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Sales pipeline review meetings should be a regular occurrence among your sales force, taking place at least once at the beginning of each week. However, there are typically two different types of sales pipeline review meetings, both of which have different purposes for both the sales manager and the sales rep. Check out the features of each of these types of pipeline review meetings and note their differences so that your next pipeline review meeting will be an efficient use of time and an effective practice.

(For even more detailed information on pipeline management, check out our FREE eBook: The Definitive Guide to Pipeline Management.)

Inspection sales pipeline review meeting

What: A one-on-one review meeting between the sales manager and the sales rep, with the express purpose of showing pipeline information. The ‘inspection’ occurs when the sales rep takes the manager deal-by-deal to verify that the information is correct.

Why:

  • To ensure that all the information in the pipeline on each deal – deal size, close date, probability to close – is accurate, for the purposes of the manager’s sales forecast. Forecast killers should be identified and flagged.

  • To look at the overall size and health of the individual rep’s sales pipeline. Are there enough opportunities – per your team’s typical pipeline coverage ratio – for this rep to hit his or her quota?

  • To improve data quality. Clean, healthy data starts with having a pipeline that is streamlined and updated.

When: Once a week (ideally at the beginning of the week), for 30 minutes. These types of meetings can be shorter in length too – typically about 30 minutes, and no more than an hour.

Coaching sales pipeline review meeting

What: During these types of pipeline review meetings, sales managers should go from a holistic overview of the overall sales pipeline to a more detailed, nitty-gritty analysis. At these meetings, sales managers should look for areas where they can implement some sales coaching to help their reps close specific deals. These meetings can be held in a 1-on-1 setting or, if there are coaching lessons that should apply to the whole team,

Why:

  • The sales rep might be struggling with a specific opportunity. At the coaching sales pipeline review meeting, the rep could bring up this irksome opportunity as a sticking point and seek coaching help.

  • To have the chance to talk about one or two – and definitely no more than a handful – specific opportunities in-depth, rather than a lot of deals or the overall pipeline.

  • To discuss unique challenges on specific opportunities that might become more common. For instance, if his reps are regularly struggling to move opportunities in a certain industry from the demo stage to the proposal stage, this might warrant a significant devotion of sales coaching resources. Identifying and coaching improvements on these challenges at the pipeline review meeting will set your reps up to apply those lessons where appropriate and close more deals.

When: Once for each rep every two weeks, or with the entire sales team once a week. When meeting with the whole team, handpick a select few opportunities that you want to discuss in detail, while explaining to the team why this opportunity was chosen.

Sales pipeline review meetings should not be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach. Note the differences and apply each of these types of sales pipeline review meetings as you deem necessary.

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  • […] order for sales leaders to get true value out of their sales pipeline, they need to hold regular pipeline review meetings. Staying in tune with the state of your pipeline, how it’s changing, and why, helps you avoid […]

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