Ugh, not another pipeline review!
We all have those meetings we dread but are forced to sit through every week because it’s part of the process. Some of them are actually useless and can be removed from the calendar, while others carry immense value, but lack the structure and accountability to realize it.
As a team leader, you hold weekly or biweekly pipeline reviews with every rep to gauge the health of their active deals. These meetings help you keep a finger on the pulse of your pipeline, but more importantly, offer critical one-on-one time with reps in which you can coach them and provide strategic insights that improve their deal momentum.
Pipeline reviews are essential, but are they working as they should? Here are five signs your pipeline reviews may be broken.
- You spend more time asking about the accuracy of the data than coaching
- You and your rep both have to spend at least an hour preparing in advance for the meeting
- You only have the rep’s activities tied to the account and are missing activities from marketing, accounting, SEs and more
- Your rep leaves with a check-list that is not easy to monitor and track
- You repeat this same cycle each week
If these sound familiar, know you aren’t alone. Most managers and reps do not reap the benefits of pipeline reviews because the structure of it is fundamentally flawed. Your structure is flawed because you lack trust in the data available to you — both in quality and volume. Fix your data collection and management and you can fix your pipeline reviews. It’s easier than you think.
Activity Capture Cleans Your Data Mess
The first step towards a productive pipeline review is collecting the complete record of sales activity for every deal. When you task reps to do this manually, you are often left with incomplete records of their sales activity. Whatever the reason for this (e.g. lack of time, tedious-nature, lack of ROI, etc.), it highlights a glaring weakness in manual CRM updates.
According to Implisit, reps record more than 300 updates a week on average. This takes about four hours out of every rep’s week. Reps want to spend more time selling — and so should you — but this crucial task is forcing reps to choose between the two.
Fast-growing organizations are taking this burden away from their reps, letting them focus on selling. With automated Activity Capture, you ensure that every call, email and other sales activity is recorded directly to your CRM in full detail. More importantly, this is done in real time so you can review deals knowing every available detail is present.
Now, instead of spending pipeline reviews patching together gaps in each timeline, you can spend it strategizing and coaching reps on their ideal next steps. This is what the meeting is intended for and how both you and your reps can realize real value from it.
Bring Structure and Accountability to Your Pipeline Reviews
While lack of data is central to poor pipeline reviews, it is not the only culprit. On equal footing are lack of structure and accountability.
Sure these meetings start off with a plan, but they quickly become disjointed fishing expeditions. Because managers don’t have trusted data, they are left to view every opportunity as needing equal attention – and of course there is nowhere near enough time for that.
By balancing activity data with machine learning generated scores—such as Confidence to Close and Ideal Customer Profiles, you can validate what your rep is sharing. If a deal is a 93, you don’t need to spend time on it. Rather, put your coaching to work on the deal that is a 73% so you can help your rep know the exact steps to take to raise the score and improve outcomes.
There is a lot you can accomplish in just one hour with your rep. Sometimes it simply takes a new perspective to recognize. Check out “The Better Approach to Pipeline Reviews” to see what steps you should be taking to maximize every pipeline review with reps. You may even find that your dreaded meetings become welcome growth opportunities.