Across the land, Sales & Sales Ops Leaders still talk about pipeline coverage. "5x this...", "7x that...".
But if we're honest with ourselves, we know all too well that it’s the fresh, juicy new sales pipeline and the consistency with which we create it that makes forecasting and hitting target so much easier.
It's a mindset.
Recent analysis of data across Kluster's client base suggests that 67% of our won opportunities come from fresh pipeline created for that sales period. The rest being deals we drag along from month to month.
If you ask your salespeople to keep a book of 5x pipeline, what will they do? Will they sit down and think "Right, I need to close off all the deals that aren't going anywhere and make sure my 5x is made of pipe I'm working on and new stuff"?
Only in a perfect world. Salespeople cut corners, they hack their way to a management initiative so they can tick a box and scarper out the door.
However, if the one metric we all care about, every month, every week, every day, is pipeline creation, then this affords 3 distinct advantages:
- Consistency - Revenue fluctuations and mad-dash month ends all stem from a lack of care for pipeline creation.
- Quality - Driving new pipeline into the funnel and pushing out the old increases the quality of pipeline and therefore its reliabilty.
- Control - 20 salespeople, all managing their pipeline in different ways. How on earth do you control that and fathom anything meaningful from it?
Fresh pipeline will also lead to fresh discovery calls and help keep up the momentum of deals. Get together with your team and work out how much pipeline every single salesperson needs to create every week to hit their revenue number. Monitor and police this, make it part of your 1:1s and your rituals. (Check out my guide to data-driven 1:1s.)
Focus on creating not curating and life will be a breeze…
And for more sales pipeline tips, read my guide to sales pipeline management.