Why You Should be Scared When Your Salespeople are Closing Sales

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Feb 10, 2010 @ 09:02 AM

Most senior executives get excited when a lot of business starts to close all in a fairly short period of time.  They think:

  • Momentum
  • Cash Flow
  • Best Practices being executed
  • Processes being followed
  • Strategies being executed
  • Tactics being utilized
  • Salespeople becoming more effective
  • Retention
  • Focus on bigger opportunities now
  • etc.

What they should be thinking is more along the lines of:

  • uh-oh
  • is the pipeline emptying?
  • what's coming along behind this?
  • has anyone been filling the pipeline during all this closing frenzy?
  • how could I have not seen this coming?

Sales managers get caught up in the excitement of a closing frenzy when they should be taking a step back and asking themselves, what's wrong with this picture?

If you have a short sales cycle - less than 30 days - you won't feel the impact of this as much as a company with a longer sales cycle.  If you have a six month sales cycle and the pipeline just emptied in a closing frenzy, it could be six months before business begins to consistently close again!

You may see a similar phenomenon when salespeople are on an appointment scheduling frenzy - nothing seems to be closing - and opportunities are not moving through the stages of the sales process.

So what is the answer?  Balance.  Your job is to maintain balance - hold salespeople accountable for all three requirements:

  • filling the pipeline
  • moving opportunities through the pipeline
  • closing the closable opportunities in the pipeline
  • all at the same time
  • without breaks in the action
  • without excuses
  • without blinders on

How about at your company - is there balance?

(c) Copyright 2010 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, Sales Force, closing, salespeople

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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