Sales Answer Man: How do I Keep My Pipeline Full While Servicing Existing Clients?


When I sell a large client, my focus is on the project and the client. Once the job is complete, I find myself with little or no sales pipeline. Any suggestions?


Your question may be deemed by some as “a good problem to have” because you did land and complete the work for your large client. Having said that, it’s still a problem…

I have a couple of ideas to level out the highs and lows in your business.

  1. Determine how many new attempts to contact new business opportunities you need each working day.
  2. Determine what constitutes an A client, B client, and a C client in your business.

New Attempts

Sales can appear to be random and unpredictable. As long as you believe that, you get to be right. Sales are “clumpy” month to month. If we prospect clumpy, our sales results become even more clumpy.  This causes most salespeople, their managers, and family stress!

One of our Sandler Rules is: “Inspect what you expect”. Which means there is a specific formula to what works for you. But most people have no idea what that formula is.

By starting with the “end in mind”, you can begin to back into what behaviors lead to the amount of revenue you want to produce. Let’s say your goal is $1,000,000 and your average project ran $100,000. Then you will need 10 sales.

Next, you’ll want to determine how many meetings you had last year. One way to easily track prospecting meetings is to always send a calendar invite. Let’s say you had 25 prospecting meetings last year. This would mean you sell something on 40% of your prospecting meetings.

Most salespeople do not track the number of conversations and attempts to reach a prospect. But I suggest you do. It only takes minutes a day, yet it provides some key data as to how effective your prospecting efforts are.

The reason you want to track attempts and conversations is because you have 100% control over attempts to reach a prospect. Attempts can be a phone call, email, text, or even a LinkedIn message. It all counts.

Let’s pretend you determine you need to attempt reaching 6 new prospects a day. Knowing this number will increase your likelihood of doing so – because it’s tangible. You also know your number is based on your current effectiveness, rather than some arbitrary number. Doing this on a weekly basis will reduce or eliminate not having a sales pipeline after landing and completing the work on a large client.

A, B, and C Clients

With your average client being $100,000, I would suggest that be considered your B client. We could expand that to be any project between $60,000-$139,999. Anything $140,000 or greater would be considered an A client.

Lastly, you could define your C client as anything between $20,000 – $59,999.

You want approximately 35% of your revenue coming from A clients, 55% of your revenue coming from B clients, and 10% coming from C clients. By defining (revenue-wise) what constitutes A, B, or C clients, you can back into how many of those clients you need in each category.

Based on the above, you need approximately two A clients, five B clients, and three C clients. Giving forethought to what you really want increases the likelihood of getting what you want.

The moral of the story is: the little things do add up. Doing a little prospecting every day will allow you to have a fresh, clean sales pipeline. Knowing the number and types of clients you want to add this year allows more clarity on how to get them to.

Dan Stalp is president of Sandler Training, a sales and professional development firm. He works with CEOs, presidents, business owners who sell, and peak performers who are tired of walking by their salespeople’s offices to see them on their computers instead of on their phones — and sick of having a superior product and losing out on price. • (913) 451-1760 •


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