John H. Walters, Guest Author
I’ve spoken to several Business Owners lately who have told me that business has picked up in 2011, and that’s great. However, a number of them are so engrossed in serving their existing customers that they have switched off to the fact that they still need to manage the pipeline of new business.
A number of them have told me that because they are so busy they no longer have time to carry out marketing. They say, “don’t worry”, we’ll get back to marketing when things are a little less crazy.
My message to you is that this spells real danger!
Things may be good now, but the reality is that you need to be constantly working on your pipeline. By constantly adding to your pipeline you will hopefully get to the stage where you are short of capacity, and even when you are capacity constrained, you should still be working on your pipeline.
You should remember that not all of your prospects will come through; some of your customers will take less than they predicted and some will take more. Because of this uncertainty you need to push on with developing a strong pipeline.
Also experience tells me that people become very creative when they are under pressure to increase capacity to take on additional business, and all businesses like additional volumes.
Have you the tools in place to monitor your pipeline?
We’re talking about estimating and measuring your future demand. Businesses do this by taking their prospective clients, estimating their business volumes, and then applying a probability factor, representing how much of the business they think they will capture.
Depending on the level of sophistication of the business, and the complexity of the sales quotation process, they often apply percentages to reflect the different stages of the selling process, and where they are in the process.
So please make sure that you have the necessary tools in place and that you are actively developing your pipeline.
Copyright © 2011 – John H. Walters. Reprinted with permission. John is the Chief Executive Officer of 1-2-1 Business Consulting, LLC, in Ellicott City, MD. John Walters will help you you to: grow your sales, reduce your costs, increase your profitability and maximize your cash flow. An approachable, pragmatic and determined individual, with experience from many diverse industries, who will apply proven methodologies to help you solve your problems and achieve your goals. Visit his Website and “Blog.
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