The Crystal Ball of Revenue

Pipeline.

Let’s not beat around the bush.

The crystal ball of revenue in your business is your pipeline.

What it is: A forecast of incoming revenues.

What it looks like: Dollars and timing, usually in the form of a graph, summary spreadsheet or report, detailed spreadsheet or data entry fields, or some combination of these.

Who uses it: Business owners and people in charge of business development.

How it’s used: How would you use a crystal ball if you had one? If you watch enough sci-fi, you know that the only purpose in knowing the future is to do something about it. (If you watch too much sci-fi, you’re already concerned about causing a rift in space-time with your revenue paradox. We’ll leave that issue for your own blog post.) So when you see your expected cash inflows, you’re immediately going to say one of the following:

Expostulation Present To Useful Action
“Awesome!” Opportunity Accelerate a potential gig, relationship, or channel along the pipeline
“Finally!” Peace of mind Get some more sleep, get something done in your “important and not urgent” quadrant (for our fellow Covey fans)
“Uh-oh.” Fear Pick up the phone, open an e-mail, register for a networking event, send out an invoice, keep a promise

Which of my burning questions are answered by my pipeline? Depending on how you have it set up, any of the following – and more:

  • “What revenues can I expect in the next month?”
  • “Where in my sales process do things get stuck?”
  • “What are my most fruitful sources of business?”
  • “Who are my most valuable sales reps?”
  • “Which sales reps might need some support from me?”
  • “When will I be able to buy…”
  • “What’s our close rate?”
  • “How many deals do we have in each stage of the process?”
  • “How much money is ready for invoicing?”
  • “What is the attrition rate at each stage?”
  • “How many times do we speak with a prospect before making an appointment?”
  • “How long does it take for someone to go from Initial Contact to Deal Close?”

What I need in order to create one: A consistent sales process, named clients channels, services/products, a customary range of dollars for each client or channel for your products and services, and a tool to enter, calculate the pipeline values, and summarize.

What technological tools can be used for pipelining: Excel, Access, good CRM systems.

Can Tier One Services help me to accelerate my revenues by creating a pipeline for my company? Why yes, we’re glad you asked! Reach out via e-mail or our Contact Us page.

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