Nine things to do immediately if you’re behind on your pipeline goals


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It’s almost May.  Almost summer.  The year is a third of the way over.

You can start the year behind plan.  In January.  But if it’s May and you’re still behind plan, the clock is most definitely ticking.

If you’re behind on your sales pipeline or demand generation goals, there are few if any silver bullets that will rectify that right away.  But here are a few places you should probably look and focus that can often work quickly.

1. Web-to-lead conversion rates
How effectively are you converting current traffic into leads?  are you providing enough off-ramps from your site to learn more, download something valuable, engage with your brand?  Nearly every business has low-hanging fruit here.

2. Influencer engagement
The best time to start engaging influencers in our industry was three years ago.  The second best time is right now.  Treat influencers like a pipeline – you know most won’t “convert” right away, but a couple might convert right away (sharing your story and pitch to their already-attentive audience).

3. Trade press focus
Don’t worry about the Wall Street Journal or Forbes or big-name publications.  Go straight to the trade press with lower circulation but more targeted audiences.  Many will let you write your own column, help promote your gated assets.  You’ll hear “no” every time you don’t ask!

4. Tighten up lead follow-up best practices
Does your sales team call your leads once and give up?  Are they optimizing a multi-channel, multi-stage follow-up strategy on those hard-fought leads?  Double down on follow up, connect with more leads at the right time in the right place, more often.

5. Improve your lists
Bad data is the silent killer of great marketing campaigns.  It’s more than just bounce rates.  Soft bounces from people who are no longer the right contact, reaching contacts who have moved on and are no longer relevant, etc.  Improve your lists today, execute the same planned campaign tomorrow and watch your results improve immediately.

6. Empower the sales team to nurture leads, reply to buying signals
Give your sales team better tools that help them increase active selling time.  Tools such as KiteDesk, Tellwise, FirstRain and others can make your reps far more productive with a fixed amount of time.

7. Clarify or update your goals
Are you chasing after the wrong numbers?  Are your metrics and objectives still relevant?  If you’re behind plan you need to catch up, but make sure everybody still believes in the same number.

8. Start (or accelerate) driving leads from trigger events 
Your best prospects might not bother filling out your forms, but they’re still out there exhibiting buying signals and trigger events that are excuses to reach out and engage.  Find them, filter them, distribute them to your sales reps.

9. Develop daily and weekly execution disciplines
When you’re behind goal, it’s easy to start flailing.  Doing too much, and not doing any of it well.  When you’re behind goal, it’s more important than ever to focus on disciplined execution.  Daily priority lists.  Weekly triage and adjustments.  Use every minute of every day wisely.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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