4 Keys to Creating a Billion Dollar Sales Pipeline
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4 Keys to Creating a Billion Dollar Sales Pipeline

- Venkataraman Subramanyan

After $5B in pipeline generated and $4B of deals reviewed, I have a deep understanding of what it takes to grow your pipeline and take a deal over the line. (even during a slowdown!!)

A robust pipeline is the foundation for your sales success!.

With the right approach and execution, you can transform your sales pipeline into an opportunity multiplying machine that consistently drives growth and revenue for your company.

These are also a few of the foundational concepts we work on with our clients such as Microsoft, SAP, EY, ServiceNow etc.. 

You can see the full list here. 

Let’s dive into the 4 Keys to Creating a Billion Dollar Sales Pipeline. 

Key 1: Collaborative Pipeline Generation – The Path to Sustainable Growth

Successful sales organizations understand the importance of treating pipeline generation as a collaborative effort with their customers, rather than a one-time quarterly activity conducted solely within their internal teams. 

The reason for this is simple: a sales pipeline is not a static entity but rather a dynamic and evolving representation of your customer’s journey to capture more market value.

By collaborating with customers on project and pipeline generation, companies can stay ahead of changes in the customer’s needs, preferences, and decision-making processes. 

There has to be a cadence and rhythm with your customer for the entire plan, rather than just a plan you create on your own, for yourself, or for your manager.

Think of collaborative pipeline generation as a two-way dance of insights between the sales team and the customer. The net output is an aligned roadmap, with specific projects, deliverables and timelines that translate into accelerated business value for your customer.

Key 2: Risk Mitigation – Converting Risks and Challenges into Opportunities

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, risk is an inevitable part of any customer’s growth journey. 

The top sales teams understand that their customer’s risk is actually an opportunity in disguise. 

By identifying and mitigating these risks, companies can not only help their customers achieve their objectives but also differentiate themselves from their competition.

When considering risk mitigation, it is important to take a comprehensive approach and view customer risks through multiple lenses, including their strategic risk, innovation risk, ecosystem risk, financial risk, and operational risks. 

This holistic approach helps to ensure that all potential risks are taken into account and mitigation strategies are tailored to the specific needs of the customer.

For example, one risk that businesses frequently face is the integration within any merger or acquisition. According to research, 80% of such M&As fail to meet their objectives, making it a significant concern for many organizations. 

To turn this challenge into an opportunity, the sales team must discuss critical questions with the customer, such as: 

What is the probability of this risk materializing? 

What is the potential cost of this risk?

How would your leaders prioritize this risk? 

And most importantly, how can this risk be translated into a project that your customer is committed to pursue?

Remember – Every customer risk is a potential opportunity in disguise. 

Key 3: Driving Customer Momentum through Business Value Creation

Business value drives customer momentum. 

It’s critical for sales teams to focus on creating business value for their customers, by delivering products, services, and solutions that show up in measurable and monetizable business terms for their customers.

For example, if a customer is undergoing a major business transformation, such as transitioning from traditional passenger and commercial vehicles to electric vehicles, the sales team can leverage their expertise in 5G technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to support the transition. 

By connecting the dots between the technology capabilities and the customer’s business results, and communicating these benefits in measurable and monetizable terms, the sales team can help fill their pipeline with projects that drive real business value for their customer.

Focus relentlessly on customer value creation to differentiate yourself from the competition, build stronger stakeholder relationships, and position your solution as uniquely aligned to speed up your customer’s results.

Key 4: Securing Commitment and Accountability through Stakeholder Alignment

In order for a sales pipeline to be successful, it’s crucial for both the sales team and the customer to be fully committed to the transformation journey.

It’s important to remember that a sales plan, no matter how well thought out, is not enough to stand on its own. This plan must be vetted, verified, and validated with the customer, and all critical stakeholders must be aligned to ensure success (I call this triangulation and consensus formation)

For example, when working in the public sector, it’s important to consider how to engage key stakeholders such as the Secretary, various government departments, the Minister, and outside influencers within the transformation project. By bringing all of these parties together, the sales team can ensure that everyone is aligned and committed to the transformation journey. 

Stakeholder alignment begins with the creation of customer champions and with meeting all decision makers, with the intent of mobilizing consensus among them. With consensus comes commitment, and the accountability to make progress.

The key to securing larger pipelines is that both parties are committed to transforming together.

By treating pipeline generation as a collaborative effort with the customer, considering risk mitigation through multiple lenses, connecting the dots between solution and business results, and securing commitment and accountability from all critical stakeholders, businesses can increase their chances of success and secure larger pipelines. 

By following these four keys, businesses can create a sales pipeline that is not only profitable, but also sustainable and future-proof. 

The end goal is to create a win-win scenario where both the sales team and the customer benefit from the journey.

I am glad you have reached so far 🙂. Ask yourself these questions in your quest to build a multi-million $ pipeline:

  1. Is my customer part of my planning sessions? Are their CxOs signing off on our plan?
  2. Are my customer’s risks monetized and sequenced by the customer as specific projects with deadlines?
  3. How are our products/ services/ solutions showing up on my customer’s scorecard KPIs?
  4. Who within the customer is motivated to champion our projects and progress?

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Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

Tripura Multinational is a dynamic sales organization dedicated to empowering sales professionals and organizations to achieve unparalleled success. Originally established as a platform to address skill gaps in the sales industry, Tripura has evolved into a multi-faceted entity that offers comprehensive engagements for Sales Managers and Sales Leaders. Through the transformative power of Sales Coaching, Tripura enables sales organizations to elevate their performance from good to great and ultimately reach a world-class level. Our approach focuses on optimizing sales skills, management expertise, and leadership capabilities, helping clients plan more effectively, qualify leads better, orchestrate sales processes seamlessly, and expand their business with confidence. 

Our organisation is the trusted choice of market leaders across various industries and segments, relying on our expertise to elevate their performance to new heights. Recognized for our ability to enhance excellence, we are entrusted with the task of making the client’s best even better.

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