Are your sales funnels delivering?  Probably not, if you’re reading this. Or, at least, you sense your sales performance could be better.

It’s really all about risk management. There’s the risk of coming in below predicted target with implications for individuals and organizations. And you have the risk of business plans and cash requirement being driven off course. You might even be at risk of non-delivery if unexpected business comes in at unexpected times.

But successful funnel management goes beyond risk reporting. And it does more than improve forecasting accuracy. Optimized sales funnel management identifies potential problems in the sales process at the point when it is still possible to do something about it.

WHEN SALES FUNNELS GO WRONG

Some sales funnels just seem to have worked out in the past. By some mysterious process, you’ve always come in more or less on budget. No one quite understands how it happens but because it does happen, no one worries.

But when the situation changes it’s very hard to fix what we don’t understand.

The four main problem characters

  1. “Keep it up your sleeve.” This salesperson likes to surprise the business with good news.  Sales appear as if from nowhere with a fanfare! The salesperson is quite hurt when project managers and service deliverers get frustrated with him or her.  He doesn’t like to talk about opportunities until they are “in the bag!”
  2. “The optimist.” This character is forever predicting sales that never seem to materialise. They genuinely believe the deal is going to happen (or perhaps don’t dare believe it won’t). I had a consultant working for me in Ireland who was adamant a deal would come. It kept appearing in the pipeline—just delayed by another month or two. She always had a good reason. But the deals didn’t happen.

Click below to read the full article by Richard Higham.

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