Pipeline Integrity is a Function of Pipeline Hygiene & an Effective Sales Process (Key to success for PE Investment)

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”  – W. Edwards Deming


These are the topics the CEO & CRO of a $20M-$100M+ in ARR PE-Backed company must consider:

  • First Step for PE Portfolio Companies
    • Engineer & Optimize an Effective Sales Process (insights on Sales Process 101)
    • Define effective Sales Pipeline Stages with Milestones (Exit Criteria or Gating Criteria) – should name them after a Buyer’s Journey (it’s not about the Sales rep’s steps)
  • Pipeline Integrity & Pipeline Hygiene
    • A pipeline should only contain qualified Opportunities (not just accounts that reps want to call)
    • Best Practice – Don’t call the first stage “Qualify” – when you create new Opportunities, they should already be qualified; at this point your reps should do “Discovery” and explore, uncover and illuminate business Challenges (aka Pain points / Problems to solve) rather than qualify (qualification should’ve been done before your reps create Opps)
    • Hygiene: Opps in the Sales Pipeline should be managed and updated with a fine comb regularly – avoid Opp Red Flags.
    • Integrity:  Reos with Sales Managers (FLMs or Directors, VPs or above) should do weekly 1:1 Opp Diagnostics and Team Pipeline Reviews to maintain integrity
    • Prioritize: prioritizing the Opps to sell to, and other tools
    • Be smart about 3x Pipeline Coverage (it can only be an effective “rule of thumb” when your sales team adheres to the Sales Proces and has good Pipeline Hygiene & Integrity)