January Jump-Start Week 2: Clean Up Your Pipeline

Ryan Walsh, CEO and Founder
Ryan Walsh, CEO and FounderJan 8, 2024

A well-maintained sales pipeline can be the difference between a successful year and a challenging one. This week for the January Jump-Start, we’re diving into the importance of keeping your sales pipeline clean and up-to-date, and giving you a guide to getting yours into shape for 2024.

Why a Clean Pipeline Matters

The opportunities in your pipeline represent your potential as a sales person, and they are a snapshot of who you are right now to many leaders across the organization who might have access to the CRM but don’t engage with you regularly. 

(If you’re not already thinking of it this way, you should be.) 

If your pipeline is cluttered with outdated opportunities or inaccurate data, it will limit your potential through inefficiency and misdirection. Plus, with new bulk email rules and a tighter sales climate, 2024 is looking like a year where quality will beat quantity.

Here’s why a clean pipeline matters:

  • Enhanced Focus and Efficiency: Cleaning your pipeline removes the clutter that can distract you from your primary targets. It allows for a concentrated effort on prospects with a higher conversion probability.
  • Accurate Forecasting and Planning: An up-to-date pipeline provides a realistic view of potential revenue, aiding in more accurate forecasting and strategic planning — and calculating your earning potential.
  • Time and Resource Optimization: By eliminating unlikely prospects, you can allocate your limited time and resources more effectively towards nurturing viable opportunities.
  • Improved Customer Relationship Management: Keeping track of current information in your pipeline ensures that you are always engaging with clients and prospects with relevant and timely communication.

This Week’s Task: Clean Up Your Pipeline

Here’s what to do to get your pipeline cleaned up so you can focus on the best opportunities.

Step 1: Set Stagnant Opportunities to “Closed-Lost”

Look at each prospect in your pipeline and ask yourself if they’re still viable and moving towards a sale. Remove any stagnant opportunities that have shown no progression or are long past your average sales cycle length. 

Want to go one step farther? Mark 25% of all your opps as closed-lost right now.

Step 2: Make Sure Your Good Opps are Up-to-Date

For all your opportunities that are viable, check to make sure they’re up-to-date in the CRM. Be sure to review and update their sales stages, close dates, opportunity values, and any other data your org uses to prioritize opportunities. 

Step 3: Prioritize and Reach Out 

With all your data cleaned up, now you can prioritize all your opps from most to least likely to close. Then start at the top and start reaching out. Businesses are working with new budgets and hoping to get their own years off to a good start, so this is a great time to position (or reposition) the solutions you have to offer. 

A clean and up-to-date pipeline is not just about maintaining a list. It’s about fostering a strategic, efficient, and data-driven sales process that powers your success. 

Taking these steps will take some time up front, but they not only streamline your sales process but also position you sustainable success through 2024.

January Jump-Start: Next Week

For week three, we’ll help you set your personal sales goals for 2024!  

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