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March 09, 2023 8:57 PM | Christina Sanders (Administrator)

Keeping your sales pipeline full is critical to sales success. To close deals and hit your numbers, you need to have qualified prospects that you can convert into buyers. However, it’s not easy creating and maintaining your sales pipeline. It may feel like the number of people you can sell to is decreasing, but your quota keeps rising.

To keep your sales pipeline full, Colleen Francis, an award-winning writer, consultant and bestselling author, says you must never rely on marketing for warm leads — you must learn to become self-sufficient and self-sourcing.

In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share some of her top strategies for ensuring your sales pipeline is always flowing with qualified leads.

1. Build in redundancies. Francis says one is a dangerous number in sales. Your success should never be based on one client, one contract, one line of communication or one process for converting a lead into a buyer. By building in redundancies, you won’t be leveled if you have one failure. Create multiple sources of leads, networking opportunities and points of contact with every account, Francis says, so that if the marketing department gets you prospects, you can consider it the icing on the cake.

2. Network consistently. Don’t rely on your existing network for future sales. Francis says it’s important to foster and maintain your valuable connections, but you should always be having meaningful conversations with other prospects across various channels. Networks are meant for growing, so keep growing yours.

3. Ask for new business. It seems basic, but many salespeople overlook the simple step of asking for new business from their current customers. Francis advises creating a list of your existing accounts and calling each one. Ask them for external referrals from suppliers, partners and colleagues. She says people who do business with you want to help you succeed, but you must first ask them for that help.

4. Work at building your contacts. Your work as a self-contained selling machine means you must work consistently on building your contacts within each account, Francis says. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to a staff change, a downsizing exercise or an unexpected early-retirement decision. These could all happen if your selling method depends on a single point of contact. Build out. Leverage your efforts at asking for new contacts so that you discover new people who work in other departments within your customer’s organization, Francis says.

When you have qualified leads on tap, you can close more deals and boost your sales. Follow the tips above to build a sales pipeline that attracts, qualifies and converts quality leads into long-term customers.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Colleen Francis is an award-winning writer, consultant and bestselling author of popular sales books. She is also a Hall of Fame keynote speaker.

Published with permission from PPAI Media.

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