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Software for Sales Managers

Manager's Minute

Be the Utility Player: Mitigating Risk

by Pat Rodgers

This past week I had the opportunity to join a round table focused on reducing pipeline risk. I’ve included a link here if you would like to dig in further. It was a great discussion! 

As managers, reducing risk is one of our top priorities. It impacts everything we do from coaching to forecasting. One of the most effective ways I have found to reduce risk in your pipeline is to become the utility player. In baseball the utility player is someone that can play any position in the field. Ensuring that if someone goes down with an injury, is in a hitting slump, or gets ejected there is a reliable player to take their spot. 

In sales this requires knowing your team’s individual strengths and weaknesses. Think about one of your sales reps, now think about your sales process, what steps in your sales process can they execute so well that you don’t even have to worry? Is it the presentation, discovery, value creation, negotiation? Whatever that is, let them own that completely. Now, what areas do they fall short? How do you know this is a weakness? If you are unsure of weak points, or choke points in the sales process these can be identified with data. For example, what is their worst conversion from stage to stage? What is their longest stage compared to peers? From an activity standpoint where do they have the highest or lowest touches? Are they adding new contacts in way too late in the process compared to in the beginning stages? Once you’ve identified this you can prioritize the types of meetings or stages where you as the utility player can jump in and help assist. 

By identifying the meetings and stages, on a per rep basis, to get involved in you also begin to prioritize your time to the highest value activities. Rather than chasing every fire drill that comes around you focus on the proactive tasks that reduce risk. In turn driving higher revenue attainment across your team.

-The Frontline

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