Recently, we started working with a company that was successful in their market. This was also reflected in the sales pipeline, which had a value of almost ten times the annual revenue. Though, it was very much in contrast to the fact that the company had not closed one new deal in the last 12 months and was going backwards with its revenue.
When talking with the National Sales Manager, it appeared that there was actually no real pipeline management present. The BDMs were educated to put opportunities in their CRM, that was about it.
The effect of this was that management had great expectations about the future revenue, but the BDMs were overwhelmed by the sheer number of opportunities that needed attention.
When we dug deeper into the sales pipeline, using some clear qualifying criteria aligned with the ideal customer profile for the company, we reduced the sales pipeline by 86%. After visiting the prospects of the remaining 14% in the pipeline, another 6% was removed.
Then it became clear that the sales department was actually not doing a good enough job at all.
Replacement of the National Sales Manager and a few of their BDMs was the result, together with sales skills training and coaching. Now, the company has a much smaller sales pipeline but it is realistic, well managed, provides good performance metrics, and the company is actually back on its growth trajectory!