Sales Management: Pipeline “Red Flags” that Sales Managers Must Assess With their Reps
A VP of Sales must operationalize a process for all the Sales Managers to conduct assessments of the Opps in the Pipeline during an Opp Review meeting and check for “Red Flags”. Otherwise you get a lot of “UFOs” (i.e. “Unlikely & Failing Opportunities”) that you just don’t want or must help the sales reps manage more effectively.
- Last activity on an Opp is > “X” days
- Sales is about activity and reaching out to the prospect
- This is the “Do your job” motto for a sales rep – an effective salesperson must check their pipeline regularly and have an action plan for contact with the prospective customer
- I recommend that X should be an equivalent of 10 days for a mid-market deal with an average sales cycle of 30-60 days
- And for larger and more complex enterprise deals, X will be set as 30-45 days when the sales cycle is 6-9 months
- Any Opps stuck in Pipeline for 60+ or 90+ Days? (i.e. 2x or 3x a typical mid-market cycle)
- For complex enterprise sales it would be longer
- Close Date
- Length – close date is too far away
- Push count – the deal close date is being pushed multiple times
- 50% into the quarter or month and too many vacillations in the close date
- Deal Size
- Deal Size > 2x of the $ASP for this category or segment
- Sales Cycle
- The deal is stuck in the pipeline and the Sales Cycle is now > 1x of the average cycle for the category or segment
- Remember that “time kills all deals”
- Stage Duration – deal is stuck in any given stage for too long
- Are most Opps in early stages?
- If yes then they may not close in the current cycle
- AE pattern
- AE is not following the internal sales process
- Not getting clearly defined next steps (DNS) on Opps
- No inspectable/factual IQs confirmed by email (IQ = agreed upon Implications of not solving the problem & Quantified ROI of the soluiton)
- Zero quota retired at mid-point of the quarter
- Also, it’s important to look at the Prospective Buyer’s pattern
- no micro-commitments
- not responsive
What else? What are some other issues or red flags that you look for in a deal or pipeline?
Original is posted at Revenue-Inc.com: Sales Management: Pipeline “Red Flags” that Sales Managers Must Assess With their Reps.