Is Your Pipeline Smoking (Something)?

Hey dudes… Pipeline management is about to go viral. A couple of firms out there are crushing their numbers by relooking their whole pipeline deal. And that’s way cool because if you can get your pipeline act together, it helps you sleep like a baby at night – no stress man.  Check this out: I was talking to one of those National Sales Manager types yesterday and he said “Having a good pipeline is like having good blood pressure.  It keeps beating in a very methodical way.  If your BP spikes, dips, or skips, chances are there is something that needs checking out.”  That’s deep man. That’s how he talks.  Then he said ”bad pipelines are hazy.” I guess that’s not exactly like Jimi and Purple Haze, but close.

Hazy Pipelines

Turns out hazy pipelines have definition problems.  Hazy pipeline stages look something like this:

Stage 1:  Advisor interest

Stage 2:  Advisor appointment

Stage 3:  Internal follow up with Zephyr / materials etc.

Stage 4:  Follow up visit or drip

Stage 5:  Close

Then there’s this aging report that shows how long these guys are in each stage. Seems like 6 and 12 months are pretty popular ages in the hazy pipeline.

Weird.  Why are so many getting stuck or hanging out so long?

Solid Pipelines

So I asked the guy what’s the secret to a solid vs. hazy pipeline.   Here’s what he said: “Solid pipelines are all about what the advisor does versus what the wholesaler does.  These are outcome measures and provide much greater insight with a bit more discipline on the part of the sales person.”  Wow this guy’s the man – he’s all over it!

Here’s his example of awesome pipeline management outcome definitions for 5 stages:


I think this is getting too deep for me man. This looks like you gotta really pay attention and be really clear. 

Yup. Put that in your pipeline and smoke it.