Weekly Tip: There is No “HOLD” Button for the Sales Pipeline

The world went crazy again- I feel like Han Solo in the Star Wars movie when he says, “I’m out of things for a little while and everybody starts getting delusions of grandeur!”

Recently I have heard a number of CEOs saying, “We have to stop selling for awhile and get caught up…” or something to that effect. What they seem to have forgotten is that a sales pipeline is not controlled by an ON/OFF switch. If you shut it down with a command on a given date, you will have a very hard time getting it re-started. The market, like an ignored spouse, is unforgiving of your lack of attention. But, there are occasions when your organization’s capacity of its vendors, cash, operations or other resources is at maximum volume. Now what?

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1)   Trim the least desirable – There are accounts that need to be pruned for the growth of the business. This is a good time to do that. Those whom are trimmed can be replaced by the new and most desirable of your new prospects.

2)   Strengthen your filter – It’s possible that your pipeline is full not just because of great sales process and offering, it is also possible that you are hunting targets that are not a perfect fit for your company. When you are full, seeking a higher quality prospect is possible in a way that it is not when you are hungry.

3)   Increase your capacity – You have to make the decision at some point as to whether you are just lucky in this window of time, or if you have developed a predictable sales process that will continue to bring you growth opportunities. If it is the ladder, then build to grow.