Over the last couple weeks I’ve worked with a number of sales organizations on growing their revenue. Revenue growth comes from winning opportunities, and you have to be very deliberate in how you manage your opportunities. But you can’t manage an opportunity that doesn’t exist. This requires that you spend a good bit of your time on opportunity creation.
It’s March. Let’s look at how you might approach your pipeline this week.
Moving Existing Opportunities Forward
You might begin your week by moving the opportunities in your pipeline forward. You might decide to start with opportunities in the late stage of your sales process and “closest to the line,” working on taking the very next step in each of them. Alternatively, you can start with the opportunities that are at early stages in your pipeline and gain the commitments that move those opportunities forward.
Your pipeline is the great place to start, but it isn’t the only area you need to do some work if you want a rock solid pipeline and revenue growth.
Creating New Opportunities for New Logos
You do have to win new logos. You do have to continually add new clients to your client portfolio. You need to spend some time creating opportunities with your dream clients so that you can grow your business and generate the results you need. (What’s a dream client? Go here).
Creating these new opportunities within your dream client companies is difficult work. It requires that you spend time nurturing those prospective clients. You have to find a way to create enough value that you earn the right to explore an opportunity with them. This work tends to be neglected because of the existing opportunities in your pipeline are closer, but you neglect it at your peril.
Some part of your time and energy need to be devoted to winning new clients, even though you need to continually focus on the opportunities you have in front of you now, and probably more time than you believe.
Creating Opportunities In Your Existing Client Portfolio
A lot of sales organizations and salespeople don’t spend enough time on wallet share. There is no reason to go to all the trouble to develop relationships, to create value, to generate contracts, and to do a little bit of work for clients for whom you should be doing a lot of work. Look, you already have a contract and you already have relationships. It is easier to create a new opportunity when you have all these factors going in your favor than it is to create a new opportunity from scratch.
Some of your time has to be spent developing new opportunities within your existing client companies. This is the secret to revenue growth and it’s the secret to a healthy pipeline.
What About You?
What about you? How will you start the month of March? Will you start with the opportunities that are in your pipeline now, working backwards to ask for and obtain the next commitment to move those closest to a win across the line? Or will you start with the opportunities that are furthest away and gain the commitments to move those forward?
When you’re done with that will you create new opportunities within existing clients for whom you are not doing enough business now (or for whom you are not creating enough value)? Or will you work on new logo accounts first?
These are decisions that you have to make, but you can’t make the decision to ignore any one of these three areas.
What’s your plan going to look like? Make this week count and I’ll see you here next time.