You might be grateful for a lot of things that your company is doing well – camaraderie around the office might be at an all-time high, positivity could be on an upswing and you might be really happy with how your business is staffed. But still, few things can be more stressful than an empty pipeline. If you’re feeling the squeeze of a lack of impending sales, don’t despair. Here are five steps you can take today to get that pipeline humming and your joy meter rising.
1) Identify your target audience by creating your buyer personas.
Okay, so you’ve read about buyer personas practically everywhere you look. But can we be totally honest for a minute? The reality could be that you like the idea, but maybe you haven’t taken the time to actually create them. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry. I’ve been in your shoes and understand that it takes a time commitment and the intentional reprioritizing of your to-do list in order to make this happen. But it’s essential to filling your pipeline. (Bonus: If you’re unsure of how to get this done, check out this blog post with all you need to get started). Personas are a non-negotiable first step to identifying your audience, and being able to market to them. Take this step, and move your marketing game immensely forward.
2) Set clear SMART goals.
All right, you have your buyer personas fleshed out and you’re ready for the next step…. drum roll… time to set some goals! It’s important that you put some thought into them. SMART goals make you accountable and help you take steps that can actually move you toward your ultimate vision.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. And the reasoning behind this is that you’re basically giving yourself a roadmap to follow. By adhering to it, you’ll become closer to your goals and your own definition of success.
For example, you might tell yourself that you want to have 10 leads click on a specific link in an email broadcast you just sent to your list. This is a metric you can track, so you can see how you performed and if you’re on par with what you hoped. If so, give yourself a quick pat on the back and then set your next goal. If not, test different ideas to hopefully improve. In this example, you could try creating different calls-to-actions or email subject lines.
3) Understand the numbers.
This is another step that is tempting to skip because, I’ll admit, it can be tedious. But if you skip this, you’re going to lack the understanding needed in order to meet your goal. The key here is to look at the goals you’ve set in the previous step, and then back out of them to determine what daily action is needed in order to get you there.
For instance, let’s say you’ve historically closed deals with 10 percent of the prospects you call via cold calls and your SMART goal is to close five accounts this month. The math would tell you that you need to make 50 cold calls this month in order to hit your goal, which means you need to make a little over 12 per week or about three calls per day (rounding up). This gives you some tactical marching orders you can easily follow in order to hit the goal you’ve set for yourself.
4) Plan ahead and polish your pitch.
Ah, the pitch is the fun part, right? I’ve found that many of us go wrong with our pitches in one of two ways: either we over-prepare and end up reading a script to the people sitting in front of us, or we think we’re better off winging it and end up failing to cover our key points. There’s definitely a happy medium!
It’s important to plan ahead and prepare your deck or presentation with a few bullet points so you stay on track and don’t miss any of your most important aspects. But then, you can extrapolate on the bullet points, insert an anecdote or two and speak to the people you’re pitching like a normal human being.
The most important thing to your pitch is to understand how you’re able to solve your industry’s pain points and then be able to adjust your pitch on the fly based on your conversation. As long as you’re helpful, natural and offer value, you’ll gain your prospect’s trust and move the buying journey forward.
5) Stay focused.
Finally, remember that a full sales pipeline doesn’t happen overnight. You need to stay positive, stick to your plan and know that it’ll likely require you to iterate over and over. By breaking up your SMART goals into daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly wins, you’ll be able to get to your ultimate vision one step at a time. This is truly a marathon, not a sprint.
Everything is to be gained by sticking it out and continuing to trust the process – and improve upon it as you go. Remember to follow these steps to get you there, and to give us a call if we can help you with any of this along the way. Here’s to your success – and a pipeline that’s as big as your Thanksgiving turkey.
If you would like any help with how a digital marketing strategy will best impact your business, please contact us!