The Challenge is... Keeping Your Sales Pipeline Full

First and foremost the challenge of keeping the pipeline filled with new potential customers is paramount to every company's success. The first half of the selling process, the appointment-setting phase, is critical for two reasons:

  • There is no better way to proactively control our own destiny than to make more effective Appointment Making calls, as there is a direct correlation between the number of dials made and the size of one's commission check.

  • Because it occurs at the front end of the selling process, it acts as a fulcrum, and dramatically impacts the second half of the buying process. In other words, an increase in the number of Initial Appointments provides a larger foundation for more sales, even if we are no more successful in the subsequent stages of the selling process.

Some of this advantage is pure math, but some also affect our business in subtle, yet substantial ways. For instance, you might be experiencing these sales challenges right now:

  • Profit margins are being squeezed
    How would our margins increase if we felt we were in a stronger negotiating position when trying to close deals because our sales pipeline is full?

  • The office atmosphere is highly stressful.
    How would the atmosphere in the office improve if the discussions changed to how to better qualify the many more prospects we now have, to creating better proposals, and how to close deals, instead of the negative vibes that accompany the, "We need more activity"' and, "We can't afford to lose this deal" type discussions?

  • Our sales professional turnover is higher than it should be.
    How would our turnover be reduced if those that have proven themselves as closers could also set enough Initial Appointments to feed the pipeline?

  • The 'elephant in the room'.
    We all know the appointment setting and pipeline-filling challenge is there, but we don't know how to improve it. We just demand more activity hoping that will make it better. We also think that if we can just generate more warm leads, we will not have this problem. Because of this, it is important to understand that there are only three sources for Initial Appointments:

    • Marketing generated leads
    • Networking and customer referrals
    • Cold calling

    Regardless of the origin of the name, all three categories generally require someone on the sales team to pick up the phone and ask for the appointment to begin the dialogue that precedes a buying cycle. Therefore, almost all sales professionals need to know how to set appointments. We also sometimes don't realize that no matter what the source of the name to being called, the process we will follow to set the appointment is identical. After all, even referrals sometimes say no.

  • Why is it so easy to get prospects through the pipeline, but so difficult to get targets into the pipeline?
    Getting an appointment is such a challenge, that when my sales team does finally get someone on the phone that sounds interested, they'll attempt to sell right then and there, which just exacerbates the overall problem.

What Are Your Sales Challenges?

What is the appointment setting challenge, and how does it affect my overall selling effort?

The ColdCalling101 Solution

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