Does That Prospect Really Belong in Your Pipeline?

BY Jessica Helinski

Have you done a pipeline checkup lately? A full one isn’t always a healthy one. And, if you're chasing anyone and anything, chances are, your pipeline needs a cleanup. “A large number of prospects who don’t fit your ideal customer profile will jam your pipeline and prevent your team from reaching peak performance,” writes Joseph Mapue in a post for PipeDrive​.com. He explains that not every prospect deserves your pursuit. In fact, you should thoroughly vet each and every one before adding them to your sales pipeline.

So, the key is to first determine your “perfect” customer, then focus your time and resources on identifying those traits among your prospects. Here are some questions, via Mapue, to ask yourself when evaluating a new addition to your pipeline:

  • With which type of customers does your team experience the highest conversion rates? What are the common attributes (size, location, business model, industry, target market, technologies used, etc.) of these customers?
  • Which customer needs does your service or product solve best? What type of customers have these needs in common?
  • Which type of customers deliver the deals with the highest monetary value?
  • How are purchase decisions processed by customers you are most successful at selling with? How long does it take these customers on the average to reach a final decision?

These questions will help you determine whether the prospect is a potentially good fit for you. By uncovering this early in the relationship, you save yourself time, money AND potential pipeline clogs. Sometimes, in sales, more isn't necessarily better. As Mapue points out, “Sure, more prospects generally mean the likelihood of more closed deals, but only when the prospects have been properly vetted. A healthy but streamlined pipeline serves as a key to selling success.”