Insights for the data driven leader.

Lead a Successful Sales Pipeline Meeting in 6 Steps

It’s 8am on Monday morning. You have 153 emails in your inbox, 14 team members requesting something from you, your sales team didn’t make it’s quota last week and worse yet, you still haven’t had your coffee.

First things first, get coffee. Go, get it now.

Did you get it? Ok, now back to reality.

The 153 emails will most likely not all get checked this morning and your team will most likely still need something from you in the afternoon so let’s focus on the missed sale team quota. There’s a few ways to address these missed quotas, but the first thing you’ll want to do is institute a weekly meeting for your sales team so you can evaluate the status of your pipeline and get on the same page about the metrics you’re currently tracking and why your team is missing the mark.

We recently posted about how Sales Managers can prepare for the their next data-driven meeting and we’d recommend taking a look so you can prep for an efficient gathering. While it’s important to be fully prepped for diving into your data, the meat of your meetings will be exactly that, diving in.

Once you have your agenda set, a consistent meeting frequency established, and your data dashboards pulled up, here’s some practical steps to follow that will take your sales team from a good team, to great team.

Step 1. Inspect the Pipeline - Ask “Where do we stand?”

Having a clear understanding of weather or not each deal in the pipeline is going to progress to the next stage in the next week is critical to understanding where each rep should spend their time. Part of this meeting should focus on purging stagnant opportunities from the pipeline. This ensures your feed is filled with opportunities that represent a more positive sales forecast.

Step 2. Compare Current Data vs. Historical Data - Ask “Should we be worried?”

After you’ve evaluated where your pipeline stands, you’ll want to compare period to date results with past periods looking for any significant growth. Do they align with your projections? Are they on track with our trending values? You’ll also want to keep an eye on your Sales Pipeline Velocity (defined as [Number of Deals * Average Deal Size * Win Rate] / Average Selling Time). Has your pipeline velocity increased or decreased? Do you have some Deals that are 3x that of others? You should be paying attention to these indicators.

Step 3. Drill Down - Ask “Where are we headed?”

After comparing the historical trends to current trends, drill down into the data and ask why this is happening. So your pipeline velocity has decreased. Why? Drill down on the drivers and address the behaviors or conditions affecting these drivers. Did your customers buying habits change? Are your SDRs making less calls or shifting their behaviors in some way?

Ensure this portion of your meeting isn’t just a roundtable discussion of your reps sharing what happen, but take the opportunity to tap into your experience and expertise, and to help them focus where they should.

Step 4. Make a plan - Ask “How are we going to get there?”  

Next you need a plan of attack. Once you understand what’s happening with your pipeline, how it compares to your pipeline in the past and why it’s happening, make some decisions on how to move forward. Maybe you need to alter your targets. It could simply be adjusting your assumptions for the time deals take to close. This is the time to adjust and improve the process. Don’t just look at the numbers, take definitive action based on the numbers.  

Step 5. Train, Develop, Drill, Practice…Practice...Practice.

This is an opportunity for your SDRs to learn from your experience and then practice what you preach. Use the time together as an opportunity to help people improve their selling skills. You could bring in a guest speaker or participate in a hands-on activity. If you’ve decided to adjust the SDR selling process, you can also use this time for drilling. Have SDRs pair up and mock-call one another. Put their new learned techniques to use and track the results.

Step 6. Hold your team accountable

Each team member should leave the meeting with clear tasks and objectives. If you’re using a visual dashboard, each will see where they currently stand and understand where they want to be at the beginning of your next meeting. Give your sales team ownership of what they feel the next steps are, add them to your CRM and assign deadlines to each task. Each SDR will feel a sense of accomplishment when they “see” these tasked competed. Plus adding the healthy completion of task completion will make the sale game a bit more interesting for your team to play!

If you’re prepped for your data-driven meetings and run them smoothly and efficiently, giving your team actionable tasks as a takeway, your team will be empowered to reach their end goals more quickly and with more gusto. What about your current meetings? What are some helpful steps you’ve seen when running your team meetings now?

One thing to remember is that your Sales Pipeline meetings are just as important as your Forecasting meetings. Next in our series we’ll discuss sales forecasting tips and more!

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August 29, 2016
Jacey Lucus

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