The Pipeline is transformative off the shelf. It transforms time, productivity, visibility and more.
You have some ideas for improving it. Let us know. This is the best part. The Pipeline can always be better.
Everyone knows that selling and coaching a sales dev organization isn't brain surgery.
Only sales pros understand that sales is the harder job. At least with surgery you're done in a couple hours and whatever you did stays fixed
(at least for a while).
Not sales. Everything is changing. A sales pro has to be great at people, products, prescience - plus social media. Plus 'challenger sales.'
How can anyone coach these 'supers'? It's not like managers went to school for years to get good at this. Even if they did, that would be old news.
In Pipeline Manager school is now. It's everyday.
Good morning, class.
Best-in-Class Sales Training
A database is a fine first step in trying to organize the team. A hole is a good first step for building a skyscraper. But it's just a first step. It's not a solution. A solution solves a problem. Pipeline Manager solves a problem.
Problem: sales training is a waste of money. Research proves that 95% of anything heard in a classroom is gone in 21 days. Worse, if people use CRM, training is a waste of time. People have their routines. If they have a way of working with a tool they use frequently, there is nothing in a 1 or 2 day seminar that can change those habits - unless the tools are created to remind people of the great ideas in the seminar.
And yet - the CRM programmers ignore this huge disconnect. And so do the sales training pros. Why wouldn't they? If people actually adopted the practices trainers talk about, they wouldn't have bring trainers back again. For trainers, learning is bad for business. So, let's turn up the heat on learning.
Think about the best ideas you got from sales training. Think about CRM. Is there much crossover at all? If there were would you and your team be better? Richer? Would your clients be happier? Sales training pros know so much that will transform your team if you only had a way to transform those ideas into habits. With Pipeline Manager you learn by doing. Over and over. Training, whether you are teaching simple selling, complex sales, or even challenger concepts, has a chance to take root and become standard operating procedure.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit."
Anybody want to argue with Aristotle?
In the 1970's, research indicated that change programs failed about 70% of the time. So the best minds went to work to attack this issue. After all - imagine the payoff if you could just get a change management program to fail just half the time! It would be worth billions!
Today there are thousands of business school Change Management PhD's steeped in science, psychology, statistics, analytics, bullying and abuse. In the last few years, more research was done to check the progress of the last four decades. Today, the best minds in business and teaching have brought the failure rate down to.... Exactly what it was in the 70's - 70% failure.
We at the Pipeline respond to these PhD's "So, like, Duh!' You can talk about the piano all day but if you don't actually have one to practice on you aren't going to have any pianists.
When our clients realize that changing a team has exactly zero shortcuts they appreciate the gestalt approach we take to changing sales organizations. Sales transformation isn't just one thing - it's a million things. Only a few are important at any time. When a team develops a set of prioritized goals, the Pipeline gives full visibility over the immediate change as well as ways to review months down the road to see where the change sticks. Team by team, Rep by Rep. Manager by manager. Now you can clearly set a change goal, implement it, support it and analyze it over time to see where it's leading to the big goal - improved revenue or better use of the rep's annual of 2000 hour budget.
Set a few small changes, prove that the change stuck and then set your next change goals. The change job is never finished - especially for the revenue producers. Sales IS change. The Pipeline can make any team a change superstar.
2000 hours. That's all you get.
You can get more money. You can get more people or materials or offices or doughnuts. Nobody gets more time. Corporations are only starting to recognize time as a corporate asset. Your Scarcest Resource Apply this to sales. If it takes a rep 5 minutes to do something they can do in one, they just blew 4 minutes of selling time. 4 minutes that could be driving revenue. Many orgs today reps report their reps have as little as 17% of their day available for selling. About 275 hours a year to hit what may be a 7 or 8 figure quota. Do we even need to bother with research into how many people meet or beat their quota?
This is the one case where we agree that sales is a numbers game. It's easy to show how anyone who keeps up their data in CRM can save an hour or more per week with the Pipeline. It's another to think about what that extra 50 hour/year means in the above example. We increase that person's available selling time by 20%. Imagine the impact if we came to them with any change or app that takes up an hour MORE per week!
