In the sales world, we rarely are in a situation where we have substantial time to get organized, but the current COVID-19 shutdown has us all in this unique situation. I thought it might be helpful to share some of the activities I have been doing to be ready to go when the time comes to begin selling again.
To me, the most important step in organizing my sales pipeline is to establish a clear tier-system to my prospects so I can be the most efficient with my time. Do you have a system in place to “rank” your prospects? If not, now is the perfect time to do this very important task. To begin, identify your top-10 potential clients and give them some sort of rank. I like to call them “A-prospects.” Once you have identified your “A’s,” now you want to make sure you have clear notes on where these prospects are in terms of the sales process. Here are some things I always want to know about my A-prospects:
When and what was the last communication I had with them? I like to have a clear understanding of where the prospect is in the sales process. For this person to be an A-prospect, this means I feel they are very close to signing an agreement, so what is the one thing holding them back?
When is my next communication scheduled? Remember, this prospect is close to becoming a client, so I do not want to wait any longer than needed to talk to them, but the communication needs to be relevant and clear.
Do I have all of the paperwork ready to roll if they are ready to sign?
Spend the most time thinking about your A-prospects, as they are the ones who can become clients the quickest. Give them the most attention during this shutdown and once you begin selling again. After your A’s are identified, then work on the next group, the “B-prospects” or those people who you feel are genuinely interested but haven’t given you the indication they are ready-to-sign. This is the group that you want to make sure you have a good email address for, so you can send them consistent group emails. When I talk about group emails, I don’t mean you should send them a weekly email asking if they are ready to sign, but you should be sending them relevant emails that build capital in their minds. At a private club, you might forward your weekly club email to this group, so they are consistently aware of what is happening that week if they were a member. The B-prospects are very important to a strong sales pipeline because they can quickly jump up to A-status. Another reason I love this group is they can surprise you and join out-of-the-blue which is always welcome to us salespeople. The final group of prospects you want to identify will be your largest grouping, and I call these our C-prospects or cold leads. In sales, you can visualize your sales pipeline as a funnel and your C-prospects are going to be the start of and the largest section of the funnel. Cold prospects need multiple touchpoints, such as phone calls, emails, tours, demos, in order to send information out quickly and cast a wide net for this group.
Here is a good image of a sales funnel which shows another way to identify your prospects, as represented here, the C-prospects are the largest group at the top and then you scale down to the B and A prospects, which will be the smaller groups where you spend your most attention:
Once you have a clear picture of your three types of prospects, again, use this unique time in our country to organize all your activities, all your notes, and all your contact information, so you are ready to roll once we return to our normal lives. On top of understanding and ranking your prospects, it is equally as important to consistently fill the sales funnel with leads, so you never run out. I will touch more on lead generation in my next blog post.
If you’d like to dive even deeper into some organizational ideas, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and stay connected!