In my early days I clearly remember learning that my job as a salesperson was to “dig holes” by identifying the many problems my prospective client faced. And to keep digging until those holes (problems) became so deep (big) my despairing client felt so overwhelmed and fearful they would want to grab my solution as a metaphorical ladder to help them clamber out of their dark damp pit of despair.
Okay, this might seem to be a strange title for an article. But knowing the clear difference between a sales funnel and a sales pipeline can mean a great deal to your company, your sales organisation and your salespeople—and greatly influence your choice of a CRM solution.
Yes, it’s true. Going back roughly 25 years ago to the original development of CRM and coming forward to fairly recently, it could certainly be said that the first iteration of CRM applications has been a failure. They’ve been costly, incredibly difficult and expensive to implement, and additionally expensive to administrate. These factors comprised the first part of the failure.
A sales manager faces many daily frustrations in sorting through and figuring out all the risks that must be estimated, taken and not taken.A large part of the reason for this frustration is that a sales team is made up all kinds of divergent elements. You have everything from sales superstars to mediocre salespeople, and everything in between. You’re always trying to figure how to make the slower team members better, and how to deal with the diva-type behavior that can be exhibited by your stars. It’s a constant struggle to keep it all together and make sales goals.