First, you can’t tell if the pipeline is balanced unless you can visually see what’s in there in some way other than a report or a spreadsheet. My favorite way to look at a pipeline is to overlay the pipeline on a baseball diamond. Each of the base paths represents a different category of prospect. Suspects – those with whom an appointment is booked line up on the first baseline. Prospects, those who have need, a compelling reason to buy and, what I call S.O.B. Quality (you’ll have to buy my upcoming book to learn about that) are on the second base path. Completely qualified prospects (criteria in the new book) show up on the path to third base and all of the closeable prospects line up on the third base line.
Once you have assigned each opportunity in your pipeline to the appropriate place on the baseball diamond, you can visually see your all of your potential new business, where the revenue is sitting and what will really close. More importantly, you can see whether the pipeline is balanced. A balanced pipeline will typically have two to three times more suspects than closeable opportunities. If the one you are looking at does not, there isn’t enough prospecting for new business taking place. Try doing that with a spreadsheet!
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