Effectively Managing Your Pipeline
Managing your pipeline, especially when you have a good amount of consistency in the leads that come into your company, can seem pretty overwhelming. I covered building your pipeline in a previous post. Today I'm going to go over how often you should be reaching out to leads in different stages of your pipeline and when you should just close as lead as "lost".
How Often Should You reach out to Leads:
Lead: Anyone in my pipeline that I haven't actually spoke with. I recommend treating any new lead exactly the same (even if they're a referral). I follow a 3 week cycle with 5 phone calls and 5-7 emails, depending on whether or not they have read any of my emails. I know it can feel uncomfortable to reach out this much, but setting up email campaigns and call ques will help this frequency feel normal. I keep people in this cycle until I reach the original DM or have been in contact with the person that does the research for products before bringing them to the DM.
Contacted: Anytime I have verbal contact with a lead I move them to "Contacted". Depending on who I've had contact with will determine if this will move someone out of the initial sequence of calls and emails. The goal of being in this stage is to move the leads out as quick as possible. Get to the DM and move on. If you need to call every day until they're "in their office" do it.
Pitched and Proposal: Once you have "pitched" someone you should schedule a follow up call and send them a proposal immediately. I always set this follow up for 3-7 days after the pitch/demo. You don't want this to get lost in their inbox. Giving them a follow up date also gives them a deadline to approve/get approval on the proposal. If for some reason this isn't possible. I would follow up in 5 days with a call and email and repeat this every week until it moves forward or is lost.
Contract: I only send contracts when a lead has said yes to them. I will either send them while I'm on the phone with a client. If the ask comes through email, I will text the client as soon as I've sent the contract. I send all contracts with electronic signature. I will follow up on outstanding contracts every day, unless they have given the expectation to receive it at a later date.
When to move a lead to the "Lost" stage. How and do you follow up on these?
There was a time that I was very attached to all of my leads that made it to pitched. I never wanted someone else to be able to take those on the off chance they came back around (a lot of companies have rules about lost leads being redistributed to other reps). I got over it, because focusing on people who aren't going to buy anytime soon is not going to do anything expect waste yours and their time. If someone tells you no, close the lead. If someone tells you maybe next year, close the lead. If someone doesn't respond to you for more than 30 days, close the lead.
If you are in a company that's going to redistribute these leads, just let them go. It's freeing up your time to work with leads that will make you money. If you get to keep your leads, I recommend following up with them every six months. Put them in a 3 email campaign and call them once. See if anything has changed. If nothing has changed leave them in lost, do not move them back into your pipeline just because you spoke with them.
For a more in depth course on managing your pipeline check out our community plans.
Let us know how you manage your pipeline in the comments.