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    How to boost your revenue with Predictable Prospecting

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    Sometimes, the way you begin a thing determines how you will end it. Nowhere is this more true than in the sales pipeline, where how an opportunity comes in at the front end, can make or break the revenue that pops out at the other end.

    That’s the underlying principle of Marylou Tyler’s outbound sales process improvement consulting. Tyler is the founder of Strategic Pipeline, works with Fortune 1000 companies, and author of two books, the #1 bestsellers Predictable Revenue and Predictable Prospecting.

    We recently partnered with Tyler’s company to place her process into the Membrain workflow, to make it easier to reinforce, track, measure, and optimize. We caught up with her recently to learn more about transforming the front end of the pipeline.

    Q: Why is a process at the front end of the pipeline so important?

    Investing in the front end of the process will level out the peaks and valleys of sales.
    Marylou Tyler

    Tyler: The number one reason is consistency. Investing in the front end of the process will level out the peaks and valleys of sales. Think of the person who prospects, closes, and services accounts. Often, they tend to follow the shiny object of things that are further into the pipeline, and forget that they need to continue prospecting. We can help by leveraging technology to keep the rhythm going, ensuring the salesperson works the pipeline backwards every day.

    The other reason process is so important here is that it instills the habit of being disciplined, and having consistent conversations with prospects throughout the pipeline, and to have the right conversations in the right rhythm based on accurate information.

    Q: Is there a particular size of company that benefits most from this?

    Tyler: It’s not so much about the size of the company, as about the type of sale. Generally, early pipeline process is a less valuable investment for transactional sales, and more valuable for a sales process that involves multiple influencers, and an average deal size that’s at least in the $10k range.

    I have a matrix I use to help companies understand whether our services can help them. Investing in the front end of the pipeline is especially helpful to companies with a new product, penetrating new markets, or revitalizing their efforts with a market segment. It’s also a good fit for start-ups.

    Q: What exactly does a predictable pipeline process look like?

    The first thing is to separate sales roles, if not by person, at least by process. That means, separate prospecting from closing, closing from servicing. For salespeople who perform all three roles, we establish block time. When they’re in prospecting mode, they don’t multitask and check email, or get on the phone, or check social. Membrain helps establish these separate workflows, and this helps keep that top of funnel full.

    Then we focus on targeting, engaging, qualifying and optimizing both the process and cadence. We do this by creating processes that identify prospects with the greatest potential, clearly articulate the company’s competitive position, help to start conversations with people the salesperson doesn’t already know, land meetings through targeted campaigns, and craft personalized conversations to address each potential buyer’s awareness, needs, and challenges. When we define, manage, and optimize these areas, we are able to generate predictable revenue.

    Q: What outcomes can sales teams expect to see from this process?

    Tyler: Just today I got an email from a salesperson, saying this process transformed their life. It enabled them to generate high value clients, with high lifetime values, and to close them at a higher rate. When you take the time up front to plan how you build your assembly line of conversation, and focus it on high impact and low effort, leveraging technology and picking the right accounts with high revenue potential, then at the end of the planning, you can flip the switch, turn on the engine, and consistently fill the pipeline.

    Then there’s a constant feedback loop. So we glean info and track and measure the conversations that are taking place, and that gets fed back into the marketing collateral and sales conversations. It impacts how we order our pain points, in what order we talk to people, to get them into the pipeline faster, at a higher volume. Each time we bring a prospect in, we do it smarter and faster.

    Q: How will Membrain support your work with clients?

    Tyler: Membrain has built-in business rules and tracking capabilities, that make it easy to navigate through each prospect company and tell us where to start and how to navigate based on past heuristics. It allows us to see patterns of placement, patterns of where things are, and to fine tune accordingly.

    When we put the process in Membrain, it sends each salesperson along the right path, and makes sure they’re crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s. The process can get complex, and this helps them stay in the flow. Then it’s tracking the metrics and the convos, so we get a good understanding of the best velocity to get through the pipeline with integrity and authenticity.

    This helps us eliminate wishful thinking and improves our forecasts.

    It also improves our ability to hyper personalize the process. I don’t believe in spray and pray. Membrain helps us create a process that is meaningful the buyer as well as the seller.

    Q: How will the integration with Membrain work exactly?

    Tyler: There’s a planning process that happens outside of Membrain, called assessment and assembly. Then the next process happens inside Membrain itself, where we put the business rule process in Membrain based on what we did during assessment and assembly. It includes their lead source and mix, the workflows they’re implementing, the stages, and the metrics to track. It creates a 360 degree loop that goes back to the marketing folks to help with content assets and templates.

    We’re grateful to Tyler for sharing her wisdom, and excited to be bringing her valuable content and process into our software. Read more and get started here

    George Brontén
    Published April 11, 2018
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn