Do You Have Too Big of a Sales Pipeline?


Maureen is a good prospector and finds it easy to keep her pipeline full. Very full . She prospects regularly and prides herself on maintaining a rich pipeline of prospects that most people only dream of creating.  Her personality and persistence give her the chance to spend lots of time with potential customers that do not mind spending time either face to face or on the phone. 

Despite this seemingly ideal selling condition, Maureen's recent meeting with her sales manager revealed that her pipeline was actually too big. How can that be so? 


Maureen suffers from a weakness many sales people have that causes frustration not just to the salesperson, but to management, as well. Relying on her strength as a prospector keeps Maureen with a full sales funnel, but she has not mastered the art of bringing those opportunities to a Decision. Her pipeline grows and grows to the point where she can't possibly do all the follow up work and therefore doesn't result in orders.  

Maureen is a people person and her "I" side is getting in the way of creating urgency in the prospects. She has a deep seated belief that she will close almost every opportunity if she can just keep them on the line long enough. Without looking at why she does not advance the process, or is not willing to stop chasing people, Maureen may never figure out why all of her energy doesn't produce the outcomes she really wants. She is certainly working hard and not coasting, but she doesn't understand how to convert this massive pipeline into sales and commissions. 


Maureen and her sales manager need to develop a process that allows both of them to understand the process that keeps her in this death spiral. Until some methods are implemented to see where she turns into a chaser as opposed to a closer there is no way to coach or train out of this situation. 

Maureen may suffer from a need to be liked or popular, a fear of failure, lack of an "abundance mentality" or a fear of hearing "NO." Perhaps she just isn't strong enough to tell the prospect that there might not be a good fit to see if the prospect will defend their status as a potential client.  

The strength of Maureen's persistence may have compromised her commitment to be a strong decision maker or eroded a willingness to get to "Yes or No" in a reasonable time frame. Until she commits to changing her beliefs about what makes a salesperson effective, there is little reason to expect any change in her results. 

Related: The Power of Walking Away