Cleaning out your sales pipeline is like cleaning out your closet.
You know the feeling…
Every day you tell yourself you really should get rid of that bright orange sweater you haven’t worn in two years. Or that awesome pair of boots with memories that extend beyond your college party days.
But it’s just too tough to pull the trigger. You’ll do it next week. The voice in your head lingers.
In the end you stop yourself from making any room for newer, more mature items in your closet.
Potential Opportunities in Your Sales Pipeline
I don’t know about you, but as a salesperson, I find it extremely difficult to part with opportunities in Salesforce that have the potential to close.
And by potential, I mean: opportunities that have a large number listed in the close amount.
So, you sit tight and leave that opportunity in your sales pipeline.
You’re just “waiting” for your contact to talk to their boss, who has to get approval for a budget, before they can give you the green light. And you “check in” periodically. And the answer is still enthusiastically the same: “No new updates. Check back next week, thanks!”
And so… you push out the close date… and you wait.
Make Some Room!
If you’re lucky, you have a manager who finally calls you out on it.
Fortunately, in my case, I was in a team meeting a few weeks ago and my colleague helped me pull the trigger. She reminded me that the only way to make room for new opportunities was to move the old ones out of my sales pipeline then shut the door.
When she said “make room,” she didn’t only mean in terms of the number of prospects that I could manage. She also meant emotionally.
Holding on to opportunities that you know deep down aren’t going to close (at least not right away), is just not healthy for our conscious.
As salespeople, we often get personally invested with specific deals and forget that this is business.
Yes, buyers tend to buy from the people they like most (we’ve all heard this ad nauseam, right?!), but first and foremost, there has to be internal support, a budget, and an immediate fire burning. If one or all of these areas haven’t been addressed, you’re looking at some pretty frustrating “No new updates. Check back next week, thanks!” emails.
So, if you’re a sales rep, I challenge you. If you have a full sales pipeline (or even a not so full pipeline), it’s time to end the madness.
Send a “close the loop” email and do just that. Close the opportunity and move on! Trust me, it will feel so good to clean out your sales pipeline and make room for new deals.
And when you’re done with that, clean out that damn closet before the holidays! Happy Holidays!