• Sales Execution

Becoming the Master of Your Pipeline

Molly St. Louis

Molly St. Louis
Senior Producer

Becoming the Master of Your Pipeline

You know that old adage: “It takes a village to master your pipeline”?

Well, okay, you’ve probably never heard that one before, but the sentiment is still true! And now, more than ever, it’s important that sales leaders continue to learn from one another as we all navigate the new realities of our sales funnels.

Clari’s Masters of Revenue Roundtable online event series brings revenue leaders together to discuss and share top-of-mind topics and trends during these uncertain times, and we’re bringing you insights from those exclusive events right here to the Clari blog.

Check out this sneak peek featuring Clari VP of Sales Holly Procter:

>>Download these Masters of Revenue-inspired sketches as a Zoom background!<<

In this session, Procter moderated a group of enterprise executives from around the world who voiced their concerns about maintaining focus, from the executive level, down to the sales reps.

From there, some interesting strategies ensued:

Focus on the Right Deals

Procter pointed out the importance of understanding what is going on in the customer’s business and letting that drive the game plan. During the session, she shared her own strategy for pipeline segmentation (as referenced in the video above), which has tremendously helped her remote team place their energy and efforts on the deals that are most likely to close.

Raluca Roiti, Sr. Manager of Sales Strategy and Operations at Staffbase noted that paying close attention to your marketing and sales channels can produce some powerful metrics that drive focus, as well.

“Another thing we’ve done is quickly adapting and seeing the channels where we still have traction during this time, compared to other channels,” she said. “We’ve seen in a fairly short amount of time that partnerships are playing a bigger role right now. We’re leading with empathy with our customers, rather than outbound.”

Solving the Quota Problem

Speaking of empathy, that goes both ways. Considering the current state of the market, how should leaders be thinking about adjusting sales quotas? As Korn Ferry’s VP of North American Commercial Products Michael Hogan pointed out, balance is key for revenue leaders.

“The challenge we’re all probably facing is balancing the human empathy side, right?” he said. “Because we have people working from home, we’ve got people pulling double duties, being a homeschool teacher for their children, not being able to socialize, things of that nature. And at the same time, you have people around them that are certainly impacted job-wise.”

Procter echoed that sentiment. “On one hand, you want to hold people accountable in a remote environment, especially if you’re leading SDR teams or inside sales teams. They need structure and rigor. And now is the time to implement structure and rigor,” she explained. “The challenge is that we need to lead with empathy with our customer base. So, if we’re saying ‘lead with empathy’ and ‘maybe lay off hardcore selling,’ then we’re mandating a minimum activity target. Those things may be at odds.”

Procter believes that leaders shouldn’t be so quick to jump to a solution.

“We’ve never done this before,” she said, speaking about the business challenges arising from the pandemic. “We don’t know if this is a two-month impact, a six-month impact, a year-long impact. So, we’re acknowledging to our reps that we’re going to do the right thing by them always, but we’re watching the market closely before making any big decisions.”

The common theme: Taking a measured approach and having an open line of communication is critical in the best of times, but even more so now that reps are looking for direction and guidance.

Join the Masters of Revenue

Masters of Revenue will be addressing more pressing topics in the weeks ahead and we’d love for you to join the conversation.

If you’d like to attend, please email Mayra Delgado at mayra@clari.com and Nick Bennett at nick@clari.com. And as always, please stay safe, stay focused, and stay connected!

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