Sales Pipeline Report Reveals a Gap

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Read the full post at >> http://fourquadrant.com/when-the-sales-pipeline-management-report-reveals-a-gap/

Sales Pipeline Report Reveals a Gap

Without fail, sooner or later every company struggles to meet a quarter’s financial targets –some companies more often than others. Typically, the warning sign is when the sales pipeline management report reveals a gap between the sales forecast and plan. Then, the cry—“let’s review the sales forecast”–is heard throughout the halls, Sales and Marketing “harmony” is about to be tested.

It’s true that Marketing should be aligned with revenue because it can impact deals at all stages of the sales cycle. What is not true is that the lead generation engine can be turned on and off and still yield qualified opportunities that will close within a 90-day period. Granted, some lead generation programs focus on developing qualified opportunities further down the sales pipeline. However, those qualified opportunities in the sales funnel tend to be bluebirds and should not be depended upon for building a sustained sales pipeline.

A management team has to question a marketing leader who brings PowerPoint slides and Excel spreadsheets to the current quarter sales forecast review highlighting leads to be generated from the current quarter. In the short-term, (and especially if the sales cycle is six months or longer), the marketing leader should be focused on converting every qualified opportunity residing in the sales funnel today. That requires Marketing to focus on sales tools and sales enablement. So, step one is for the organization to understand the relationship and time lag between leads and deals.

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Sales Pipeline Report Reveals a Gap

  1. 1. Go to Market Strategy ! Sales Pipeline Report Reveals a Gap! Read the Full Article! ! CLICK HERE !
  2. 2. Time Lag Between Leads & Deals! ! Best-in-class companies can determine whether a lead is a qualified opportunity with a 10% weighting (requiring a sales person to speak with the lead and make this determination based on established criteria) within 30 days or less—some in minutes.!
  3. 3. Leads to Qualified Opportunity There is no one magic set of numbers for when a marketing program will produce a qualified opportunity that all companies can adopt. This is because average deal size, average sales cycle, decision makers, procurement processes, etc. all vary by organization. It is a good idea to start with a set of assumptions, document them and modify those assumptions as actual data becomes available.
  4. 4. Sales Pipeline Management Report! ! The most appropriate conversation to have about the sales pipeline in current quarter and next quarter- for B2B direct sales teams—is really about what is currently in the sales force automation system and the corresponding weights.!
  5. 5. Go to Market Strategy ! Sales Pipeline Report Reveals a Gap! Read the Full Article! ! CLICK HERE !

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