In a successful sales process, meeting your quota depends upon the quality of your lead pipeline. If a sales rep thinks that he or she is born with some sort of a super natural gift that you can close deals without following a proper protocol, this is not going to happen.

5 critical steps for a robust pipeline to meet your sales quota!

1) Estimate the right numbers!
The first step in a successful sales process is setting a realistic goals and estimates. What you need to do is reverse engineering your process to design your basic sales targets to achieve the larger goals.
Ask questions like, “What’s so different about the leads I converted vs. the leads that ignored me? What can I do to target more hot leads?”
2) How many proposals per year?
Now what you need to do is to calculate close ratio. If your close ratio is 2:1, then you’ll have to send nearly a 100 proposals a year to close 50 deals worth $20k.
3) How many qualified meetings to send 100 proposals?
Calculate your qualified meetings to proposals ratio. If that’s 3:1, then you’ll need 300 qualified meetings to send 100 proposals to close 50 deals worth $20k.
4) How many prospects to speak with?
You need to calculate the total number of prospects a sales rep should speak to in order to schedule 300 meetings.
Here again you need to calculate your prospects to qualified meetings. If that’s 5:1, that would mean nearly 1500 conversations in order to get 300 meetings.
Hopefully this clears up your mind on how to create a robust sales pipeline. The next step is based on how to make these 1500 conversations meaningful and successful to achieve the goals mentioned before.

Stages in your sales pipeline for proper lead qualification.

Remember that an efficient sales pipeline has five or six stages. If you decrease the stages, then you are not able to fully differentiate between a hot or irrelevant lead. If you increase the number of stages, you’ll end up complicating the process and that will increase your sales cycle. The ideal five stages are
1) Initial contact.
2) Qualification.
3) Meeting.
4) Proposal.
5) Close
Or if you have a software company, a couple of stages will include demos and trials. Work on these stages and focus on quality instead of quantity of a lead to ensure a better lead journey!