How to Keep the Sales Pipeline Full

Cold Calls
While balancing prospecting and caring for current clients, priority number one is to keep the funnel full.
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  1. Build prospecting into your daily routine.
  2. Use smart methods to prospect.
  3. Get a crystal-clear picture of your ideal client.
John Barrows
The Pro: John Barrows
Title: CEO of JBarrows, Boston

John Barrows has provided sales training and consulting services to some of the world’s fastest-growing companies such as Salesforce, Google, LinkedIn and Dropbox. His previous experience spans all aspects of sales, from making 400 cold calls a week as an inside sales rep to a position as vice president of sales at his first startup that was sold to Staples. His main objective is to improve the overall education and quality of sales by sharing ideas and techniques that work. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat: @johnmbarrows

Everything hinges on a full pipeline.

“You definitely have to take care of your existing accounts. But all the worries in sales, negotiating and prospecting can be solved by a full pipeline. If you’re not always worried about where your paycheck is coming from, you can sell the right way.”

There’s a right and wrong way to prospect.

“Reps send a huge email blast, or they get lost on LinkedIn. I’m a one-man show, so I know what it’s like. The key is to get crystal-clear on your ideal customer profile. Don’t take the easy approach, like using ZoomInfo for general company information. Really analyze who your best customers are and target similar prospects.”

Only 28% of reps follow any kind of structured time management methodology. —InsideSales

Don’t just cold-call and email blast.

“Make a list of the top 25 accounts you’d love to have and how you can help them. If your value proposition is better, they’ll receive you better. It’s not just about the number of dials you make; it’s about having super-relevant conversations so you can spend your time more wisely. Your time is so valuable.”

Make prospecting part of your daily routine.

“Create a routine around prospecting. Trying to add something to a busy schedule is hard. But replace one item with something better – you might try it. A lot of people when they get in the office, they check Facebook, look at the news, check their fantasy league. Those are mediocre tasks that make no money. Replace this hour with researching your top 25 target accounts while you’re drinking your coffee. Trust me, you have an hour a day to prospect.

Do company research.

“Use Owler or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to do some social listening. Check target companies’ Twitter and Facebook. Auto-load your tabs so they come up as soon as you open your browser. Scan data feeds and look for company news, then reach out to them to schedule time to talk about it. It might just be two to four emails a day, but it’s all about staying consistent.”

Don’t prospect when you’re desperate.

“Reps are so busy closing they don’t spend time prospecting. But then comes the first of the month, everything is closed and there’s nothing in the pipeline. So they’re like, ‘OK, I’ve got to cold call,’ and they make like 50 calls. It negatively reinforces prospecting because that doesn’t drive results.”

Always have your target accounts with you.

“It comes down to the perception of prospecting. It’s not cold calls and email blasts. That’s marketing. I take my top 25, my Hit List, and keep it in my pocket. When I go to networking events and they ask who I’m looking to connect with, I say I’m targeting these accounts. I pull out the list and ask if they know anyone, and they’ll help me out with referrals and introductions if they can.”

Delegate and outsource when possible.

“As soon as you can, do it. Identify the tasks you like and that make money, and get rid of the rest by delegating them to other people. It’s even worth hiring a sales rep who can just drum up new business.”

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