Archive for August 2013

Disintermediation, The Sales Cycle, Relationship Prospecting & YOU

August 16, 2013


Michael Fanghella

Managing Director

Integrated Management Services, llc

San Diego, CA

 Developing a sales pipeline is often judged on its size and based upon the qualities’ portrayed of incoming business over a 9-18 month period. The realities of business to expect it quicker using a traditional pipeline development strategy would not bare support although owners often want it so.  Therefore either you change your strategy or sit and wait.  The quality of what you are working on in your pipeline has the greatest long-term impact on your business and controlling what goes into your pipeline is essential. Maintaining quality and understanding its timing includes:

  • focusing on and defining your niche targets and working solely within that niche;
  • focusing on “non customer prospects” that have good business practices and are industry leaders who work in a parallel industry to team up with; and,
  • then prioritizing opportunities based on the quality of the existing relationships you derive from these non customer prospects and the relationship they have with your ultimate end users.

Consider these figures: fewer than 10% of sales meetings end in a sale, 81% of all business is brought to a successful close in the sales process after the 5th interaction, and 75% of sales pipelines are unhealthy. These figures are indicators of the flaws in our expectations of our sales and business development activities. These numbers hold true for businesses both large and small.(1)  Quantity, quality, timing, knowing who to prospect to reach your ultimate client and persistence are 4 critical factors in developing a sales pipeline that is directed to your current sales cycle. Understanding what has changed in today’s business environment as to how customers/clients (“end users”) approach their purchasing decisions will help you get your business where you want it to go, when you want to get there is your next step in your strategic plan. Like most good things it takes a commitment to this new environment.

Four key components that compose a sales pipeline have traditionally been:

  • Qualifiers
  • Timing
  • Interest level
  • Sales stage

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