Your manager passes on their concerns to you, as if you don’t already know what’s going on in the field or on the inside.
Your sales leads seem to have dried up. Your sales pipeline has gone dry.
Or so it seems.
For those of you who sell commodity products and services with short sales cycles, there always seems to be an abundant leads list you can churn and burn through. To your company’s sales culture, it’s a numbers game. Always.
However, for those of you who sell products, platforms, systems and services with lengthy sales cycles, when your sales pipeline seemingly dries up, it’s a big deal.
Except it shouldn’t be. Here’s why.
Top sellers create their own leads lists. They have a healthy skepticism about the quality of leads provided to them by their marketing department. These sellers understand that they are the sole proprietors of their leads lists.
That mindset makes top sellers the top producers that they are.
Top sellers are not waiting around for their manager to throw them a crumb. Top sellers take the time to learn about the players in their marketplace. Top sellers take the time to understand the dynamics of their current industry verticals and extrapolate what’s coming down the road.
Top sellers are in control of their own sales pipeline because they view themselves as the CEOs of their own business. Top sellers establish themselves as the go-to resource for current and prospective customers. They are top-of-mind.
Top sellers work hard. They will tell you there is no easy button to achieve what they seem to do so effortlessly.
Create and cultivate your sales pipeline by doing your homework.
Stop putting your business card in the exhibitor’s fishbowl at local, regional and national meetings. You won’t win the iPad anyway. That tack gets you nowhere near top-of-mind when it’s time to source and specify.
Learn about your industry vertical’s growth and finance forecasting for the next three years. Understand the factors enhancing and impeding growth. It’s that kind of information that “keeps them up at night” – not your product’s features and benefits or your competitor’s.
Start relevant and valuable dialogues with the individuals whose companies might be logical partners for your products, services, and platforms. Become top-of-mind in the process.
Top sellers cultivate their pipelines by growing their thought leadership. What’s your next move?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a business coach and management consultant. She remodels startups and small-to-medium manufacturing and service companies experiencing difficulty with unpredictable revenue streams. Babette was named a Social Selling 2015 Top50 Influencer and a 2014 Top 50 Marketing & Sales Influencer. Babette’s blog won the 2014 Bronze Medal, Top Sales World. Babette’s book on horizontal business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.