From Inbox Zero To Funnel Fit

So the supposedly quiet few hours at the beginning of the year is often a chance for salespeople to get their new year in shape.

Go through that inbox. Sort your admin. Fix up your funnel.

There’s always something you can ‘tidy’, right?

The Inbox Zero construct garners entertaining press. Here’s one decent insight;

the zero is not a reference to the number of messages in an inbox;

it is “the amount of time an employee’s brain is in [their] inbox.”

…[the approach] identifies five possible actions to take for each message: delete, delegate, respond, defer, do.

The concept of spending as little mental time as possible in your inbox is an interesting one.

Parallel perhaps with working on prospects in your pipeline that really ought not be taking up that most precious of assets; your time.

A favourite topic of mine is ‘cull the customer’. Not all clients are created equal. And the same stands for prospects.

We all probably recognise the “eternal prospect”. A perennial tyre kicker. An entrenched competitor site. Someone forever stalled at an early stage of (pre-) engagement.

Worse still, we might well know what it’s like for our forecast to be lit up on a big screen, only for assembled colleagues to chuckle dismissively about a particular name you reckon will buy. (It won’t).

In my experience here’s a trio of observations;

Salespeople are too precious about their forecasts.

Salespeople prefer to qualify in rather than ruthlessly qualify out

Salesteams will say they know their ideal bid profile, but they do not

It’s often said that the biggest waste of a salesperson’s time is … coming second. So why pursue a deal where this is likely?

Why persist on a bid where you’ve holes in just too many places in your coverage?

There are many routines we can run to assess forecasted deal strength.

My point here is not to trot them out – or even recommend one over another – it is to suggest that now is the moment to cut out the flab from your funnel.

Follow your hunches. Is this really going to come in?

And when you think you’ve been hard on yourself. Repeat the process. And chop out even more deadweight. Be Funnel Fit.

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