…and Sales Team Success is made on Pipeline and Coaching calls.
Last week I was in the gym about to start my workout and I passed a table of promotional materials from local businesses, and I picked up a flyer for a personal chef with the title “Abs are made in the kitchen.” The headline is brilliant. First, it counters the belief that tight Abs are achieved primarily by sit-ups and crunches. Second, it reinforces what we already know about health and nutrition, but tend to ignore — healthy, balanced, sensible and nutrient dense meals are the best path to lose or maintain weight. Do you need both good eating habits and work in the gym to get tight Abs? Barring genetic gifts from your ancestors, yes you need both for Abs of steel.
So why the metaphor of “Abs are made in the kitchen” to Pipeline and Coaching Calls to Sales Team Success?
First, Pipeline and Coaching calls counter the belief that Sales Team Success is achieved primarily by “doing deals,” putting together great proposals and negotiating better than our competition. Yes, these things are essential as sit-ups and crunches are for tightening those Abs.
Second, Pipeline and Coaching Calls require consistency, cadence, and commitment by sales leaders, if the goal is to achieve more substantial, better and more profitable deals. I suggest this is the “Abs are made in the kitchen,” equivalent to healthy, balanced, sensible and nutrient-dense meals.
Pipeline and Coaching calls feed the engine for creating value for your sales organization. A formal and pragmatic approach to standardized processes in this area removes the guesswork of sales results.
Pipeline and Coaching calls only succeed under the following circumstances:
- The organization understands and uses the sales process — You can’t have clarity in Pipeline and Coaching calls without one.
- Sales Leaders don’t mix Pipeline and Coaching Calls with Forecast Calls — Forecast calls are focused on the scoreboard. Pipeline and Coaching calls are focused on ensuring that the salesperson is on the right path to success and helping them prepare for and manage opportunities.
- Adoption, Consistency, and Intensity — Pipeline and Coaching calls cannot be ad-hoc, now and then, or be completed in 20 minutes. They need to run like German trains — dependable, fast, clean and efficient.
- If the calls are not uncomfortable, they aren’t being done right — Salespeople don’t always do what’s good for them. Sales leaders should be helping them think differently and stay focused on doing the right things right.
- The process must be CRM centric — Spreadsheets or ad-hoc reports should not guide pipeline and Coaching Calls. Your CRM reports and dashboards need to be tailored to facilitate the sales leader and salesperson interaction. You can’t repurpose finance or forecast dashboards for these calls.
So there you have it. “Abs are made in the kitchen” and “Sales Team Success is made on Pipeline and Coaching Calls.” What do you think?