PIPELINE AND PROCESS
The number one cause of failure for a sales leader is missing their forecast. Without a process for understanding the steps of a pipeline, and a process for moving opportunities through the pipeline, the odds of accurate forecasting diminish. We also believe having a strong sales process allows the sales professional to be more creative in solving problems. It gives them additional time to think instead of trying “hit and miss” ideas to move an opportunity.
Our client in the greater Chicago area owns an estimated 50% market share in their target market. They are a manufacturer of industrial products. What they build fits as a part of another product, so the brand is not a household name. They have multiple divisions that work with multiple types of customers. One division sells products that are cataloged, and not custom designed. There is a tendency to think of it as a commodity item. Their growth has been limited and profitability has been stagnant. They asked NineRuns to help with ways to increase share and grow revenue.
Among the things we did for them was to review their CRM within their enterprise system, to identify how they were tracking opportunities through the pipeline/funnel. It was a very loose process without a strong definition on the actions it took to move the opportunities to close. We redesigned their pipeline/funnel with 7 steps that were well defined. We created a sales planning process that allowed them to understand how the sales professionals could analyze the information they had from the customer and choose the best solution that moved the opportunity forward.
As a result, we shortened their average sales cycle by 2 weeks and increased the win rate by 7%. This created additional selling opportunities and additional wins. We have since rolled it out to a second division.
The process has improved forecasting accuracy by having knowledge of what is closing and when it will close.