Image credit © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar, via Wikimedia Commons
A client of mine has a challenge.
He has recently taken on a new sales role, but has no budget, no staff and no marketing support.
He is expected to find his own leads and create a pipeline of opportunities for his company.
We talked about this and decided that a focused, 3-month programme would be the best way to Test and Learn how to do this.
How can we build a sales pipeline from a standing start over the next 3 months?
That is what this case study will document over the next three months.
We will keep the details anonymous, but you will see the way we think about the problem, the metrics we use and the tactics and strategies that we apply.
You’ll see it as it happens – this is not a cleaned-up case study written with the benefit of hindsight.
How could we fail at this objective?
Instead of starting with all the things that we could do, what happens if we turn the question around and look at all the ways in which we could fail to meet the goal.
The science of motivation says that there are only three reasons why we don’t get what we want:
- We get mixed up between many goals.
- We run out of resources like time, energy or money.
- We don’t track how we are doing, and so run out of motivation to keep going.
We might not want to reach our goal badly enough
If my client really wants to build a sales pipeline, then he has to do some work first.
There are many reasons why he might not want to do the work:
- He works hard. When he gets home he wants to rest.
- He wants to spend time with his family.
- There are friends and social events to attend.
- He needs to keep up with news and sports.
- And many more.
If any of these goals are more important than his need to build a pipeline, then he might be distracted. And, over time, he will find that his goal is no nearer than when he started.
We don’t put the time, energy and resources that are needed
Simply wanting a goal is not enough.
We need to do something to move towards our goal.
This means spending time on work that will help.
This means having the energy to do the work – there is no point in planning to work on this last thing at night when all you want to do is sleep.
This means having access to the information, people and tools that you need to be effective.
We don’t measure how we are progressing towards our goal
You don’t achieve a goal immediately.
Instead, you move towards it slowly, making progress day by day.
Without some way of seeing how you are doing day by day, it’s very easy to decide things aren’t working and give up.
Or, even worse, you might give up on a method that would have worked if you had just kept it going for a short while and instead move onto a new approach that takes you longer.
We need to write down our goals and work on them every day
As motivational speaker Brian Tracy puts it, if he had a single piece of advice it would be “Write down your goals, make plans to achieve them and work on your plans every single day”.
So, that is what we need to do next.