The Challenges of Building a Sales Pipeline

Making your sales professionals more effective simply means understanding the challenges they face.

January 7, 2014

The Challenges of Building a Sales Pipeline  LinkedIn

Having a healthy sales pipeline is the first step to successful sales in any company. A strong and well-built sales pipeline means your company is likely to hit growth targets. However, every company knows that building a sales pipeline does come with its own unique set of challenges. If you’re not on track with your efforts, the options are to either hire more sales professionals or make your current ones more effective.

Making your sales professionals more effective simply means understanding the challenges they face. Here are three of the biggest obstacles to building a healthy sales pipeline.

1. Cold Intros

Cold intros are a really tough sell. There is so much spam marketing floating around that without a more personal intro, turning prospects into leads can be nearly impossible. LinkedIn for sales professionals is a great solution for this problem. With LinkedIn, you can leverage not only your network, but the networks of your 1st degree contacts as well. This means that if someone in your network has a connection at Microsoft, you can reach out and ask them to make an introduction. Sales prospects generated through genuine connections have a much higher success rate.

2. Failure to Establish Trust

Trust is essential in order to make a sale. Social selling can make it easy to contact people but difficult to establish trust in your relationship. LinkedIn helps with this in two ways. One way is that the prospect can see who you are and how many shared connections you have. This automatically builds trust and credibility. The second way is viewing a prospect's profile to get a sense of their interests, social activity, and endorsements for insights that will help you best approach them and make the interaction more personal.

3. Wasting Time on Unlikely Leads

A big problem with social selling is that there are so many places to find leads that a lot of time and money can be spent on contacting prospects that are unlikely to buy from you. LinkedIn Sales Navigator has a targeted search function that enables you to filter your search by Named Accounts, Location, Industry, Seniority Level, Job Function and Company Size. The more you can hone your search in on the audience you want, the more effective your social selling efforts will be.