? Working with HR could be the answer, but how quickly can they fill sales positions when they are already busy filling roles in other areas throughout the organization? What tools (job profile, interview questions, etc.) need to be created before the hiring process even begins to ensure that you are recruiting, screening, and hiring the right kind of sales talent? An external partner that has access to large candidate pools can quickly scale a team to meet your needs and onboard talent and drive revenue effectively might be a good alternative.
NOT ENOUGH NEW CUSTOMERS
My current team does not have the capability to reliably bring in new logos. I have more farmers than hunters.
Solution: Assess your current talent against the roles and responsibilities of their job profile. This should give you an understanding of the magnitude of the problem. If you don’t have the time or resources to conduct this evaluation, you might retain a firm that can assist. If, in fact, you do not have enough hunters in your organization, you will need to evaluate whether you have the internal capability to recruit for and fill these roles or will need external assistance. A third-party partner may have the ability to more quickly fill these roles as they will have ongoing access to large candidate pools and skilled recruiters who specialize in sales recruitment. And once hired, they can onboard, train, and manage the talent and drive revenue.
I don’t have enough resources to support current customers while hunting for new business.
Solution: After evaluating your talent, you determine you have a proper balance of hunters and farmers, but they don’t have the bandwidth to cover existing customers and source new logos. Step one is to evaluate the maximum accounts to-rep ratio and identify any overloads of accounts. If the overload accounts present sufficient opportunity, then resources should be assigned. If there are too few resources to assign, consider outsourcing some of the account coverage to keep it active, nurtured, and productive. Step two is to stand up a customer success team if you don’t already have one, to handle many of the non-selling activities your farmers are tasked with but ignore. The customer success team will build advocates within current accounts and uncover cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
My team is generating deals through cross-sell and up-sell activities, but my pipeline is lacking larger net new deals with prospective customers.
Solution: Identify your top prospects with the highest propensity to buy and deploy resources accordingly. To make an incremental difference in turning your year around, do it quickly. Outsource a team designed to hunt and close new logos or an account management and customer success team to grow existing accounts. Choosing to do neither will likely extend your current scenario through year end and into the next fiscal year.
I need to find new customers without negatively impacting existing relationships with current customers.
Solution: Determine the maximum number of customers your reps can adequately serve and assess if additional headcount is needed. If there is a larger gap than you feel you can handle, consider finding an external partner to sell and service one or more tiers of customers.
NEW AND MATURE PRODUCT MIX
My product offerings have changed, and I am unsure if my talent is capable of selling the new product.
Solution: This is a familiar challenge for organizations. You may have a veteran team that is comfortable with the current offering and does not see a need in selling the new solution. Evaluate how much of your organization is capable of adapting to the changing landscape of your business and determine how much additional talent is needed.
New products are released, but my reps aren’t selling enough of the offering.
Solution: It’s possible that your reps have too many products to position in front of the customer and fall back on what’s comfortable. If that’s the case, your go-to-market strategy needs to change. Identify what offerings should be sold together and deploy your team accordingly. You may need a new or dedicated team to focus on the new release of offerings.
New unfamiliar products aren’t getting enough attention from my reps, or they have over-rotated and abandoned my core solution to sell the new offering.
Solution: Analyze the impact to your number by having insufficient sales in either category. Once you have identified what cost is associated with underselling one of your solutions, evaluate the ROI of bringing in additional headcount to focus on one or the other to fill this void.
I need to incorporate a new product into my plan but am concerned about disrupting my current strategy.
Solution: Evaluate whether your go-to-market strategy is still appropriate given the new product release. It is possible this will need to be altered or completely changed. If a new strategy is needed, review your coverage model to ensure the previous approach is aligned with your new strategy. If there is a disconnect, you may need to change the configuration of your team.
Our sales acceleration experts can help companies evaluate their challenges and define solutions to overcome barriers to revenue. If you’re looking for solutions, let’s talk >>.