The Pipeline is looking at time from all angles, not just data entry. That's the most obvious way the Pipeline pays for itself but it's just the beginning. A sales process saves tons of typing time and it does much more. The process saves thinking time. People always know what they need to be doing for each deal. A good process saves more time by continually re-qualifying an opportunity. The Process should be working hard to knock out the dead-ends as early as possible. Every time you don't chase a dead-end, that's often many hours in the bank. Don't forget the Work Processor where all Actions are arranged by how they can be done most efficiently.
Coaching sessions are often an hour every week, one-on one. Suppose you cut that to 30 minutes because almost all the critical info is in the Pipeline, as well as a clear best practice checklist (your sales process) to compare against. That alone ups the 17 percent-er's budget by 10%.
What about management time? If a manager has ten reps, a switch to 30 minute coaching sessions gives them 5 hours every week (let's say just four. There should be some Pipeline review time before each coaching session). That's still half a day every week.
Don't forget management insight that keeps driving ideas to shorten the sales cycle. Do the math. If you shorten your sales cycle by just 10%, how many more deals could you do in a year with the same team? 20%?
What about the good deals? How many of them are lost to over-pressured reps who don't do the right thing at the right moment? How much more time does it take to get the deal back on track? What about efficient team selling? Communication time? Or training new reps - suppose they made it to full productivity a month sooner?
You get the idea. You can complain about how little time you have. Or you can use Pipeline Manager.
Recently our beloved CEO, Michael Bonner, was in the emergency room for a grievous injury to his pinky finger. The doc who was doing the stitching said that Mr. Bonner could be an emergency surgeon, too. It's mostly common sense.
Mr. Bonner thought that same approach applies to sales management. It's mostly basics. Except when it isn't. And unless managers have done the hard work of 8 or more years in the classroom, following masters in the profession, plus constantly learning about the latest techniques, both jobs can result in many casualties in a very short time. Patients can walk out the door and appear to be 'fixed' when in fact they have critical problems below the surface. Only years of training will ensure that the right things are done to ensure survival.
In other words - the current coaching fad is, in our opinion, cruel. The objectives are right on the money - but without good training, how can any manager achieve the objectives? We've seen research that says 95% of managers are promoted without giving them a minute of management training. Companies take their top sales performers and tell them that they are supposed to instantly become psychologists, professors and if they are doing 'traditional' forecasting, they also have to be Nostradamus. And then there's the CRM. You might as well say "We are giving you your very own Beemer! The only hitch is that you have to perform all the repairs yourself - and you have to do the repairs with this a spatula and chainsaw. Don't worry. It's mostly common sense."
The Pipeline gives coaches a serious toolbox - better than anything they'd get in a day or two of training. Even more, it gives coaches a clear path for learning on the job. Success and problems have visibility. Lessons can be applied to as little or as much of the team as needed. Coaches learn from each other, sharing their insights, tactics and even whole processes. Pipeline Manager makes success repeatable.
Every manager becomes a coaching 'intern' doing their rounds, applying common sense and always building their customer-centric body of knowledge for those special, critical moments when common sense isn't enough.
What visibility can the Pipeline provide that I don’t have today?
How long will my sales reps need to spend inputting data?
Can the Pipeline be used effectively as a forecasting/planning tool?
Can the Pipeline help define my sales process?
Can I see the most valuable targets in an individual's Pipeline?
We have the most stable business model in operation today. It's seen us through 2 major recessions with no layoffs or even reductions to part time status.
~$1 dollar for each person per day.
Less if you have a big organization.
Less if you provide the Pipeline to your team for 2 or more years.
It often takes five minutes or less to see your whole organization in the Pipeline way. sometimes it takes 15 minutes. Every so often we find an org that has set up their CRM in a way we didn't anticipate. We might take a couple days to align to the unique aspects of a team. n any case - installing the Pipeline is NOT a project.
Take a few minutes to see the Big Picture.
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Let's solve the challenges that block your teams from achieving their full potential.
Need help? We have the easiest help system around.
You'll have more questions or items on your wish list. Pick up the phone or send an email if you like - but built right into the Pipeline is a 'Feedback' tool for talking right to us. Send a quick note about a problem or a way to make the Pipeline better.