Signs That Your Sales Pipeline is Weak

The beginning of a new year is a great time to make sure your sales pipeline is healthy and ready to bring on new business. S. Anthony Iannarino, in a blog post, writes that many sales organizations have weak pipelines, but can get back on track by identifying – and fixing – issues. He identifies six common issues and explains what can be done to get that pipeline in shape.

A common feature of weak pipelines is the absence of cold calls. While many in the industry tout social media over dialing, Iannarino said that NOT picking up the phone is “criminal negligence.” Pipelines rely a lot on the salesperson’s willingness to take initiative and dial a prospect. And this leads into another pipeline weakness: reliance on email. If you need to ask for something important, do so face-​to-​face. Emails can easily be overlooked, ignored—and deleted. In short, an effective pipeline needs direct communication; so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or schedule an in-​person meeting.

Another way salespeople may sabotage their pipeline is by failing to put forth an effective value proposition. New business can’t happen if a prospect doesn’t feel compelled to say “yes.” Reconsider your sales call:

  • Are prospects clear on how your product or service can help them thrive?
  • Do they know what to expect from you as a business partner?

If you aren’t demonstrating value when making a sales call, your pipeline suffers. “Without a customer-​oriented and customer-​focused value proposition, your dream client is right to reject a meeting,” Iannarino writes. “No meeting, no opportunity. No opportunity, no pipeline.”

Check out Iannarino’s blog post to discover where your pipeline is weak, and by following his advice, you can be ready for all the opportunities that arise in 2016!

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision-​makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.