Last week, I wrote this article about the best time to ask salespeople to fill their pipelines. One reader asked how to get salespeople to fill their pipelines.
It's an interesting question because your real performers don't have to be asked. They will keep it filled on their own. If you are having difficulty getting salespeople to fill their pipeline, then one of several things may be true:
- They are relatively inexperienced and, while willing, aren't very effective. This is your best scenario because training and coaching will help these salespeople, but you must both put in the work!
- They aren't motivated enough to do it. This describes most account managers who are happy to live off of their existing business. Unfortunately, while this might be good for them, it isn't very good for you or your business. While there could be a tremendous amount of business being managed by them, they are not setting a good example for others on the sales force. The bad significantly outweighs the good unless all you can see is the revenue that they manage, and then you'll be blind to all the bad for which they are responsible.
- They aren't committed enough to do it. Bye - It was nice knowing you! There is no place for this salesperson on your sales force.
- Their hidden weaknesses prevent them from doing it. This is your second best scenario, but it will take a lot of training, coaching and time to help them overcome their call-anxiety and some will never overcome it.
So, how do you get them to fill their pipeline? You make it a condition of continued employment. You'll provide training and coach those who don't know how; provide training and long-term coaching for those who are uncomfortable; replace those who lack commitment; and redeploy those who aren't motivated to an account management position. The rest - the real salespeople - don't have to be asked.
How do you distinguish between lack of motivation, lack of commitment, hidden weaknesses and skill gaps? A Sales Force Evaluation will provide you with all of that intelligence and more.