Account manager round table: How to better manage your sales pipeline?

This post includes the lessons compiled by the organizer Véronique Lescaut, Senior Director, Carlson WT and slightly enriched: The pipeline is a management tool: You have to determine what you want to do with your pipeline: use it to measure the team's activity, to do reporting, to know your forecast, to present to the management committee, to keep the memory of the account if the salesperson has left the company, to plan orders / supply... (don't confuse activity and pipeline by the way) The important thing is not the exact number but good trends: whether the pipeline is up or down. that's what matters. Some conversion ratios that seem to work for everyone: the ratio seems to be 4 to 1 (with the crisis we observe... 5 for 1) in NB of business: interesting to anticipate the failure of a very confident seller... Qualification is key and the pipeline should start when the prospect has been qualified and there is a "go" (for some the pipeline is even more precise, at the time of the quote): avoid overloading the pipe with low-skilled contacts. The pipeline should give each account a stage in the sales cycle. The tool is there to make the forecast... not the targets... Everyone should use CRM – it should be in the job description. To counter the pessimists/optimists/superstitious... They can be presented to the management committee or the key account/business committee. To counter criticism, we can also send the information that we are going to present in advance to interested people so that they can validate... or not... We know that the time spent on a big or a small file is the same: you have to qualify... And to convince of a no-go, do not hesitate to put the cost of responding to the call for tenders (pre-sales) on the file presented to the management. The tool must be well configured... car garbage in – garbage out... And last but not least: Who doesn't have their excel spreadsheet? (-