Sales PipeLYING Management (a fun poem for all sales leaders)
October 4, 2017
Sales PipeLYING Management
My boss called me in just the other day
“There are a couple of things I need to say
I could tell I was in for a frosty reception
I knew she was on to my pipeline deception
We have had these discussions many times in the past
About the accuracy of your sales forecast
But, the situation is getting out of hand
And I really need to understand
Your sales pipeline numbers always look fantastic
But your actual results, well they are often drastic
I know it’s an impossible game we play
To predict with accuracy which way a deal will sway
That’s it I said, with complete assurance
So I like to be optimistic as my insurance
I cannot predict I am no fortune teller
And I’m just like every other hard-pressed seller
Oh no, she said with a serious tone
The responsibility is all your own
You ignore the steps we have in our process
Building pipeline doesn’t happen by osmosis
Let’s take an example, here’s some we can view
Let’s look at a sales opportunity or two
Here is one, you have predicted to close
Where you get that conclusion, heaven knows
Well I spoke to him yesterday and we really connected
He praised the proposal I had perfected
We talked for an hour and built great rapport
That deal’s in the bag, of that I am sure
But what is his title? What role does he play?
Eh? I’m not quite sure, he just didn’t say.
Who else is involved in the final decision?
She looked at me now with some derision
None that I know of, he said he would decide
And going over his head, would injure his pride
So what about budget, have they money to spend?
I didn’t ask, I didn’t want to offend
What about pain, what are we trying to solve?
What compelling problems does it involve?
And has he confirmed it is a priority?
Or is he another one of your silent majority?
What are the barriers to closing the deal?
My face was red now, I couldn’t conceal
What plans have you made to close by next month?
Which foot are you on, the back or the front?
Deep down I knew I was Sales PipeLying
My numbers were weak, not for lack of trying
But I wanted to project a positive picture
And following process, I wished I was stricter
From the day I was born, I could talk and not listen
Sales I was told, was my destined position
I have always loved the sound of my own voice
When I sold you listened, you had no choice
They talked about process, about science v art
The showed me the stats on a colourful chart
Winners had structure, like day followed night
I said, it’s all just corporate shite
But now reality was starting to dawn
She was the Queen and me the pawn
Her move or my next would determine my fate
I had to assure her before it was too late
One month and I’ll faithfully follow the plan
I’ll embrace the process, be a different man
I’ll listen, I’ll learn, I’ll probe and I’ll question
I’ll take onboard every single suggestion
The impact was instant, I started to win
I married the process to my passion within
I learned all the steps, I built up momentum
I made some mistakes, you cannot prevent them
One month was enough to show I was focused
And this sales process stuff is not hocus pocus
I’m building a pipeline with substance not hope
And even my sales manager believes I can cope
So, no more pipelying, this stuff is for real
I follow proven steps to win every deal
I’m happier, energised a smile on my face
Selling is my destiny, I’ve found my place
Ronan Kilroy Insthinktive Sales Leadership Ltd. 04 October 2017